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Flight Suits of the AAF

Paul Tibbets and his flight crew in their flight suitsFlight suits were worn by pilots and crewmembers of the AAF for practicality, comfort, and protection from the elements. Flight suit material varied from khaki cotton and lightweight wool gabardines for summer wear, to heavy shearling-lined leather for winter and high altitude wear.

Since early airplanes were not pressurized cabins the crew was subjectd to harsh weather elements so there were even electrical suits that plugged into the aircraft's electrical systems to keep the soldier warm.

The flight suit has continued to evolve and some materials are fire retardent. But all have uses and pockets to house pens, papers and other items both practical and personal in nature.

Some of the most common flight suits were:

  • Suit, Summer, Flying, Type A-4 (OD gabardine, standardized in 1930)
  • Suit, Summer, Flying, AN-6550 (OD gabardine or tan cotton, replaced the A-4 in 1943)
  • Suit, Flying, Very Light, Cotton Twill, Type K-1 (khaki cotton)
  • Suit, Flying, Light, Type L-1 and L-1B (OD gabardine)
  • Flying Trousers included types

  • A-1
  • A-3
  • A-5
  • B-1 (leather with shearling lining)
  • A-8 (OD cotton with quilted lining)
  • A-9
  • A-10
  • A-11
  • A-11A (OD sateen/nylon with fur lining)
  •  Flight Suits


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