Welcome to our AstroRelics products line!
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For years, we have always focused on "The gear in use by the best" of the Vietnam era. It is only fitting that we expanded in this era to the military based products in use by other elite of the era: The Space Cowboys who pioneered and paved our way to space and inspired generations to follow.
Now you too can also own reproductions of the iconic items you saw worn by the astronauts of the era and always wanted to have.In-stock now, is of the very first model "Flite Wear" flight jacket worn by astronauts through the Gemini and Apollo Programs. Based loosely off the 1950s L-2B flight jacket, the original jackets were made in small batches in off the shelf sizes. Each batch is noticeably different in minor aspects: Fabrics, color, zippers, Pattern cut, and snap finishes. There is roughly 5 variations of the "blue jackets" made during the early years of NASA with the earliest ones made by a small tailor shop in Kansas who originally supplied them in Olive Drab to local Boeing test pilots.
- Blue Cotton poplin shell fabric: Not Cotton twill as seen on later patterns. We've matched this fairly accurately to originals.
- Khaki front zipper: On later jackets these were dark blue. On all surviving known 1st pattern jackets they are all khaki. We believe that this was the only color on hand with the original manufacturer at the time, so they used them with the rush time and small batch size of the initial order. We've replicated this. (NOTE: THESE FACTORY SECONDS HAVE A "LEFT HAND" ZIPPER PULL.)
- Dark Blue Exposed edge zipper on the shoulder pocket: Later these were covered by an additional piece of fabric matching the jacket for a neater appearance.
- Nickel snaps: Later during Apollo, these were changed to black.
- Reversible "Emergency" Orange Satin Lining: Originals were a semi-thick Rayon based satin lining with a thin wool backing. Without driving the cost of our jackets into the stratosphere by having custom rayon fabric milled, we've picked a very nice polyester satin that is very very close in appearance and feel to the originals. We DID NOT use cheap thin scratchy Taslon you find in 99% of any flight jacket reproductions.
- Cut edge twill Type 2 style NASA meatball: We have painstakingly worked with our patch embroidery people to accurately recreate the correct type 2 style Meatball. You won't be displeased.
- Pocket flaps: Correct size, angles, and mid chest placement. Often mis-sized, mis-shapen, or lower on the body compared to the originals, ours are right on the money.
- "The Fit": Most commercial flight jacket reproductions are longer and sit lower on the torso compared to original era flight jackets. We based our patterns and sizing off an early 60's L2B flight jacket just like the originals. They sit at the naval line, on top of the hips with ample room in the upper body for range of motion for your arms. (NOTE ON THESE FACTORY SECONDS: OUR MANUFACTURER CUT THESE TO MODERN STANDARDS AND NOT THE VINTAGE SPECIFICATION WE SUBMITTED. PLEASE ORDER YOUR REGULAR SIZE FOR A NORMAL FIT, IF YOU WISH TO HAVE MORE OF AN "ATHLETIC CUT" SIMILAR TO VINTAGE ORIGINALS, PLEASE ORDER ONE SIZE DOWN.)
We have striven to stay as strictly accurate as possible to the original jackets without deviation, but we have added several nondescript details to make the jackets a bit more functional and give that extra " Real Deal" feel.
- An additional internal chest pocket to the inside lining on left breast big enough for a wallet or cell phone.
- In addition to reproducing the original collar label, we added our own military style nomenclature label by the internal breast pocket.
Is our reproduction in the same stitch for stitch, using new old stock era fasteners and custom from scratch fabric category of super expensive high end Japanese replica flight jackets? No, and we don't pretend it is. Nor does our price reflect that.
Is our jackets better quality and more historically accurate than your common surplus store or big box online retailer replicas? You betcha! You won’t be displeased. We have worked hard to make the most accurate reproduction possible but keeping the price down for the most bang for your buck.
NOTE: Cosmetically, these factory seconds are perfectly good jackets and look no different from the ones pictured in our photos. They just did not meet original military specific requirements we set forth when we initially ordered them.