Originally designed by parachute pioneer Leslie Irvin in the early 1930s, the RAF sheepskin flying jacket was the only issue flying jacket made from animal skin in the service. The design was approved by the Air Ministry in 1932, and although often referred to as the 'Irvin', its production was contracted out to many manufacturers in order to meet demand.
The pre and early war jackets were manufactured with undivided one-piece body and sleeve panels. This produced an amazing looking jacket, but consumed an extravagant amount of material. With the coming of war and the demand for greater quantities of jackets, a more efficient use of the material was devised. The full piece panels were divided and subdivided into small pieces, resulting in a design made up of more seams.
In the Summer of 1940 the most famous air battle of the war took place over Southern England and the channel - The Battle of Britain. Although only just around the corner, the multi-panel jackets had not yet come into being, so the full-panel garments were all that were being worn during this time and hence are often referred to as the Battle of Britain pattern Irvin.
This reproduction replicates the early model RAF jacket meticulously. Made from premium grade sheepskin, which is now hand dyed and finished in Eastman Leather's highly acclaimed broken grain finish. Using traditional treatment methods, Eastman Leather have recreated an authentic, rugged, broken-grain appearance and handle that is so typical of the original RAF jackets.