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Soviet-American AVIREX G-1 bomber jacket. Anyone have any insight?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I don't know much about bomber jackets, but recently found this in my late uncle's attic. I wanted to know if this had any value? He was very wealthy, so it probably isn't fake. Notice the 4477 TES insignia. Does anyone know anything about Avirex jackets to explain this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 

Also, the yellow tag says 1988, although the main inside cloth says 1987. Anyone have an explanation for this? I once heard that these jackets can take pieces from different places - hence slightly different dates.

 

 

 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

No one knows about this? Haven't seen any else.

post #4 of 13
Looks like a pastiche to me. But why not call the number and ask?
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by yishair View Post

No one knows about this? Haven't seen any else.

No but it's pretty cool. Wear it in good health.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cant kill da Rooster View Post

No but it's pretty cool. Wear it in good health.

Agree. Nice condition. Wear and enjoy.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounder View Post

Looks like a pastiche to me. But why not call the number and ask?

Turns out there's one of this jacket on eBay exactly the same (only place I found one), so it probably isn't a pastiche. I'll give em a call. Thanks.

post #8 of 13

Was your uncle military? Traditional military garments, that is, garments made to fulfill a specific contract and issued to military personnel as part of standard issue kit, are devoid of brand tags. They state only the description, or line title, of the item, size, material, and care instruction. They don't allow branding of the item IF the item is prepared for a military contract. Issue bomber jackets often have velcro (loop side) patches on the chest for name badges and unit patches, since the pilots/crew often changed squads or commands. The "TES" insignia, in current acronym standards, would be a Test and Evaluation Squadron, so for an actual flyer this would be a test squad for modified aircraft or to qualify repairs of current aircraft, or, if really awesome, to fly newly designed aircraft. From what I see, this is not a standard issue piece, but if authentic to a military member, may be a jacket bought and altered to commemorate a specific assignment or deployment or duty station. If not authentic to a military member, this could just be a jacket that was produced by some company (AVIREX) to appeal to the military-loving crowd that he liked and bought, in which case those patches would simply be decoration/marketing for appeal to the average consumer.

 

Upon further inspection: no military jacket would have Mig 29 on it. No flying crew, especially on active duty, would have any sort of identifier to their type of craft while in operations. Furthermore, no American crews OTHER THAN TIP OF THE SPEAR FLIGHT TEST CREWS were flying Mig 29s back then. BUT, if your uncle was a no kidding test pilot, he could've been flying a confiscated Mig 29 for the air force to dial down flight maneuvers and capability to train air force pilots to combat the Migs. Again, not too terribly likely. A nice touch, though, is the American/Russian "Please take me to the American Mission Moscow" flag on the lining of the jacket, something that a lot of pilots get sewn into their actual flying jackets incase they're downed inside of enemy lines and need to communicate to the non-english speaking locals. But, again, we weren't flying Mig 29s INSIDE or NEAR Russia. I say all of this to say: it likely wasn't an issue jacket, and unless your uncle was a no kidding test pilot, it is likely just a jacket branded to appeal to the fly boy civilians. There's probably no doubt it is an authentic AVIREX garment, but not an issue piece.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Great info above! Great jacket none the less. thanks!

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by yishair View Post

Great info above! Great jacket none the less. thanks!

It's actually very beautiful, especially considering it's year of manufacture. Treat that thing right and it'll stay with you for decades. You happened upon a wonderfully kept jacket with a timeless design, wear in good health!

 

Oh, and that spec listed in the tag? Spec 7823, that's an actual jacket specification that the Navy introduced in 1951 (all military products are built to specifications, hence the term Mil Spec, which typically requires they conform to a certain style of manufacture for quality, and often a certain type of testing to ensure they will hold up to wear and tear and perform as designed in the design spec), so the jacket is actually built to USN (United Stats Navy) specifications, which means it's a quality production that should last a long while if properly maintained. Enjoy!

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by yishair View Post

Turns out there's one of this jacket on eBay exactly the same (only place I found one), so it probably isn't a pastiche. I'll give em a call. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrizzleCizzle View Post

If not authentic to a military member, this could just be a jacket that was produced by some company (AVIREX) to appeal to the military-loving crowd that he liked and bought, in which case those patches would simply be decoration/marketing for appeal to the average consumer. . . . I say all of this to say: it likely wasn't an issue jacket, and unless your uncle was a no kidding test pilot, it is likely just a jacket branded to appeal to the fly boy civilians. There's probably no doubt it is an authentic AVIREX garment, but not an issue piece.

This is what I meant. There is too much contradictory stuff on that jacket for it to be "genuine" in the sense that it was military issue. They have assembled a variety of things that make it look "cool" whether those things would ever have appeared together on a genuine issue jacket or not. That doesn't mean that it isn't a very nice jacket nonetheless.
post #12 of 13
I still wear my Avirex which I got in The Cockpit in NYC in 1989. IIRC the jackets then ranged from around $350 to $500. They kept a range of patterns and changed them out from time to time, reducing the prices of the old ones to make room for the new ones. They are very well made replicas inspired by the art and patches of genuine air crew jackets.

The Cockpit in those days was a great shop with the nose of a bomber hanging from the ceiling and various genuine air crew uniforms on manequins in glass cases.
post #13 of 13

I remember these advertised in a magazine back in about 1990.   I will buy this jacket from you.  Let me know. 

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