What is a Bomber Jacket
A jacket is defined as “an outer garment extending either to the waist or the hips, typically having sleeves and a fastening down the front”. A bomber is an airplane which is designed to carry and drop bombs. Bomber jacket got its name as it was primarily developed for pilots who flew the bomber planes. These planes flew at high altitude and yet these did not have close cockpits like the planes have today. There was a Lack of protection against the elements due to open cockpits, leading to exposure of pilots to extremely cold and windy conditions. This necessitated need of jackets which were warm and prevented high winds from reaching the body. When the jackets were first introduced there was a simple lining of silk inside but later with the lowering of operating temperatures the inner linings were changed to give better protection. These jackets also had to be light in weight and flexible to ensure easy movement in the cockpit.
These were first developed in the early 1900s by the US army where heavy duty leather was used for outer shell with high collars which would fit around the neck preventing air from going inside. Even the holes at the wrists were kept snug to ensure that no air went inside. With the technological advancements the operating altitude for planes increased as did the speeds, with temperatures fallow below 50 degree F, lead to need for better protection for the pilots. The inner lining of fur and other man made materials were introduced later. These became more famous after the war and there on in the 1980s there were made famous by movie icons. This had lead to spurt in demand of the jackets. In the present times the jackets are made out of man-made fibers but the original leather bomber jackets are still much in demand. These were so much in demand that the armed forces had to reintroduce the leather version.
The Bomber jackets being warm are also a favorite with bike riders. The original style of the bomber jacket has been copied by many fashion wear companies into their clothing and today the jackets that we see are mostly derived from the bomber jackets. These have become so famous that now you can find them by the dozens being sold online by every clothing manufacturer. Still these are not the original bomber jackets but a civilian copy of the original defence forces jackets.