Edit: At the timing of writing and listing this item, I was assuming the below to be correct. I have subsequently been informed that this is a rare RAF tropical fight suit, made in the late 50s, with the rather long designation "22C/1707 Suit, Flying, Tropical, Mk 1, Green, Size 5, 5ft. 8in. to 6ft., Breast less than 40in., Waist less than 35in."
I'm not usually into flight suits, but sometimes you come across something too good to pass up. This is honestly a stunner. It's rare enough to find fully patched up British flight suits, but to find a Fleet Air Arm one, with a full career of patches, and on what I can only assume is a prototype suit, well that's unheard of.
This suit itself is made from a lightweight airtex fabric, the same material as the grey flight caps. The pattern very similar to the Mk2/a and MK4 suits, but with distinct differences, a different cuff closure, and whilst the leg pockets are similar they lack the zips. All zips are lightning, so that puts this squarely into the early 60s. I can only assume this was a prototype made for the FAA prior to the wholesale change to green at the end of the 60s. It includes the stitched on orange holster for a survival knife (knife not included), and a grey ventile loop that's been added for an unknown reason.
The patches are obviously the highlight. This tell the career of a pilot who would be flying De Havilland Sea Vixens during the early 60s, but seems to have converted to helicopters when that type was retired. The Amphibious Squadron 8 shows the pilot was skilled enough to spend some time on exchange with the US Navy, and certainly senior enough to obtain the rank of Commander.
This is a stunning piece, the only one of its type I've ever seen, and a beautiful addition to any collection of British or Naval Aviation.
Good condition bar some wearing to the heel and a repair to one leg to fix what I can only assume was further heel wear.
- I'm 6ft and 38" chest and this fits me
- Pit to pit 22"
- Shoulder to shoulder 17"
- Shoulder to cuff 25"
- Inside leg 31"
- Waist 18.5"
- Collar to crotch 35"