|ALPHA INDUSTRIES VINTAGE LEATHER FLIGHT JACKETS
The Alpha Story
Over 40 Million Served
Alpha's history as a manufacturer for the U.S. Military is a long and successful one. For over 40 years, the United States Department of Defense has relied
on Alpha Industries for outerwear to protect Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps personnel. Since first opening our factory in 1959, Alpha has
continuously manufactured the M-65 Field Coat, fabricating more of these coats than any other company. And, since the mid-1960's, we've manufactured
virtually every MA-1 Flight Jacket used by U.S. Air Force, Army and Navy pilots. All told, Alpha Industries has produced over 40 million pieces of military
outerwear to perform under the most severe conditions imaginable.
3-Bars Make The Difference
Long before anyone even knew the name Alpha, our three bars had earned quite a reputation among purchasers of surplus military apparel. In surplus
stores throughout the country, customers sought out the jackets with the three bars on the military specifications tag.
There's an interesting story behind this; when Alpha Industries received a military contract and that contract was fulfilled, "surplus" materials were
always left over. In order to use these materials and keep our factories operating, we continued to make jackets following the strict military
specifications. These jackets would be sold to surplus stores. But, for internal purposes, we needed to develop a way to separate these jackets from the
ones that were actually going to be shipped to the military.
On jackets going to the military the label contained a single black bar separating the identification of the type of jacket and its specifications. We
developed a replacement label to be used for surplus jackets. The only difference between this and the actual military label was that we put three black
bars between these two pieces of information. And this label was the only difference between these surplus jackets and those that were actually to be
worn by the military. Other contractors also manufactured surplus coats, but they changed to lower grade materials using lighter fabric, thinner
insulation, less durable zippers and fasteners. And they didn't change the internal labels; their garments still had the single black bar. Over time,
customers at surplus stores began to notice that the jackets with the three bars were the best. And no wonder; because, after all, these were the exact
same jackets that American pilots and ground crews were wearing at bases around the world. In fact, if you look closely at the Alpha logo, you'll see that
we integrated these three bars into the mark that has come to symbolize our company and its products.
Known Around The World
From the streets of virtually every city in the U.S., to the streets of Europe and Japan, the Alpha name is known. In fact, at one time a single store in Japan
had a waiting list of over 900 people hoping to get an Alpha jacket. Alpha continues to produce the same quality garments be began making back in 1959,
only now, we adjust and modify our products to meet your demands. Alpha continues to be the most sought after Authentic military brand in Europe and
Don't Settle For Less Than An Original
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, Alpha jackets get high praise--we've consistently find poor quality copies around the world. So, you need to
know how to recognize the original, Authentic Alpha.
Here are the telltale signs to look for:
The first, and easiest to find, is the authentic Alpha three-bar logo.
There is a tab version of our logo on the sleeve of every flight jackets.
Look in the pocket, there is a larger logo patch in there as well.
Look at the black-and-white military specification tag. In between the identification of the type of jacket it is and the actual specifications, there will be
three solid black bars.
Check the feel of the fabric. Alpha jackets have a heavier, better-quality fabric than most others.
Finally, check the brass zipper, it will have the word ALPHA and our logo on it.
Remember, there is only one Authentic Alpha.
Recognize the Original
Don't Settle For Less Than An Original
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, Alpha jackets get high
praise--we've found knock-offs around the world. So, you need to
know how to recognize an original. There are telltale signs to
The first, and easiest to find, is the authentic Alpha three-bar
logo. There is a tab version of this logo on the sleeve of our
flight jackets. Also, look in the pocket of our reversible models
and you should find a larger logo patch in there as well. Finally,
look at the black-and-white military specification tag. In between
the identification of the type of jacket it is and the actual
specifications, there will be three solid black bars.
Other signs include the feel of the fabric. Fabric for Alpha jackets
has a heavy, high-quality feel. Look closely at the seams and
you'll notice authentic Alpha jackets have a distinctive pucker,
created by following the strict military standards for tear strength
at the seam. And our brass zippers will have the word ALPHA
and/or our logo on it.
Alpha Industries. The world's leading brand of authentic flight
Travel back to 1959. Knoxville, Tennessee. The United States Department of Defense recruits Alpha to revamp its military
jacket. Why? Because as the jet age takes flight to greater heights and ground troops encounter trickier terrain, the
technological needs and real-life demands of our soldiers change. Simply put, but not simply achieved, Alpha re-engineers
outdated designs. As better fabrics are developed and tested, Alpha makes better jackets for our soldiers-better designed,
better produced, and more reliable. Alpha garments are ranked as warmer, more comfortable, and designed to meet any
climatic challenge or test of time.
Today, Alpha Industries is not only a global enterprise, manufacturing and selling its products throughout the world, but
also the premier supplier of jackets for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marine Corps. Alpha sets the standard as a
leader in cutting-edge outerwear design. From flight decks to civilian sidewalks, Alpha stands on the frontlines of quality
and fashion, as a testament to innovation, creativity and manufacturing know-how. The honest truth is that Alpha is tried,
and tested, and proven. And that's where you come in. Now it's your turn to try it out.
Alpha. Tried. Tested. Proven
Why is the MA-1 orange on the inside?
In 1960, the MA-1 was changed to a reversible jacket with an orange lining instead of green. By reversing their MA-1 jacket
to the orange side, downed pilots could easily be located by search and rescue teams.
What is the sleeve pocket on the MA-1 for?
This pocket was originally created to hold a pack of cigarettes.
Why is there a tab on the front of the vintage MA-1?
True to the original military spec, this tab was placed on the front of the jacket so that the pilot could clip his oxygen mask
What is the M-65 made of?
The fabric for the M-65 outershell is a wind-resistant 50% Cotton/50% Nylon Sateen with a 225 lb. Breaking strength.
Has Alpha ever made a floating jacket?
Yes. It was called the Impermeable Extreme Cold Weather Waterproof Clothing Ensemble. This was originally designed for
U.S. Navy shipboard use during extreme cold, wet weather.
Why are the "pen bullets" sewn into the MA-1?
These bullets are sewn into the MA-1 to cover the tip of the pen when it is placed in the pen pocket, assuring that the ink
does not leak on to the sleeve of the jacket.
Why are the pockets angled on the CWU 45/P?
When the jacket was designed officers realized the need for pockets from a functional standpoint, but did not want their
pilots walking around with their hands in their pockets. Consequently, they asked that the pockets be angled and placed
high on the front of the jacket.
ALL ABOUT ALPHA INDUSTRIES LEATHER FLIGHT JACKETS
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