It's amazing how fashion does a full circle from time to time. Perhaps one of the most extraordinary fashion items to do this is the leather flight jacket, which has been imitated for close on a century. Not only are historic designs reproduced on a regular basis, but genuine vintage items also have great saleability. So if your granddad was a pilot and he was issued with a bomber jacket in the Second World World, check out his belongings because it might be worth quite a bit.


While a new leather flight jacket will clearly last longer than one that was made in the 1930s or 40s, a good quality original, with brown sheep skin jacket squadron patches and possible a bit of old artwork on the back, is highly collectible. Wartime-issued (as in WWII) A-2 (air force) and G-1 (navy or marine) bomber jackets are still around, and you might be surprised how collectible they have become, even though they remain officially the property of the US Government.


On e-bay an old leather flight jacket will sell for anything from US$100 to US$1000, possibly even more. The experts say that a sheepskin-lined B-6 for example will typically sell on e-bay for between US4200 and US$400, while a B-3 (the classic shearling bomber jacket) is more likely to go for between US$300 and US$500, provided of course they are in good condition.


If a really top notch bomber jacket with an original painting of a fighter on the back, and missions listed on it, was offered on the open market, it might attract as much as US$1500.


Many people opt to donate granddads' bomber jackets to museums, where they are pretty well guaranteed to remain "forever" in a pristine condition. Few museums will pay anything near a collector's price for them, so if you are hoping that that old leather flight jacket is worth something, and you want to make some money out of it, you'll be better off to seek out collectors.


If you aren't sure what your granddad's authentic leather flight jacket is worth, find yourself an expert who knows all about the original men's bomber jacket. That's the best way to avoid being ripped off.