HELO Jacket, Navy blue/Signal yellow, “Sea Hunt” Fall 2014

Helo Jacket Promo Mister Freedom 2014

Helo Jacket Promo Mister Freedom 2014

Helo Jacket Promo Mister Freedom 2014

Helo Jacket Promo Mister Freedom 2014

Helo Jacket Promo Mister Freedom 2014

Helo Mister Freedom 2014

Another terrifying adrenaline-charged stunt, captured by Mr. Tadashi Tawarayama of Seven Bros. Pictures, 2014. Beathtaking, no?

 

 

 

HELO JACKET, Signal Yellow/Navy Blue
“Sea Hunt” mfsc collection, Fall 2014

The final heavy hitter of our “Sea Hunt” two season-long saga comes in the form of an airborne pilot-type jacket: the “Helo”.
We first made a signal yellow Helo. And against Tina Turner’s advice, realized we needed another Helo. So there’s a navy blue version as well.
Are you still there?

I know nothing about flying machines, but I’ve always found helicopters fascinating. All kinds of shapes and colors, unlikely floating crystal bubbles in metallic frames, hovering and defying gravity and winds…

“When the command is GO… SCRAMBLE!” said the old GI Joe™ Action Pilot™ leaflet I dug out of surviving bits and pieces of childhood stored in a metal trunk back in the Old Country.
I was not much into video games or fire trucks as a kid, but kinda dug helicopters for some reason. Maybe because TV programs were full of them. Félix, the bright yellow Hughes 300 lifting off from the helideck of the Calypso with Cousteau on board meant Adventure. TC’s chopper in all its ‘Verner Panton’ paint job glory meant bizness…
Fancy recreational toys, island tour vehicles, for rescue missions or airborne stunts, Air Cav mean machines or rotorhead dreams… no matter the assignment, these flying crafts always seemed to be manned by skilled daredevils, handling real joysticks that surely beat Atari’s. I was sold.

Some of the above vintage photos/infos courtesy of members of the Professional Pilots Rumour Network, rotorhead section. All credits to the original owners.

So, when it came to designing a pilot-type jacket for one of our ‘Sea Hunt’ character, a rescue helicopter pilot, I was GO.
In many of the 1960’s-1980’s photos I’ve researched, helicopter pilots are wearing flight coveralls, CWU (Cold Weather Unit) jackets or jet pilot type jackets. It seemed that a jacket specifically made for helicopter pilots never existed in the US Air Force (I could be wrong). So I decided to blend nylon flight suits with MA-1, N-3B and CWU-type gear to come up with one.
The expert at Buzz Rickson’s kindly opened their doors, and allowed us to utilize their resources and mil-specs trims.
Back in California, we played with several ideas, different body types, length balance, styles, periods, tweaked pocketing and construction for a while…
For those into design anecdotes, the early sketch had a narrow and straight throat latch and a zipper chest pocket. After seeing an actual early prototype sent from Toyo Enterprises, I realized it made the jacket look too ‘racing’. I opted for a latch in the shape of an L-2B flight jacket waist tab and an alternate chest pocket design instead…

Well, let there be flight and there was flight, from sketches to prototypes, we eventually landed a ‘plausible’ hybrid. A jacket that looked to me like it had been around tarmacs cockpits for decades. The Mister Freedom® mfsc “Helo Jacket” was born.

Helo sketch Mister Freedom Feb2014 Helo sketch Mister Freedom Feb2014 Helo early proto Mister Freedom 2014

Our “Helo Jacket” shares its insulating qualities with original Air Force MA-1 type flight jackets (I mean the real vintage USAF deal, not the cheapo ‘Made in Pakistan’ civvy versions). While the thick wool pile lining will guarantee warmth, the wool knit collar and wrist bands will help prevent the cold air from penetrating.
The ‘Space Age’ V-shape of the cuffs was borrowed from a 1960’s WEP fixed-wing USN pilot jacket (detachable top part of a winter flying suit MIL-S-18342 C. Many thanks to reader Matt Henderson for the knowledge. More valuable insights on WEPs here).
This specific detail proved to be a real challenge during manufacturing. I believe the original purpose of these V-shaped cuffs was to allow extra stretching for a wrist instrument. In 2014, their main achievement was to provide real headaches to the skilled machine operators mounting our Helo Jacket… Sorry ’bout that.

Instead of the familiar orange lining of vintage MA-1 or L-2B reversible flight jackets, we opted for a non-emergency yet contrasting weather cloth lining. This is the same fabric we had milled for our Spring 2014 “Skipper Jackets“. This 100% cotton fabric not only feels nice against the skin, it also provides an interesting contrast in texture/hand/feel next to the mil-specs 100% nylon twill shell.
The Helo is a heavy winter jacket of about 3 Lbs.

Designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS:

FABRIC:
Shell
: Mil-specs heavy 2/2 nylon twill, milled in Japan.
Lining: 100% cotton 6 Oz. “Weather Cloth” tightly woven windbreaker popeline, milled in Japan.
Inner: Insulating wool pile.
Two model options:
a) Signal yellow shell/Navy blue linning & knit trims.
b) Navy blue shell/Olive “Jungle” green lining and knit trims.

DETAILS:
* Original design inspired by vintage US Air Force flight gear.
* Vintage mil-specs replica parts & trims.
* Heavy duty 1950’s-type “Crown” zipper front closure.
* Inner windflap.
* 100% wool knit collar and cuffs.
* Two inside chest pockets.
* Snap throat tab.
* Expanding knit wrist “V” gussets.
* Arm “cigarette” zipper pocket (fits a case-less iPhone5)
* Bottom cinch string, leather sliders and eyelets.
* Made in Japan.

CARE/SIZING:
When needed, professional dry-cleaning ONLY.
Do NOT wash.
Our Helo Jacket is true to size, with somewhat of a slim fit. If you are usual a 38 in msfc jacket, you are a 38 in the Helo.

Please refer to approximate measurements in the chart below. Please note that due to the thickness of the shell/inner/lining, measurements are somewhat subject to interpretation.

Helo Jacket Mister Freedom 2014

Available Un-Issued.

SIZES:
36
 (Small)
38
 (Medium)
40
 (Large)
42
 (X-Large)
44
 (XX-Large)
 Retail $849.95

Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support.

“PENSACOLA” Seaplane Jacket, Intermediate. Mister Freedom® x Buzz Rickson’s Special Edition

Pensacola-Montage

 

 

 

 

 

 

MFxBR “PENSACOLA Seaplane Jacket, Intermediate”
Mister Freedom® x Buzz Rickson’s 20th Anniversary Jacket
Fall 2013

We were honored to be involved with our friends at BUZZ RICKSON’S celebration of their 20th Anniversary this year.
To commemorate their dedication and passion at making outstanding mil-specs replica garments for two decades as a branch of Toyo Enterprises, Mr. Kameya (Buzz Rickson’s Skipper) give us carte blanche for a special limited edition piece, granting access to the entire BR catalog of trims/fabrics and expert manufacturing. Oh boy…

MF® came up with a simplified scenario to make this jacket ‘plausible’, aiming for solid and timeless, as the pieces that usually inspire us. After research and some hours on the drawing table, the MFxBR “Pensacola Seaplane Jacket” started shaping up:
The “Naval Air Station Pensacola” in Florida (NAS Pensacola) has been the cradle of Naval Aviation since WW1, where all involved personnel got to train (aviators, Navy flyers, Marines, ground crew, Officers, Seabees…). Read its rich history here.

Well, we had our name… now we just needed a jacket.
For the design, we imagined that a special test/prototype jacket had been developed by the Naval Air Factory (NAF), to be worn on Base and for training only. It combined vintage elements of Navy and Air Force issued jackets, and was adopted by crews of specific Joint Operations (involving Seaplanes, flyers and sea crews…)
We came up with a type of early Military flight jacket that could have existed. We blended decades of pre WW2 flight apparel History, freely borrowing from iconic mil-specs jackets and willingly mixing eras. Our inspiration came from:
* late 1920’s type A-1 leather jackets
* Late 1930’s “Jacket, flying, Intermediate, Jungle cloth” (OD jungle cloth/zipper/A-1 style knit collar)
* M-422 leather Jacket that replaced the jungle cloth in 1938 ( later to morph into Type G-1 jackets)…
* Our speculative imagination, vintage archives, NOS trims vault, and the usual added grain of salt.

USN-40s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why navy and white? Well we figured these were not unpopular colors in the USN and USAAF, and this being an amphibious Op type garment it made sense. The corduroy lining is a nod to the hand-warmer pockets of early Peacoats, same specs and shade. The single layer waist band wool knit is that of Type M-422 Jackets, cuffs those of A-2 Jackets, but in natural color.

To spice it up we dug out an old stock of military ‘ring’ removable buttons. We were lucky to get our hands on some rare NOS composite white buttons, with an engraved anchor, in their original Gov’t issued packaging.

Anchor-white-Buttons-NOS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designed in California by Mister Freedom® and expertly crafted in Japan by Buzz Rickson’s of Toyo Enterprises in a one-time limited edition.

In the US and EU, the MFxBR Pensacola Jacket is only available from Mister Freedom®.

SPECS:

PATTERN: An original MFxBR pattern, inspired by vintage American mil-specs flight apparel.
FABRIC:
Body: 14 oz. all cotton “jungle cloth”, originally developed for the US Navy for its sturdiness/softness/strength/protection qualities while at sea under harsh conditions. Famous for its application in the USN Type N-1 deck jackets. Milled in Japan to exact period mil-specs.
Lining: Cotton mid wade corduroy.
DETAILS:
* Slim silhouette, one piece back.
* Mil-specs wool knit cuffs, waist band and collar band.
* Cotton corduroy full lining.
* Navy CPO shirt type anchor buttons collar fastening.
* A-1 type front flap patch pockets, with corduroy lining.
* Metal snap waist band closure.
* Detachable white composite anchor ring buttons for front closure, vintage military New Old Stock.
* Underarm venting metal eyelets.
* Original Mister Freedom® x Buzz Rickson’s double labeling and ‘contract’ tag, a nod to early USAAF ‘modified’ flying gear.
* 100% cotton tonal stitching.

WASH/SIZING:
The ‘Pensacola’ runs true to size. I am usual a medium/38 in MFSC coats and jackets, and wear a size 38 in this jacket.
We recommend professional eco-friendly dry cleaning when needed. Remove the ring buttons before cleaning (they unhook from the metal ring of the button by rotating the fastener from the under side). Store them and don’t lose them!
The jacket is also hand washable, in cold water, if really needed. Hang dry only.
The 100% cotton jungle cloth is sanforized and some minimal shrinkage and ‘torquing’ will occur if washed.

Please refer to sizing chart below for raw/rinsed measurements (‘rinsed’ = soaked in cold water for 30mn, spin dry and hang dry). Original rinsing is optional and for reference only.

Pensacola-Sizing-Photo-Chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available RAW (unwashed)

Sizes 36 (small), 38 (medium), 40 (large), 42 (Xlarge), 44 (XXlarge)
Retail $699.95

Please call 323-653-2014 or Email sales@misterfreedom.com to get yours while they last. Available from Mister Freedom® HQ in Los Angeles, and from our online store.
Thank you all 😉

(Note: The painted jacket in the photo was just a custom prototype we did for BUZZ RICKSON’S 20th Anniversary party. Production comes WITHOUT any graphics, of course)