Military Flight Suits: Current Standards For Safety And Practicality

The current standards for military flight suits today focus primarily on two basic features. They should be lightweight and fire retardants. These features benefit the wearer as it does not compromise speed of movement and it protects him from the main hazard of aviation. Air Force and Navy personnel use flight suits made of Nomex. This fabric is both lightweight and fire resistant and is made of aramid. While flight suits are designed for aviation purposes, other branches of the military like the U.S. Marines used them in vehicle patrols and ground combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan because of their fire resistant capabilities.

Military flight suits are often colored green or desert tan. They feature multiple pockets for carrying the various necessities of a military pilot. The Nomex fabric, which is both lightweight and fire resistant, is the fabric of choice. Although most countries use the fabric for flight suits, designs vary. For the U.S. Military, the model used is the CWU 27/P which is available in either sage green or desert tan. For private individuals who desire a functional uniform for civilian flying, flight suits are available for purchase in military supply stores. They are often used by helicopter crew and aerobatic pilots for practical purposes.

The development of the flight suit followed the progress of aviation in general. In the past, flight suits focused more on the provision of warmth for pilots who had to contend with the extreme coldness of open cockpits. The need for multiple pockets with closures though has always been a concern. In World War I, leather two piece suits became the norm as it was durable, warm and was able to ward off flying debris. In 1917, Australian aviator Frederick Sidney Cotton developed the Sidcot which was used until the 1950's as it effectively provided warmth. During World War II, electric heated flight suits were introduced. With the advent of the fully pressurized crew cabin, flight suits took a different turn, now becoming more focused on safety and the ever present need for practicality.

With new technology paving the way, the development of military flight suits became more focused on practicality and safety. The current flight suits used are made for the purposes of not weighing the wearer down with its heaviness as well as protection from the threat of fire. These concerns are solved with the Nomex fabric, which is used for the present day flight suits. Military supply stores sell Nomex flight suits in different colors like khaki, navy blue, sage green, desert tan, black and even orange ones. Made according to military specifications, these commercially sold flight suits are practical and often purchased by civilians who desire a uniform for flying.

The practicality and safety that military flight suit designs offer are not only exclusive for air force flight suits. The civilian flyer is as much concerned with safety and practicality as a U.S. Air Force pilot. Its benefits and advantages apply to everyone whose work or recreation involves flying. You can get reasonably priced flight suits in many military supply stores. However, as with most purchases, ensuring that what you buy serves you well entails choosing a reliable supplier that provides high quality merchandise.

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