Alpha Industries History

Founded in 1959, Alpha Industries is, today, the largest supplier of flight jackets and outerwear to the US Military. Many USAF flight jacket design innovations and manufacturing techniques were originated in Alpha's factories. Alpha Industries, the world's leading brand of authentic flight apparel.

Alpha Industries Logo
Alpha Industries Logo


The patches on a flight jacket are a visual biography of a pilot's career.

For Navy pilots, a patch on the left shoulder shows the logo of the aircraft flown, but fighter crews substitute Top Gun Fighter Weapons School patches when they are earned.

The Army Air Forces shoulder patch was a combination of the aviator wing badge and the national insignia for aircraft. In general use until the inception of the USAF in 1947, the Chief of Staff, USAF reactivated its use in 1993.


The MA-1, the US Air Force's most popular flight jacket, was introduced in 1955 and issued to pilots until the mid 1970's.

In 1960, the MA-1 was changed to a reversible jacket using 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.

The MA-1 has become the embodiment of the jet age in the US military. As jets evolved the basic design of the MA-1 remained the same.


A major change in US Military flight jacket design occurred when the CWU-45/P replaced the MA-1 in 1977.


Created for cold weather flight, the N series of flight jackets was introduced in 1945 with the N2.

Originally issued in the late 50's, the N-2B was designed to provide warmth and comfort for airmen experiencing extreme weather conditions in northern air bases.


A longer version of the N-2B, the N-3B was developed for crew personnel subjected to extreme cold climates. The N-3B is mainly issued to air crews assigned to troop transports, helicopters and strategic bombers.


For 40 years the M-65 has been the workhorse of the American infantry. Today's M-65 uses high tech fabrics and design making it a virtually indestructible jacket for all weather use.

The double closure of both snaps and zipper was developed so that soldiers could crawl on their stomachs without running the risk of having the coat snag on anything.