Aeronautical Clothing German
Price = n/a
Luftwaffe Summerfliegerkombi Flying Suit Model KSo/34
The German one piece flying suit, officially known as a 'Fliegerschutzanzug für Sommer (Kombination) K/So 34' first entered service in 1934 for aircrew use in temperate climates. These suits were cut large enough to fit over the standard uniform that was worn beneath. A regulation issued on July 4th 1940 and April 24th 1941 introduced a replacement two piece protective flight suits for fighter pilots designed to increase the wearers mobility and not be as restrictive in the close confines of a cockpit, but the one piece suits continued to be worn right up until the end of the war but tend to be more associated with bomber crews.
This example is of the very early specification as identified by the horizontal crutch zip fly, as in June 1940 it was replaced by a more practical vertical zip. The other distinguishing feature of this pattern was a map pocket, closed with a vertical zip fitted on the left chest. Perhaps the most striking difference between this suit and the second pattern is the map pocket was replaced by a vertical emergency opening device operated by a pull ring, to enable the suit to be removed quickly on occasions when the airman was injured.
Our suit is constructed in classic 'pepper and salt' fabric and whilst showing evidence of light service use and minor staining it is all in exceptional condition. The cloth has the odd snag and very minor wear but no patches or damage. The bottom of both legs have some mall black spots which could be paint but if dressed on a mannequin this would be hidden. The zips are all original single lightning bolt examples by Zipp, with the reverse marked DRP149421, characteristic of pre-war production; the zips retain their original leather pullers and are in good working order. The suit carries the leather oxygen mask attachment point and the leather collar strap is in place. The snap fastenings are by PRYM.
Inside the suit is equally clean with the inner storm flap carrying some ink stamps but these are now washed out and we cannot decipher. On the reverse of this flap is a high quality woven manufacturers label confirming the suit was made by Bekleidungsfabrik Habelt of Crailsheim, Wrtb; in translation "Garment Factory Habelt, Crailsheim". We understand the Fritz Habelt organisation made uniforms and flight clothing for both the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine and was designated with RB no. 0/0708/0001, although this is not shown. The label is also marked 'Baumuster: KSo/34' indicating Model number and 'Gewicht' (weight) which is left blank and below is 'Baujahar 1936', the year of manufacture followed by 'Grösse 11b' which is the size. The inner sleeves are fitted with a grey twill cloth with snap fastenings.
Not much more we can add other than these first pattern suits hardly ever come on the market. It almost certainly served through the Battle of Britain and despite dating from 1936 it remains in really excellent issued condition. As we have mentioned with other newly listed Luftwaffe items this one again matches the collectors criteria to always buy the best example you can afford. You don't however need to take our word for it as using our new facility we have now added a range of additional photographs to illustrate the detail of this great example!