There seems to be a myriad of different gloves used by pilots over the decades and unpicking exactly what was used by whom for what purpose is not always easy to the layman. Over the years I have picked up half a dozen or so different sets of aircrewman’s gloves and today we are looking at a pair in black leather:
The leather is of fine quality: thin, strong and flexible to give maximum grip whilst retaining the fine control and ‘feel’ needed to control an aircraft and they are designed to draw sweat away from the palm to prevent any slips when using the controls of an aircraft. The wrist of the glove is elasticated to ensure a firm fit:
This is accomplished by a strip of elastic on the inside that is sewn across the pleats:
Like all RAF flight equipment it is marked with the ‘22C’ stores code inside the glove:
This code is a useful way of identifying RAF flight equipment if you are unsure about the origins of a piece of equipment and the code has been used since before the Second World War for all items used by pilots and aircrew in flight.
We wore flight gloves when loading both for the grip and a little protection from sharp edges without being too thick like ordinary work gloves were.
I still have a couple of pairs but they’re very well worn now, to the point if being pretty much unwearable 😦
I had many styles over the years, some were all leather, others almost too thick to be practical for our purposes
The last ones were paper thin brown leather palms and fingers with a brown nomex back, the backs still look pristine but the fingertips have holes worn completely through, good for grounding oneself before hooking up firing leads but not so much for sartorial splendor in civvies 😉
They came with knitted liners but that didn’t suit the purpose we used them for so you got a size smaller than usual and wore them plain.