We love to see the Airforce draped in their full flight suit and gear, but their functions go beyond the looks. Besides being a cool-looking outfit, the flight suits serve to protect the pilots against hazards such as fires and electric arcs. They are coated with a flame-resistant material, Nomex, which shields them from burns should a fire occur. Both male and female fighter pilots use the CWU 27/P Nomex Flight Suit when flying. These suits are designed and manufactured in the United States under the provisions of the Berry Amendment.
Traditionally all the CWU 27/P Nomex Flight Suits came as unisex with designs loosely based on specifications and measurements of male flight suits. Female aviators had to put them on, but this meant that some did not fit as well as they did for their male counterparts. Thankfully, Carter industries has designed and developed 27/P women’s flight suits for female aviators from the ground up. They share the same Nomex flight suit construction, only that these are designed to fit the female anatomy better. For example, the women’s flight suits have real women measurements for the hips and chest areas to accommodate different size hips and chests.
Women Nomex Flight Suit, CWU 27/P design.
Just like the male Nomex flight suit, the female flight suit comes as a coverall with a slide fastener front closure, bi-swing back, shoulder patches, hanger loop, loop fastener nameplate, hook and look tape adjustment tabs around the waist and sleeve. The lower leg fastener is also of the slide type. The front closures’ beaded edges are supported by a protective fly. Waist adjustments have an elastic webbing under the back belt casing, and the two slanted breast pockets are also standard. Furthermore, there is one combination utility pocket with pencil compartments, a pencil pocket flap on the left upper sleeve, and two thigh pockets. The left thigh has a knife pocket strengthened with a lanyard and two further pockets in the lower leg. All pockets have slide fastener covers with the exception of the knife pocket.
These suits are still available as Type I and Type II, which are differentiated by the length of the opening for the front zipper. The Type I has a shorter zipper that only reaches the further pockets inseam, while the Type II Nomex flight suit zipper opening goes beyond the inseam stretching into the seat seam.
Carter Industries 27/P Nomex flight suits are made for the USA army, but you could also buy one if you wanted to. The military asks for bulk orders for these flight suits; hence there is always stock on hand to sell too. The solution-dyed Nomex fabric is fade-resistant and provides sufficient flame resistance protection to aircrews. It is Near Infra-Red (NIR) compliant, which means it will mask your body heat against night vision devices but still remains comfortable and breathable.
The USA defense forces prefer them because they fit perfectly, thanks to having an adjustable waist belt. That said, you can get a better fit for women now, thanks to the available women’s flight suits. The will fits women’s bodies better than the unisex suits. For women’s flight suits, you can find them with the favored hip, thigh, ankle, and chest measurements to make them comfortable for any body size. Not to forget that there are also adjustable waist straps to get them as snug and comfortable as possible. With the choices between Type I and Type II suits available, any women’s body size can fit into it.
The functional six primary pockets make it as utilitarian as possible, and the durable and fade-free quality means aircrews can wear them long into the future.