In MotorPunk’s regular ‘Kitbag’ features we endeavour to bring you stuff that we ordinary chaps should be able to afford; but also gear that we think has an interesting tale to tell. Well today men we showcase some NASA approved aviator sunglasses – yours for a mere 50 quid – and a nice bit of clobber to kickstart your summer wardrobe and gain top bragging rights at your next beer garden soiree.

In fact, we’re rather surprised that this bit of kit isn’t far better known about. American Optical (AO) sunglasses have been standard military issue for our colonial cousins since the early 1950s and were actually worn by Gemini, Mercury and Apollo astronauts, and Top Gun pilots plucked from the ranks of the USAF’s finest. They’ve been sported by Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell and America’s first supersonic pilot, Chuck Yeager. To us, that makes these particular specs seriously cool!

American-Optical-Flight-Goggle-58

Today’s versions are made to the same exacting USAF and NASA specs. Our special favourites are the original “Flight Goggles No.57” as shown above, the very same design as those carried by Neil Armstrong during the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing (that pair are now on permanent display at the Smithsonian Museum, USA). So there you are then fellas: good looking and affordable NASA-approved shades that have one hell of a story to tell.

You can buy yours here: American Optical Original Pilot Eyewear 55mm Silver Frame with Bayonet Temples

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