The Aerodrome Home Page
Aces of WWI
Aircraft of WWI
Books and Film
The Aerodrome Forum
Help
Links to Other Sites
Medals and Decorations
Search The Aerodrome
Today in History


The Aerodrome Forum


Go Back   The Aerodrome Forum > WWI Aviation > Aircraft > Camouflage, Colors and Markings

Camouflage, Colors and Markings Topics related to Camouflage, Colors and Markings of WWI aircraft

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 19 May 2005, 01:08 AM   #11
Doc
Forum Ace
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Sitka, Alaska, USA
Posts: 1,126

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricGoedkoop
No dice on Austria-Hungary, huh?


How 'bout the Americans? I've got two questions, and I'm really surprised that I haven't found the answers to either in the Archives here. Maybe somebody can point me in the right direction.

1) Why did the Nieuport 28s have tail stripes that were in a different color order and were expanded to cover the fin and rudder, when no other American aircraft carried similar markings? The white-blue-red order makes sense as it corresponds to the design of the American cockade, but if that was the idea than why weren't any other types of aircraft marked the same way?

2) Why did the Americans position wing markings so as to not appear on the ailerons? Up to 1920, both the original star-and-circle and the white-blue-red cockade were full-chord but located inboard of the aileron, practically touching each other on the Thomas-Morse Scout. From 1920 on, the star-and-circle appears out at the wingtip but is reduced in size. It's obvious that somebody thought it was a real bad idea for the markings to extend onto the aileron, but why?
Eric,

An excellent reference is: Bruce Robertson, “Aircraft Markings of the World, 1912-1967”, Harleyford Publications, Letchworth UK, 1967.

He reports for the Austro-Hungarians---

9 August 1914—Red, White, and Red Wingtip and Horizontal Red/White/Red Rudder Striping decreed.
28 August 1914—Striping decreed 9 Aug extended to tailplane. Royal arms introduced to white center of rudder stripes, though perhaps only for the Navy.

He has no information later than Aug 1914 for them.

On 16 May 1915, the UK adopted rudder striping in the French style, with colors Blue, white, Red. These rudder stripes complied precisely with the French Rudder stripes, except for minor color variations. This was introduced as a common feature of all Allied Aircraft. I would assume that upon US entry to the war, they were expected to follow suit.

From 19 May 1917 to 11 January 1918, the U.S. national insignia was the red-centered white star on a blue circle. This was used again after 19 August 1919. Initial installation was full-chord on the wing, inboard of the ailerons. There was great variation on this design in different regions and between the services up until the 1920s, when the size was formally restricted to 60” maximum, centered between the leading edge and the aileron. Rudder stripes were originally Blue/White/Red, from the rudder post.

On 11 Jan 1918, the U.S. Joint Army and Navy Technical Aircraft Board adopted new markings, to accord with the Allies in appearance, for all aircraft manufactured in the US. These included for the wings : a red circle with diameter approximately equal to chord, one blue circle with diameter 2/3 of chord, center white circle with diameter 1/3 of chord. Rudder was to have vertical red, white, and blue stripes starting at the rudder post. Note that this was decreed for all aircraft manufactured in the US, not for all in service. Thus, this directive may not have been applied to the Nieuports.

On 6 May 1918, The office of the Chief of the Air Service issued a directive for marking aircraft of the American Expeditionary Force. However, this did not discuss rudder stripes or wing markings. It authorized squadron insignia, aircraft numbers, and marks for flight commanders and deputy commanders. It also authorized stripes on left upper wing and left lower wing which varied by squadron.

Somewhere in here, an alternative rudder color scheme was used for the French aircraft delivererd to the A.E.F.—vertical stripes of White/Red/Blue, starting from the rudder post. This was short-lived, and seems to have been based on an assumption by the French factories that the color order should be the same as that of the cockades. Perhaps the Nieuport 28s were in this group, or were simply a local unit (theatre) innovation. I can’t find any documentation which authorized such markings. It was never authorized, as far as I can tell.

As far as your question goes about painting over the Ailerons with the Cockades --- I suspect that painting them over the cockades was not done for two reasons, though I have never found any documentation on this. 1) Depending on the separation of the aileron leading edge from the trailing edge of the main wing, the pattern of the cockades would appear “broken”—it simply wouldn’t be pretty. 2) It is easier to paint or stencil one time on the solid wing rather than either overlapping onto the aileron or stenciling the two parts separately. Also, doing so avoided re-painting if you had to replace an aileron. Basically, painting the cockade over the aileron could look bad and require extra work—both are military “No-No’s”.

Hope that thought process is of some use. Doc
__________________
"Don't think of organ donation as giving up part of yourself to keep total strangers alive. Think of it as total strangers giving up most of themselves to keep parts of you alive. "
Doc is offline  
Old 19 May 2005, 06:47 AM   #12
VH
Guest
 
Posts: n/a

Here about Austria-Hungary:
First of all, it is importend for me to explain, that the “Eiserne Kreuz” for austrians always was an austrian, not a german symbol, the symbol of the “Hoch- und Deutschmeister Ritterorden”, since 1805 situated in Vienna and always leaded by an austrian archduke.
1. 10. 1913: The AH AOK (Armeeoberkommando) ordered national markings for AH planes: red-white or red-white-red stripes an the end of the wings and rudder and (or) a red-white-red ring around the fuselage and the emperors double-head-eagle on yellow background.
After the beginning of the war, AH planes sometimes also used red-white-red flags. As most of the planes of the AH-Luftfahrtruppen were received from Germany in the first year of the war, already with the "Eiserne Kreuz", they were completed with the red-white-red colours. The iron cross stayed as an (also) austrian symbol.
5.May 1915: The AOK ordered all AH planes have to be marked in the same way as german planes (iron cross, black, on white background) on wings and rudder, from 1916 on also on the fuselage, the red-white-red markings disappeared. A few months later the marking on the fuselage was removed, because pilots reported it as a good target-point. From november 1916 on the white background disapeared and the iron cross became an white marginal.
In september 1917 the germans requestet the AH-planes on the "Isonzo-front" to change the iron cross in white colour or - again - on white background in order to find a distinction to german planes.
27.7.1918: The AOK ordered to follow the germans again and to introduce the "Balkenkreuz" (wich was indroduced in diffent variants).
The planes of the AH navy were marked in the same way, but kept the red-white-red on wings and rudder all the time.
Best regards
VH
 
Old 19 May 2005, 06:52 AM   #13
EricGoedkoop
Forum Ace
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,476

 
Thanks very much, Gentlemen - that's helpful information.

Is is documented that the Nieuport 28s were painted with American markings at the factory? I had assumed (shame on me) that they were manufactured with French markings which were then overpainted in the field. I based that assumption on the fact that I've seen photos of other aircraft types delivered to American units with French or British markings, like SPAD XIII's arriving at the 95th Aero with French cockades, and also on the fact that there appears to be variation in the shade of blue used on the Nieuport fin/rudders - see this thread, which also mentions rudder painting in the field.

On the other hand, the 28s weren't used by the French, so there wouldn't have been a reason to paint French markings on them at all - unless they were built ahead anticipating the production order that never came. The varied blue shades could just be evidence of field repairs or replacements.

Last edited by EricGoedkoop; 19 May 2005 at 09:12 AM.
EricGoedkoop is offline  
Old 19 May 2005, 07:13 AM   #14
EricGoedkoop
Forum Ace
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,476

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VH
1. 10. 1913: The AH AOK (Armeeoberkommando) ordered national markings for AH planes: red-white or red-white-red stripes an the end of the wings and rudder and (or) a red-white-red ring around the fuselage and the emperors double-head-eagle on yellow background.

Great info, VH - I've never seen this double-headed eagle marking. Do you know what types it may have appeared on and more-or-less where it was located? I'm familiar with fuselages being ringed with red and white from the cockpit all the way back, but this is new to me. Thanks!

I'm working on compiling as much information as I can on national markings used through 1918 for an information page to be posted here in the Aircraft section. I'd like very much to gather all the bits and pieces that are scattered throughout the Archives on this topic and put them all together in one place for everyone's reference. I greatly appreciate everyone's help and input. Perhaps I could solicit a few volunteer proofreaders?
EricGoedkoop is offline  
Old 19 May 2005, 03:29 PM   #15
gilles
Scout Pilot
 
gilles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bordeaux, France
Posts: 360

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricGoedkoop

Is is documented that the Nieuport 28s were painted with American markings at the factory? I had assumed (shame on me) that they were manufactured with French markings which were then overpainted in the field.
hello Eric
In an article written by Aharon Tesar (author of some Japo books) , I have read that Nieuport 28s were delivered to 94AS and 95AS with french markings. When it became obvious that USAS would be the only user, the factory painted accurate US markings from Nieuport 28 s/n6201.

gilles
gilles is offline  
Old 20 May 2005, 09:34 AM   #16
Doc
Forum Ace
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Sitka, Alaska, USA
Posts: 1,126

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricGoedkoop
Thanks very much, Gentlemen - that's helpful information.

Is is documented that the Nieuport 28s were painted with American markings at the factory? I had assumed (shame on me) that they were manufactured with French markings which were then overpainted in the field. I based that assumption on the fact that I've seen photos of other aircraft types delivered to American units with French or British markings, like SPAD XIII's arriving at the 95th Aero with French cockades, and also on the fact that there appears to be variation in the shade of blue used on the Nieuport fin/rudders - see this thread, which also mentions rudder painting in the field.

On the other hand, the 28s weren't used by the French, so there wouldn't have been a reason to paint French markings on them at all - unless they were built ahead anticipating the production order that never came. The varied blue shades could just be evidence of field repairs or replacements.
Eric, I can't find any primary documentation on that fact, but I have seen it referenced in several secondary sources. I wonder if that rudder stripe paint scheme was only seen on the Nieuport 28s? If so, that would go along with the thought that maybe it the markings were applied at the factory, since the 28 wasn't used by the French. If it were a common practice to paint all French aircraft production with French roundels, rudders, etc., wouldn't it be likely that we would see the erroneous color pattern on other aircraft as well, rather than only on the 28s? Doc
__________________
"Don't think of organ donation as giving up part of yourself to keep total strangers alive. Think of it as total strangers giving up most of themselves to keep parts of you alive. "
Doc is offline  
Old 20 May 2005, 01:12 PM   #17
EricGoedkoop
Forum Ace
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,476

 
Based on what gilles has provided, I guess the most useful thing to do would be to look at 28s above and below s/n 6201 and see if there's a method to the madness.

I'm not prepared to commit to this without some more checking, but here's a start: Wingstrut.com shows #6301 with red/white/blue rudder stripes and two other Nie.28s with the white/blue/red. Maybe when the Nieuport factory started painting American markings on these birds, they actually used rudder stripes in the authorized order. The atypical white/blue/red was field-painted over French blue/white/red on the earlier batches. Something else that I should have realized sooner is that Nieuport painted the serial number, weights and other information in the white portion of the rudder. The white/blue/reds don't show a s/n in the white (most forward) part of the fin and rudder, do they?
EricGoedkoop is offline  
Old 23 May 2005, 05:46 PM   #18
EricGoedkoop
Forum Ace
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,476

 
Russia

Does anyone know when the cockade was first used in Russia? Did it come along with the first French imports?
EricGoedkoop is offline  
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Tags
national, markings, questions


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
National Markings EricGoedkoop Aircraft Articles 0 15 June 2005 06:59 AM
Flip-Flopping National Markings EricGoedkoop Aircraft 3 27 October 2004 02:49 PM
Dr1 markings questions ManfredL Models 1 17 April 2004 10:17 PM
RFC National Markings wmburns Aircraft 6 13 February 2004 09:47 PM
Changing US national markings Volker_Nemsch 2001 16 29 December 2001 09:51 AM


As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2024 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1997 - 2023 The Aerodrome