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Aircraft Topics related to WWI aircraft, aircraft engines and armament

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Old 11 February 2004, 06:58 PM   #1
wmburns
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This reference is photocopied from a book entirely about aircraft markings but unfortunately I do not know the book's name, but it had an individual section for every country and spanned from the turn of the century to the late 1960's. This passage is taken from a 236 page section simply titled "Chronology" which started on page 171 and itemized all significant changes by date. Any information about this or a white disc with a black centre I have been told about would be appreciated.

The entry for 12 September 1916 is this:

Special national insignia for British night flying aircraft promulgated to all RFC units in an instruction which read:
The attention of all concerned is directed to the following distinctive marking, which it has been decided shall be adopted for black-winged night
flying aeroplanes :
On top and bottom wings, white circle the same size as
the blue circle used in the marking of day machines.


What I am after is any information regarding unusual (uncommon?) or major variations of British national markings (in this case - RFC, RNAS, RAF)for an updated version of a print I've created about British and Canadian roundels. The existing print covers 33 roundels and I am working on expanding it to a set of four prints with a total of at least 37 roundels.

Thanks for any help,

Bill Burns
London, Ontario

Webpage showing existing print
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Old 11 February 2004, 09:18 PM   #2
fsbof
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The book you refer to is an old Harleyford Publications Limited volume entitled "Aircraft Markings of the World 1912 - 1967, copyright 1967, by Bruce Robertson. For an illustration of that specified roundel, as well as others, see page 27 of Robertson's "WWI British Aeroplane Colours and Markings," published by Albatros Productions as Windsock Fabric Special No. 2. Hope this helps you.
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Old 12 February 2004, 03:53 PM   #3
wmburns
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Thanks for helping with the book title.
The marking you say is shown on page 27 of the other Robertson book - My library does not have it, so I will have to try an inter-library loan.
The last time I did that it took several months to arrive. I had completely forgotten I'd ordered it!!
Can you tell me what it looks like and a bit of what the book has to say about it?
Was it the plain white disc or the white disc with black centre?
Was it used by the RFC or RNAS?
Was it used on specific aircraft and between certain dates?

Thanks for helping me out. I received a query from the "RCAF Memorial Museum" today that they are interested in stocking my print. Things are definately looking up!

Bill Burns
London, Ontario
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Old 12 February 2004, 09:56 PM   #4
fsbof
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Sure thing - here's what Robertson says on p. 33 of the Windsock book:

"With night flying becoming more common, particularly with Home Defence aircraft due to Zeppelin raids, a clearer roundel was needed on the dark night finishes then being used. On September 12 a notice, headed, 'Special Insignia for Night Flying Aircraft' was promulgated to all RFC units under GHQ, Home Forces as follows: "

Robertson then quotes the same directive you included in your first post.

As illustrated on p. 27 of the book, the roundel looks just like a thick, white ring the same size and proportion as the blue ring in the standard roundel - sort of like a white-colored washer or hose gasket - with no inner or outer ring or outline. The area inside the ring is the black color of the aircraft's wing.

As Robertson states, the order was directed at RFC units. The illustration notes the dates September 1916 to November 1918. Unfortunately, there are no photos in the book showing any aircraft carrying this roundel.

British colors and markings are not my forte - all I know about this roundel is what I've cited from Robertson's Windsock book. Perhaps some of the RFC-type forumites can provide you with more complete information or photos. Good luck!
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Old 12 February 2004, 10:56 PM   #5
Paul_J._Fisher
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Hello there,

As far as I know, it was the RNAS Home Defense units which employed the white-only insignia with lamp-black camouflage scheme- namely No. 50 Squadron. I believe this was actually a ring of white, and not a disc with a black center. The scheme was applied mainly to the RAF BE2 types. As a side note, it is understood that the black paint was applied not so much to disguise the planes, but more to prevent the pilots from being blinded by their own landing flares. This explains why the paint was applied only to the front half of some aircraft.

You might consult Ray Rimmels 'Air War Over Great Britain', and Cole & Cheeseman's 'The Air Defense of Great Britain'; as they are well illustrated and show other insignia variants, such as a red ring (with no white or blue) on an REP Parasol and odd applications to a Bristol F2B and and RAF Se5a.

Last, for what it's worth, try this link for an image:

http://www.wwi-models.org/Images/Fis...ndex.html#Be2e

Regards,
Paul
 
Old 13 February 2004, 08:17 PM   #6
neville_hayes
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For an illustration of a white ringed BE2 flown in 1916 by RCL Holme of 39 HD Sqn, check the following site. Url is full of V4's and the term chandelle, but most easily found by typing into your search engine, (with an S in defence), as follows;
nocturnal defense of great britain in the first world war

The second link is worth a look too.
 
Old 13 February 2004, 10:47 PM   #7
wmburns
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Very nice, thank you all for the assistance. That is just the sort of info I was looking for.
I have ordered Robertson's book "WWI British Aeroplane Colours and Markings" through our Inter-Library Loan program. Like I said earlier, it may take weeks or even months for it to arrive, but it will come eventually!

Bill Burns
London, Ontario
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