A discussion forum for history enthusiasts everywhere
 
HomeHome  ShortcutsShortcuts  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 Flying Colours

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2755
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Flying Colours   Fri 18 Oct 2013, 15:29

Beginning near the end of 1916, there developed a fashion in the German Air Service, and in particular, their fighter squadrons (Jagdstaffeln usually shortened to Jasta) of decorating their aircraft in an ever increasing variety of colours and designs. The best known of all German pilots Manfred von Richtofen, was one of the first, possibly the first, to decorate his aircraft, in the first instance a red wash over the fuselage of his Albatros DII. After his appointment to command of Jasta 11, in January 1917, the other pilots in the squadron also began painting their aircraft, and within a short while, the practice had been adopted throughout the Jastas.

Here is an example of the aircraft with which von Richtofen is most closely associated, the Fokker Dr1, ( Fokker triplane ). Note that this example is not all red but retains the olive drab Fokker camouflage on the two lower wings and forward fuselage;



this could be either Fokker DR1, serial number 127/17 or 161/17, which are known to have been flown by von Richtofen and had this colour scheme.

the more famous all red Fokker DR1, serial number 425/17



note also that in the Spring of 1918, the Germans changed the national markings on their aircraft from a Cross Patee to a Balkankreuz.


Last edited by Triceratops on Fri 07 Apr 2017, 13:13; edited 2 times in total
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2755
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Flying Colours   Fri 18 Oct 2013, 15:38

Jasta 15;


two examples of aircraft from this squadron in their blue and red livery. The first is Pfalz DIII, in use in the Autumn of 1917;



and the second from the summer of 1918, when the squadron had been re-equipped with the Fokker DVII;



by this time, Jasta 15 was part of Jagdgeschwader Nr 2, and the aircraft illustrated is that of the Geschwader commander, Rudolf Bertholdt, with it's distinctive winged dagger logo.
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2755
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Flying Colours   Fri 18 Oct 2013, 15:44

Another Pfalz DIII, this one flown by Werner Voss of Jasta 10 in the summer of 1917, though only for four sorties before switching back to an Albatros DIII.



before his death in September 1917, Voss was von Richtofen's closest rival in terms of aircraft shot down. The machine is painted silver, there is absolutely no attempt at camouflage.
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Flying Colours   Fri 18 Oct 2013, 17:24

This is "Black Maria" of "B" ("All-Black" or "Empire") Flight, Naval 10. It was Raymond Collishaw's aircraft, in which (arguably) he shot down Allmanroder of von Richtofen's Jasta, who was then flying an all-green aircraft. Note that its only the cowling, fuselage decking, fin and wheels which are painted black, unlike some representations (and descriptions in fiction) which have Naval 10 flying all-black aircraft.

http://www.airteamimages.com/sopwith-triplane_ZK-SOP_united-kingdom---royal-naval-air-service_121120.html
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2755
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Flying Colours   Mon 21 Oct 2013, 10:24

Another Fokker Dr1, this one serial number 213/17, flown by Lt Fritz Kempf of Jasta 2.

The machine is in the plain olive drab Fokker camouflage, however Kempf has decorated it by painting his name on the top wing and "kennscht mi noch?" ["do you remember me?"] on the middle wing.



A contemporary photograph.


Last edited by Triceratops on Mon 21 Oct 2013, 14:03; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2755
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Flying Colours   Mon 21 Oct 2013, 13:47

The other major German fighter of the period was the Albatros series. Here are two examples of the DVa from late 1917. Both have 5-part lozenge camouflaged wings, as per the Albatros factory.

Black and white hooped Albatri of Jasta 26;



and a short video of a reconstruction of a DVa, from New Zealand, in the colours of Adolf Schreder of Jasta 17;

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2755
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Flying Colours   Tue 22 Oct 2013, 12:58

So far, we have only looked at the German Air Service, not surprisingly since the Allies did not indulge in such varied colour schemes to the same extent. However there was some individual paintwork on Allied machines as can be seen from this Nieuport 17bis, flown by the French ace Charles Nungesser, with some macabre artwork;

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2755
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Flying Colours   Wed 23 Oct 2013, 10:24

Spad XIII in the colours of the US 94th Aero Squadron (The Hat in the Ring squadron)

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2755
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Flying Colours   Thu 24 Oct 2013, 10:47

The British tended to stick with neutral colours on their aircraft. Exceptions were the crews (or at least some of them) of the Felixstowe F2 flying boats on U-Boat hunting duties in the North Sea and Western Approaches, who, in case of ditching, had their machines painted to be easily spotted.

Photograph of a Felixstowe on patrol:



and the colour version;

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2755
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Flying Colours   Fri 25 Oct 2013, 14:42

A sudden jump forward by 25 years and a 112 Squadron Curtiss Kittyhawk of the Desert Air Force, in standard desert camouflage with  shark mouth motif;

Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5486
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Flying Colours   Fri 01 Nov 2013, 13:13

Similar to the Fokker and Albatross above this camouflage on a German AEG N.I. night bomber was deemed the correct pattern and shading for rendering a plane difficult to see at dusk or in early dawn light.



It seems counter-intuitive to paint something in bright pink and yellow to help obscure it but a similar exercise involving submarines demonstrated that, when it comes to the human eye, little can be assumed from the apparent evidence. The US Navy during WWII once experimented with marine camouflage, painting a different pattern and colour combination on five different craft, old submarines due for decommission, and then used them for target practice, under fire from various assault aircraft whose pilots used their eyesight to locate and lock in on them. Not one of the craft managed to fool the pilots and all were sunk. Amazingly a control craft - a submarine painted bright orange moored at a distance to give the pilots a clue to the whereabouts of the targets - was consistently reported not to have been seen by the pilots at all.
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2755
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Flying Colours   Fri 01 Nov 2013, 14:47

A really good example of camouflaging an aircraft so that it merges with the background, making it difficult to spot when viewed from above, this Messerschmitt 109 in North Africa during WW2;

Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5486
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Flying Colours   Fri 01 Nov 2013, 14:59

Good example, and it demonstrates a feature of camouflage that is still not properly understood even by those who design it. It being a still photograph the desert camouflage allows the craft to merge visually with its surroundings. However if you imagine it in movement you can readily see how this effect would be radically reduced.

However as with the colourful camouflage used in earlier craft, the human eye is deceived as much through confusion as obscurity. The trick is to "fool" the eye into failing to register the object in the brain in a manner that aids recognition. Somewhat ironically this can sometimes be achieved, especially where movement is concerned, as much through pattern distortion as with colour. The black and white striped zebra in the green and yellow environment of the Savannah is a case in point. Through trial and error the aviators of WWI arrived at similar conclusions and results, probably as much to their own surprise as anyone else's.
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2755
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Flying Colours   Fri 01 Nov 2013, 15:21

"Dazzle" camouflage, Nordmann. It was used extensively on shipping during the latter part of WW1,the trick, as you mentioned, to fool the human eye as to range and direction. And which would be especially effective if it was viewed from a restricted view point, eg a submarine's periscope;

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2755
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Flying Colours   Fri 01 Nov 2013, 15:27

This is an example on an aircraft, in this instance a WW2 Brewster Buffalo;



The artist who designed this particular camouflage was McClelland Barclay, better known for his pin-up art.
Back to top Go down
 

Flying Colours

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Res Historica History Forum :: The history of people ... :: War and Conflict-