Aircraft recognition is a visual skill taught to military personnel and civilian auxiliaries since the introduction of military aircraft in World War I. It is important for air defense and military intelligence gathering.
- Aircraft recognition generally depends on learning the external appearance of the aircraft, both friendly and hostile, most likely to be encountered.
- Techniques used to teach this information have included scale models, printed silhouette charts, slide projectors, computer aided instruction and even specially-printed playing cards.
The Aircrafts can be recognized in Three Ways:
- Nose Art
- Fin flash
Nose art is a decorative painting or design on the fuselage of an aircraft, usually on the front fuselage.
While begun for practical reasons of identifying friendly units, the practice evolved to express the individuality often constrained by the uniformity of the military, to evoke memories of home and peacetime life, and as a kind of psychological protection against the stresses of war and the probability of death.
- The appeal, in part, came from nose art not being officially approved, even when the regulations against it were not enforced.
- Placing personalized decorations on fighting aircraft began with Italian and German pilots.
- The first recorded example was a sea monster painted on an Italian flying boat in 1913. This was followed by the popular practice of painting a mouth beneath the propeller’s spinner begun by German pilots in World War I.
- The Soviet Air Force also decorated their planes with historical images, mythical beasts, and patriotic slogans.
- The attitude of the Finnish Air Force to the nose art varied by unit. Some units disallowed nose art, while others tolerated it. Generally, the Finnish air force nose art was humorous or satirical, such as the “horned Stalin” on Maj. Maunula’s Curtiss P-36.
- The Japan Air Self-Defense Force has decorated fighter aircraft with Valkyrie-themed characters under the names Mystic Eagle and Shooting Eagle.
Military Aircraft Insignia:
- Military aircraft insignia are insignia applied to military aircraft to identify the nation or branch of military service to which the aircraft belongs.
- Many insignia are in the form of a circular round or modified roundel; other shapes such as stars, crosses, squares, or triangles are also used.
MILITARY WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE IDENTITY :
- Insignia are often displayed on the sides of the fuselage, the upper and lower surfaces of the wings, as well as on the fin or rudder of an aircraft, although considerable variation can be found among different air arms and within specific air arms over time.
Few MILITARY HISTORY:
- IT WAS FIRST USED BEFORE THE FIRST WORLD WAR BY FRENCH AIRFORCE ON 1912. TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE ENEMY AIRCRAFTS AND THEIR OWN AIRCRAFTS.
- AFTER WORLD WAR 1 THE COUNTRIES USED “LOW VISIBILITY” INSIGNIA, TO USED AS AN CAMOUFLOUGE TECHNIQUE IN THEIR SPYING AIRCRAFTS!!!
- Of all the early operators of military aircraft, Germany was unusual in not using “round” roundels, but after evaluating several possible markings, including a black, red and white checkerboard, and a similarly coloured rounded, and black stripes, a black “iron” cross on a square white field was chosen as it was already in use on various flags, and to reflect Germany’s heritage as the Holy Roman Empire.
In the later stages of the World War I, the British Royal Flying Corps started to use roundels without the conspicuous white circles on night-flying aircraft, such as Handley Page O/400. As early as 1942-43, and again in recent decades, “low-visibility” insignia have increasingly been used on camouflaged aircraft.
- In addition to the insignia displayed on the wings and fuselage, a fin flash may also be displayed on the fin A fin flash often takes the form of vertical or slanted stripes in the same colour as the main insignia. Alternatively, a national flag may be used on the fin.
- A fin flash often takes the form of vertical, horizontal or slanted stripes in the same colours as the main insignia and may be referred to as rudder stripes if they appear on the rudder instead of the fin, as with the Armée de l’Air of France.
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