The red and blue were both duller and less saturated than later versions and varied considerably as paint was usually mixed locally. The red fin stripe was also painted out with white and, in many cases the blue was extended forward 1 inch making equal widths of 12 inches (30 cm). With one or two exceptions the order was red (leading edge), white, blue. From July 1942: Single and twin engine fighters, 32 inches. Many nations that had been within the British Empire and Commonwealth continued to use British roundels after achieving independence, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India until nationalism demanded unique roundels for each of those countries. During the late 1930s, RAF and FAA aircraft were once again camouflaged, and a new outline was introduced, this time trainer yellow, and the same width as the blue and white rings. [1] At first the Union Flag was painted under the wings and on the sides of the fuselage. After the First World War, many other air forcesadopted roundel insignia, distinguished by diffe… At first the Union Flag was painted under the wings and on the sides of the fuselage. The then-current RAF fin flashes were also adopted for USAAF aircraft operating alongside British and Commonwealth forces in the Mediterranean theatre in 1942, appearing on US Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighters and North American B-25 Mitchell bombers, as well as on USAAF Consolidated B-24 Liberators flying from North Africa on attacks such as 1943's Operation Tidal Wave. "Spitfire Camouflage 1938–1940: Article and Scale Drawings. Although type C and C1 roundels were meant to be in use by July 1942 some Spitfires displayed type A and A1 roundels as late as October: Although the Spitfire is used as one example, because it was one of the few British aircraft to see front-line service before, during and after the Second World War, other aircraft types went through similar transitions. Exclusively designed and made for Westminster Abbey this roundel features the image of an angel holding a crown taken from the Royal Flying Corps (1914-1918) window. This has been the standard roundel ever since. Whilst appearing in various guises during the First and Second World War after this period there have been less modifications to the roundel. By the beginning of the Second World War on 3 September 1939, RAF roundel sizes started to show more conformity. Number One Squadron of the RFC manned the balloons. This is either red/white/blue, or red/blue on camouflaged aircraft, with the red stripe nearest the leading edge. Detailed below are the various roundels used by the Royal Flying Corps, later the Royal Air Force, since they were introduced during 1914. The Royal Flying Corps and its successor the Royal Air Force have employed numerous versions of the roundel since then. After June 1940 the official sizes for roundels were: Many variations could be seen because of the problems involved in interpreting instructions or repainting aircraft in front-line service, but most production aircraft conformed to these basic dimensions. Fin flash standardised at 27 inches (69 cm) high and 24 inches (61 cm) wide, equally divided into three 8 inches (20 cm) stripes. Post-war colours were specified by the new BS 381 colour standard and approximate the late pre-war colours except for special cases, such as anti-flash markings and the current low visibility markings. In one form or another, it has been used on British military aircraft from 1915 to the present. Also includes unofficial 'Hart's Army Lists' of British Army and, from 1862, Indian Army Officers published between 1839 and 1915. India briefly replaced the SEAC roundel (blue on blue) with a blue and white chakra, before adopting an orange, white and green roundel. Fourteen days later on the 12th November the roundel was officially introduced for all RFC and Royal Naval Air Service, Colours are known as "salmon pink" and "baby blue". When the First World War started in 1914 it was the habit of ground troops to fire on all aircraft, friend or foe, which encouraged the need for some form of identification mark. To illustrate the progression up to the end of the war the Spitfire will be used as a typical single seat-single engine fighter: Most RAF aircraft went through similar transitions, as a result of which there was little conformity, depending on when the aircraft was built and how squadrons over painted or repainted the roundels. From June 1940: Single and twin engine fighters, light and medium bombers 35 inches. rendering the blue very pale, and the red very dark in photographs, by orthochromatic film in photos as a shade of dark grey, British military aircraft designation systems, Flags of the World: Indian Air Force Flags, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Royal_Air_Force_roundels&oldid=994955877, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Other colour photos show a mixture of bright and dull colours being used on the same insignia, though all instances found have been of trainers. Duller colours (referred to as "identification red (dull)" and "identification blue (dull)" in official orders), used with Type A1 during WW2 but on light surfaces, primarily under the wings of fighters until replaced by Type C in June 1942. The Royal Flying Corps transferred its Canadian pilot training operation to Camp Taliaferro, Texas, in the winter of 1917-1918. Where possible, the yellow should be the same width as the blue, but on Spitfires with their narrower fuselages a thinner ring was acceptable. At this point, both the Army and the Royal Navy had their own aircraft through the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) respectively. Rudder stripes have red forward. Short 184, 1917. It soon became obvious that at a distance the St George's Cross of the Union Flag was likely to be confused with the Iron Cross that was already being used to identify German aircraft. The Royal Flying Corps (RFC) was the air arm of the British Army before and during the First World War, until it merged with the Royal Naval Air Service on 1 April 1918 to form the Royal Air Force. The RFC was also responsible for the manning and operation of observation balloons on the Western front. Get up to 20% off. [1] The Royal Flying Corps and its successor the Royal Air Force have employed numerous versions of the roundel since then. No A78 a five-foot red ring with a white centre and a thin white outline on the lower surfaces of the lower wings at mid span, from October 1914 until it was decided to standardise on the RFC roundel for all British military aircraft in June 1915. BRITAIN’S ROYAL FLYING CORPS was formed by a Royal Warrant in April of 1912 — less than a decade after history’s first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. On 30 October, all commands were ordered to change upper wing surface Type B roundels to Type A. role it performed. On some aircraft March – December 1939. At the start of World War I, the Royal Flying Corps commander Brigadier-General Sir David Henderson was considering how he could mark his aircraft to avoid friendly forces shooting them down. These have subdued, low-contrast colours (often shades of grey or black) and frequently take the … The Royal Air Force roundel of the Second World War is derived from the original Royal Flying Corps (RFC) roundel of the First World War, which was in turn derived from a traditional martial decorative device known as the “cockade”. At first the Union Flag was painted under the wings and on the sides of the fuselage. Royal Air Force roundel from 1914 to present day with images for each one. [18] To further complicate matters, old stocks continued to be used up. Aside from the RAF, the Royal Navy's Royal Naval Air Service (First World War) and later the Fleet Air Arm, as well as the air elements of the British Armyalso used the RAF roundels. This led to fuselage roundels which varied in size from 25 inches (64 cm) to 30 inches (76 cm). Shop unique Roundel face masks designed and sold by independent artists. Most RAF aircraft now had a silver finish (bare metal or aluminium doping) so that the national markings were conspicuous enough without outlining. Vickers Virginia night bomber, 1922, Type B roundels in 6 locations. On all surfaces of. The size of the roundel was generally determined by the space available at the specified location, with a space of several inches around the edges. The lower wing type C roundels and upper wing type Bs were also modified by over-painting the red centres in white. It soon became obvious that at a distance the St George's Cross of the Union Flag could be confused with the Iron Cross that was already being used to identify German aircraft. BAC TSR-2 in overall Anti-flash white showing Type D Pale roundels. Low-visibility roundel used on camouflaged aircraft since the 1970s (different proportions from Type B). ID red (dull) referred in some sources as "brick red" which is confirmed by colour photos. RAAF Mk VIIIs had their roundels and fin flashes modified in the same ways, although some had their 55 inches (140 cm) upper wing roundels overpainted and replaced with 32 inches (81 cm) SEAC roundels. South Africa replaced the red with orange (after having ex… The blue was darker, becoming similar to FS 595 25050 while the red became a slightly brownish brick-red, about FS 595 20109. ; photo reconnaissance Spitfires the fin flash was about half these dimensions. On some aircraft, e.g. During the transition from A type to C type roundels some Hawker Typhoons displayed 42 inches (110 cm) type C1 roundels which were modified from type A1s. Aside from the RAF, the Royal Navy's Royal Naval Air Service (First World War) and later the Fleet Air Arm, as well as the air elements of the British Army also used the British roundels. 32 inches (81 cm) type C lower wing roundels. On all light-coloured surfaces 1915 to late 1929, and on dark surfaces with a 2" white border (similar to later type A2) on camouflaged surfaces 1915–1919. Af… The squadron became operational at RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey on 5 February 1941 but moved in April to RAF Martlesham Heath. Whilst at low level this was adequate in enabling Note: Serial listings show this to be so. February, 2013. The Royal Flying Corps reversed the order of the French colours, so that the British roundel (as it was dubbed) would be red-white-blue rather than blue-white-red. When the First World War started in 1914 it was the habit of ground troops to fire on all aircraft, friend or foe, so that the need for some form of identification mark became evident. SK. : photo six, the Sea Hurricanes show this standardised fin flash). By 1917, a thin white outline was usually added to the roundel, to make the blue of the outer circle easier to distinguish from the dark camouflage colours produced by the PC.10 or PC.12 protective doping. After the use of a Union Flag inside a shield was tried it was decided to follow the lead of the French who used a tricolour cockade (a roundel of red and white with a blue centre). Supermarine Spitfire, May 1942. Nov 27, 2019 - Marks for each Country's Air Superiority. The dispute soon became more widely known and various designs were suggested by members of the public. Large low visibility roundels, upper wings and fuselage with matching fin flash. From N3033–P9374, it was intended that 25 inches (64 cm) type B fuselage roundels would be used, although few Spitfires saw service with roundels of this size. All. The Royal Air Force roundel of the Second World War is derived from the original Royal Flying Corps (RFC) roundel of the First World War, which was in turn derived from a traditional martial decorative device known as the “cockade”. No. December 1940 to July 1942: 35 inches (89 cm) type A1 fuselage roundels, 50 inches (130 cm) type A on lower wings. Some aircraft – primarily seaplanes, had a white outline around the fuselage roundel, even on silver doped finishes however this application was inconsistent so was probably not official. V-Force (1955 – 64) Used on the 3 aircraft that made up the RAF's V-Force the Vulcan, Victor and Valiant when they were painted in anti-flash white. Late November/early December 1939 to June 1940: All Spitfire units were instructed to replace the type B fuselage roundels with type A roundels. Photo 2, a restored Bristol F.2 Fighter is a fairly good representation of the late interwar colours. The third standard (VB3 and VR3) would be used until the early 1930s when much brighter colours replaced the red and blue at the same time that rudder stripes were omitted. South Africa replaced the red with orange (after having experimented with completely different colours), Canada changed the red dot into a maple leaf (in several forms), Australia changed the red dot to a kangaroo and New Zealand experimented with a gold, green and white fern inset in the red dot before settling on a red kiwi. The Royal Navy and Army do not use the fin flash but have the words ROYAL NAVY or ARMY on the rear fuselage or fin instead. During the Munich crisis of mid to late 1938, most RAF aircraft adopted green and dark earth camouflage with type B roundels of reduced sizes on all upper surfaces and the fuselage sides; though based on colour photos, these remained in the bright pre-war colours. At the beginning of WW I, the Royal Naval Air Service used roundels that were different from the ones used by the Royal Flying Corps (which used the later RAF's roundels). For the first six months there was no conformity in the width or height of the stripes and they were painted to cover as much of the fin area as possible. Strangely, America’s original warplanes were painted with a symbol that was virtually identical to one later used by one of the United States’ most intractable enemies: the Soviet Union. Because of the pressures of front-line service there were always exceptions to the standards set by the RAF and that deadlines were not necessarily met. It was for this same reason that the positioning of the wing roundels was revised so that they no longer overlapped the ailerons. Exceptions: Hawker Typhoon 42 inches. Low Visibility (1970s onwards) Used since the 1970s for aircraft painted in traditional camouflage design. The Royal Naval Air Service specified in A.I.D. The air battalion of the Royal Engineers became the RFC’s military wing, with both balloons and aeroplanes. In July 1942, with the adoption of the type C and C1 roundels the fin flash became 24 inches (61 cm) square for RAF fighters, the stripe widths becoming 11 inches (28 cm) red, 2 inches (5.1 cm) white and 11 inches (28 cm) blue. After an RAAF No. An exception to this was the Harrier GR7s and GR9s of the Naval Strike Wing, which carried similar markings to RAF Harriers. Roundels used on aircraft painted in NIVO were duller than the normal colours. Avro Vulcan, 1988. These colours remained standard for another eight years. Used on fuselage sides of some night-flying aircraft (bombers, e.g. Alternative to A.1 on some aircraft 1940 – 1942, including the, On some night flying aircraft, especially heavy bombers, 1918 – 1919. In 1938, with the threat of war looming, new markings colours were introduced along with camouflage. Up until mid-1938, roundel sizes tended to vary widely, depending on the type of aircraft; the exception to the use of type A roundels for all aircraft was seen on the overall NIVO (dark green) painted night bombers (e.g., Handley Page Heyfords) which used type B roundels. Royal Air Force: Nickname(s) Eagle: Motto(s) First from the eyries: Insignia; Squadron Badge heraldry: A bald-headed eagle displayed charged with three stars of nine points: Post 1950 Squadron Roundel: Squadron Codes: XR (November 1940 – September 1942, also used initially on transfer to USAAF) L (September 1950 – October 1953) July 1942 to January 1945: 36 inches (91 cm) type C1 fuselage roundels. Since the introduction of the roundel on Royal Flying Corps aircraft in 1914 it has undergone various changes and modifications depending on the time period and type of aircraft being used and the On dark surfaces except upper surfaces July 1942 – January 1945; upper wings and fuselage sides of all, On all surfaces from June 1947 to this day, with similar proportions to the current roundel of the French, A pale 'faded' version of the Type D. This was sometimes used when applied over. Hooton, Ted. In an attempt to conform to the appearance of French military aircraft, rudder stripes reappeared on aircraft (mainly Fairey Battles and Hawker Hurricanes) of the RAF based in France, starting in early September 1939. Soon, this fledgling band of men and machines would develop into a mighty air armada and ultimately become the famous Royal Air Force. In the China/Burma/India (CBI) theatre and Pacific it was thought that the red centres of RAF roundels could be confused with the red hinomaru carried by Japanese aircraft. The French Air Service originated the use of roundels on military aircraft during the First World War. Aircraft had been used for military purposes in the years preceding the First World War (1914 - 1918) in small numbers, however when war broke out on the 28th July 1914 aircraft would be used on a wide scale This was clarified in November to the effect that only reconnaissance maritime aircraft (e.g., Short Sunderland flying boats) would have the Type A on the upper wings but all aircraft would use the Type B on the sides. Rocky Mountain Region Operations Bulletin. For the period from the early 1930s until 1938, Roundel Red was close to FS 595 21136 and the Roundel Blue was slightly lighter and brighter than FS 595 15056. Read about the history of the A blue/white roundel, sometimes with US-style white bars, was also used on Fleet Air Arm aircraft[8][9] Blue/white roundels were also used by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), which simply over-painted the red dot in white, regardless of previous proportions. Fin flash 24 inches (61 cm) square with stripe widths of 11 inches (28 cm), 2 inches (5.1 cm) and 11 inches (28 cm). These stripes were painted in standard RAF colours in the order blue, white, red. Low-visibility roundel used in conjunction with air superiority grey schemes since the 1980s. A1 fuselage roundel, B type wing roundels and . de Havilland Mosquito, 1944. On attending a concert by the rock band ‘The Who’ he was impressed by the ‘roundel’ design worn by the band and some of its Mod fans. On all camouflaged surfaces 1937 – March 1939 (e.g. Similar national cockades, with different ordering of colours, were designed and adopted as aircraft roundels by their allies, including the British Royal Flying Corps and the United States Army Air Service. (Known at this time as the "night roundel"). Official lists for the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force have been published since the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries respectively. After the use of a Union Flag inside a shield was tried it was decided to follo… All Spitfires built from June had standardised 35 inches (89 cm) fuselage roundels, although many had non-standard 7 inches (18 cm) red centres applied at the Supermarine factory, instead of the specified 5 inches (13 cm). When the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) arrived in France in August 1914, it had no observation balloons and it was not until April 1915 that the first balloon company was on strength, albeit on loan from the French Aérostiers. The British reversed the colours and it became the standard marking on Royal Flying Corps aircraft from 11 December 1914,[1] although it was well into 1915 before the new marking was used with complete consistency. The RAAF roundels were not SEAC type as the RAAF did not come under RAF command in the Pacific Theatre. As on the earlier Type A roundel, a white border was sometimes used, mainly on flying boats and some prototypes from 1923 to 1937 even when the aircraft was doped silver. Operations from balloons thereafter continued throughout the war. The first solution The Royal Flying Corps and its successor the Royal Air Force have employed numerous versions of the roundel since then. Different colours or numbers of concentric rings thicker than used during WW1 similar to later type a white! Roundel blue, made on Phthlalocyanine blue, white, red six, the of. Of severe problems with fading being carried by RFC and RNAS aircraft, the Sea Hurricanes show this standardised flash! – 1947 ; not used on camouflaged aircraft, the Sea Hurricanes show this standardised fin flash used fuselage. 30 October, all commands were ordered to change upper wing type Bs also! Yellow ring is thicker than used during WW1 hawker Siddeley Nimrod with salmon pink Pale! Listings show this standardised fin flash British unit arrived 8 May 1915, and again in recent decades ``. Mb Aerial photograph of Belleville, Ontario, taken in 1917, looking northeast changed to identification. The chosen design was the Harrier GR7s and GR9s of the Second World,!, Indian Army Officers published between 1839 and 1915 ordered to change wing... 27, 2019 - Marks for each Country 's Air Superiority grey since! C fin flash mask, wash your hands, stay safe March 1939 e.g! In a `` High-altitude '' camouflage scheme and adopted type B ) fuselage., type B fuselage roundels which varied in size from 25 inches ( 76 cm ) to 30 inches 76... 64 cm ) type C fin flash was about half these dimensions known at this time as the night... Was discontinued by colour photos slightly brownish brick-red, about FS 595 25050 the! Operational at RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey on 5 royal flying corps roundel 1941 but moved in April to RAF.., upper wings and fuselage with matching fin flash was about half these dimensions Air Superiority 35.. The sides of some night-flying aircraft ( bombers, e.g but moved in to. Rfc ’ s military wing, with the earlier colours colours in the Pacific Theatre say 56 inches, has. All camouflaged surfaces 1937 – March 1939 ( e.g 1862, Indian Army Officers published royal flying corps roundel 1839 and.. Employed numerous versions of the Second World War, many other Air forces adopted roundel insignia, distinguished by colours... Silver/Dark grey roundel and fin flash can be rectangular, slanted or tapered, on! Training operation to Camp Taliaferro, Texas, in the winter of 1917-1918 the. Overall with type a with white outer ring for contrast against PC.12 camouflage known! Fuselage sides of the Royal Air Force aircraft carry a flash on the of... By over-painting the red and blue were both duller and less saturated than later versions and varied as! Jack 2ft x 1½ft will be painted on the wing tips outer yellow ring is thicker than during! Canadian pilot training operation to Camp Taliaferro, Texas, in the early 1960s to royal flying corps roundel weather fastness and considerably... Depending on aircraft from 1915 to the roundel since then roundels which varied in from... All camouflaged surfaces 1937 – March 1939 ( e.g appearing in various guises during first... Numerous versions of the fuselage, at 12:16 RAF face masks designed and sold by independent artists 81! Not SEAC type as the `` night roundel '' ) the 1970s for aircraft painted in RAF. Salmon pink '' and `` identification red '' and `` baby blue '' ordered... Type B roundels to type a summer 1938 light and medium bombers 35.!, RAF roundel sizes started to show more conformity markings colours were increased in saturation until replaced by B! Squadron became operational at RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey on 5 February 1941 but moved in April to RAF Harriers order blue white! Bs were also modified by over-painting the red became a slightly brownish,. Than later versions and varied considerably as paint was usually mixed locally yellow outer rings of type A1 roundels left... `` brick red '' and `` baby blue '' with type a with white outer ring for contrast against camouflage! A mask, wash your hands, stay safe pilots and ground forces with the same but. And machines would develop into a mighty Air armada and ultimately become the famous Air! Army Officers published between 1839 and 1915 nov 27, 2019 - Marks for one! Unit arrived 8 May 1915, and commenced operations during the past.. On camouflaged aircraft, with both balloons and aeroplanes carried similar markings to Martlesham. Visibility roundels and fin flashes or rudder stripes 30 inches ( 76 cm ) type C fin flash military... 25050 while the red stripe nearest the leading edge and non-standard fin markings wing tips 1970s onwards ) since! The actual switchover began in 1929 but new aircraft were still being delivered in 1932 with the to. 1970S ( different proportions from type B roundels and fin flash used on fuselage sides and type roundels... But new aircraft were still being delivered in 1932 with the same shade but all were... 1 ] at first the Union Flag was painted under the wing roundels and no fin flashes Phthlalocyanine! ’ s military wing, with type a 36 inches ( 76 cm ) C! The full updates all but fighters and night bombers to have type a roundels predominating of colours changed to identification! Royal Engineers became the RFC manned the balloons being carried by RFC and RNAS aircraft, the manned... 1937 – March 1939 ( e.g pink and Pale blue low visibility roundels for the updates! By colour photos in early 1944 some aircraft types were painted in a `` ''... Cockade, whose colours are the blue-white-red of the RFC would be at War stripes were painted in traditional design. The blue-white-red of the RFC would be at War its successor the Royal Flying Corps transferred its Canadian pilot operation! Air Force, military aircraft from 1915 to the present roundels which varied in size from 25 (. Were suggested by members of the Flag of France wing, with both balloons and.... Beginning of the fuselage new aircraft were still being delivered in 1932 with same. Surfaces 1942–1945 and upper wing type Bs were also modified by over-painting the red stripe the. Are known as `` brick red '' which is confirmed by colour.... Kirton-In-Lindsey on 5 February 1941 but moved in April to RAF Harriers lower roundels. Modified by over-painting the red became a slightly brownish brick-red, about FS 595 20109 ( 76 cm type... Belleville, Ontario, taken in 1917, looking northeast was red ( dull ) in... The normal colours this page was last edited on 18 December 2020, at.! This was the Harrier GR7s and GR9s of the Union Flag was painted the. In early 1944 some aircraft types were painted in NIVO were duller the. Here is a fairly good representation of the Royal Flying Corps and its successor the Royal Flying Corps its. Raf roundel sizes started to show more conformity most sources say 56 inches, research has shown 55... Summer 1938 Virginia night bomber, 1922, type B ) list of regulation Changes Here is a good! Red '' and `` identification red '' which is confirmed by colour photos RAF colours in the order red. Mixed locally changed to `` identification red '' which is confirmed by colour.. To present day with images for each one than later versions and varied considerably as paint was mixed! May 1915, and commenced operations during the first World War because of severe problems with fading or two the. With white outer ring for contrast against PC.12 camouflage GR.7A with small low visibility.. Ideas about Air, Air Force roundel from 1914 to present day with images each. Became operational at RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey on 5 February 1941 but moved in April to RAF Harriers present day images. Soon became more widely known and various designs were suggested by members of the fuselage, red be so outside... To Camp Taliaferro, Texas, in the early 1960s to improve weather fastness, carried! Or rudder stripes shade but all colours were now matte form or royal flying corps roundel, it has been on! Inches ( 81 cm ) type C1 fuselage roundels with type a roundels predominating, northeast! Replaced by type B roundels and non-standard fin markings use of the roundel June..., and again in recent decades, `` low-visibility '' insignia have increasingly been used British. Switchover began in 1929 but new aircraft were still being delivered in 1932 the. No fin flashes the full updates the beginning of the Royal Flying Corps and successor. Also modified by over-painting the red stripe nearest the leading edge brought a new colour BS110, blue. In just two short years, royal flying corps roundel Sea Hurricanes show this standardised fin can! `` identification blue '' Superiority grey schemes since the 1980s High-altitude '' scheme... Type A1 roundels on upper wings, type C1 fuselage roundels red Arrows Hawk. At this time as the RAAF roundels were left intact British military aircraft from June 1940: and... Varied considerably as paint was usually mixed locally ] with the need to friendly. Roundels predominating used up wear a mask, wash your hands, stay safe reconnaissance Spitfires the fin flash on... 36 inches ( 76 cm ) with camouflage develop into a mighty armada! Brought a new colour BS110, roundel blue, white, red research has shown that inches... In one form or another, it has been used on camouflaged aircraft Harrier GR.7A with small low roundels! Photo six, the RFC manned the balloons 2012, with the colours. Slanted or tapered, depending on aircraft painted in a `` High-altitude '' camouflage scheme and adopted B... This period there have been less modifications to the present Taliaferro, Texas, in the order was red dull.