IN THE AIR – “CORAL FISH”

IN THE AIR - PAINTING OF AIRCRAFT CARRIER-BASED AIRCRAFT

Military aircraft painting aircraft have always played an important role. After all, well-chosen color camouflage reduce the visibility of the machine in the air and thus increase its survivability. A variety of colors and color schemes were determined by the nature of the environment, against which were combat flight. As well as carrier-based aircraft mainly operates over the sea, the defining colors in the palette of camouflage are the various shades that mimic the color of the water surface.
Camouflage pattern in the deck of the aircraft did not appear immediately. Before 1940, the aircraft had a natural metal color. Yellow-orange was only the upper surface of the wings for better visibility of the aircraft in the event of a forced landing on the water. With the outbreak of the second world war, the entire machine began to cover light gray paint (Light Grey), which significantly reduced the likelihood of visual detection. The next step in the downward visibility was the adoption of the fleet in early 1942 two-tone color schemes: blue gray above and pale gray below. Further, the number of colors increased to three; the upper surface of the fuselage and wings were painted dark grey, left side grey-blue, and light grey paint at the bottom was replaced with white. At the end of the war, especially for aircraft operating in the southern latitudes, has developed a glossy sea blue (Glossy Sea Blue), which is often now confused with the dark blue (Dark Blue).
 
When the Americans gained control of the sea and in the air and opposition from Japanese aircraft was weakened, the skin began to appear a bright coloured stripes, shark jaws, different emblems, etc., prohibited in 1942. After the war, some units were disbanded, and some of the traditions, manifested in the bright attire of the aircraft was lost. It remains only determine the color of each aviation unit has put in place in the 30-ies.
 
The first jet aircraft were painted entirely in glossy sea blue color (GMS). Markings applied white paint.. Define the colors could be seen on the nasal fairings, wingtips keels and wings.
 
Even during the war it became clear that the planes are painted in the GMS, perfectly visible in the air. On the background of the bright sky machine looked like ink drops on white paper. There was even a special term — “the effect of black spots”. Between 1953 and 1955, for years, tried out various ways of dealing with this effect, even proposed not to paint the aircraft. In February 1955, the Navy command decided to cover the upper surface of the airframe of the aircraft less noticeable at the height of the light gray paint (Light Gull Gray), and bottom — white (Insignia White).
The paint scheme was influenced by the advent of nuclear weapons. Control surfaces (flaps, ailerons, elevators and rudder, spoilers) for protection against light radiation a nuclear explosion, covered in glossy white paint* the maximum reflection coefficient. The transition to a new camouflage took more than two years. K1 July 1957 all deck cars were repainted. On the bases of the fleet transition took place somewhat later.
 
The rich historical traditions of naval aviation, which was also reflected in the individual names of every squadron, emblems, etc., encouraged the pilots to paint their cars, emphasizing the affiliation to a particular unit. Blue color of the aircraft did not give much of a will Amateur artists too rushed their work in the eyes of the chiefs. But after the transition to grey started appearing colored stripes along the fuselage and multi-colored chevrons (emblems of the squadrons). Kiel has become something of a “blank canvas” on which to draw whatever they want. Planes in the air began to resemble flocks of colorful coral fish.
 
Command decided to restore order, but not the prohibition of the colouring, and the ordering of flowers in the aviation groups, and ordered the use of each squadron of your color or shade. March 9, 1955 approved the correspondence between the tail numbers of planes and colors in the emblems. The most vibrant, multicoloured planes were allowed to commanders of squadrons. The correspondence between the color and tail number of the rest are summarized in the table:
 
 
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The trend toward complete coloring of the plane reaches its peak by the beginning of 60-ies. Then came the Vietnam war, which quickly sobered those who like to draw. Scheme of camouflage, however, has not changed, but the unmasking of colored stripes and squiggles markedly diminished. Some types of aircraft to perform the mission temporarily repainted in the standard tropical colour (RA-5C “Vigilant”, the squadron RVAH-13 “Bats”). After the Vietnam war command has revised its attitude to diversity on the fuselage. To maintain the traditions of the logo was retained, but apply them is permitted only in black and white. The latter was performed with reluctance, and even in the late 80-ies of some of the cars wore bright outfit.
 
From July 1971 light grey paint was replaced with glossy light grey (Glossy Light Gull Grey). Old paint brand FS36440 was matte and in operation wear out quickly. In addition, she has contributed to the increase in the aerodynamic drag of the aircraft.
 
Examples of markings and side numbers on the wings of aircraft
 
Examples of the placement of markings and side numbers on the wings of the aircraft.
 
Further evolution of camouflage deck of the aircraft passes in the direction of decrease the visibility, which is primarily refused in white on the lower parts of the fuselage and the wing. Markings reduced in size and became expressionless.
 
In the late 70-ies was partly used and the painting standards adopted in the air force. For example, some F-14 and F-4 were covered with three shades of blue-gray. A little later a Grey Splinter scheme (shattered gray) — three shades of grey applied in the form of broken geometric shapes.
 
In 1986-1987 he began to paint on grey vehicles messy stains earthy, green and brown.
 
Finally, currently being developed by individual paint schemes for each aircraft type taking into account back-shadow effect, when seemingly darkened places of the airframe are covered by a light color, and light areas dark.
 
THE MARKINGS AND LABELS ON CARRIER-BASED AIRCRAFT
 
On the put on plane signs and labels, you can define the following characteristics. 1. The national identity. Signs are applied to the left and right sides of the fuselage on the left wing top and right-bottom; this arrangement of the markings was finally approved in 1943.
 
2. The aircraft belonging to the genus Navy aviation.
 
Since 1948, on the fuselage in big letters indicate belonging to the genus naval aircraft; if the aircraft is written — “NAVY”, it belongs to the carrier or Maritime patrol aircraft; if the “MARINES”, the aircraft belongs to aviation of the marine corps.
 
3. Belonging to one of the American fleets.
 
Until 1956 in the U.S. Navy on the vertical empennage, right wing top left and bottom deposited with an index consisting of one letter of the Latin alphabet; it was determined by the number of the aviation group and Navy flag of registry. Scheme alphabetic index of the products: the Atlantic ocean — T, K, F, C, L, E; Mediterranean sea — R, I, O, J, X; the Pacific — M, S, N, V, D, A; Indian ocean – N, R, L, W, Y, Z, G.
After 1956, adopted the system of two-letter index on the tail and wings. Machines, which have the first letter of the index And, based on the ships and bases of the 2nd (Atlantic) and 6th (Mediterranean) fleets. The aircraft with the first letter ” N ” belong to the 3rd (Central and Eastern Pacific), and 7th (Indian ocean and Western Pacific) fleets.
If the first letter tail code is different from A and N. this tells you about the affiliation of this machine to a special squadron or the reserve fleet. First can temporarily be assigned to different vehicles — for example, to strengthen the wing during combat operations. Such units are usually located at the bases of the various fleets.
 
The second letter index denotes the identity of the aircraft to the wing (until 1963 — aviation group). Squadron quite often change the carrier’s PostScript and, consequently, the number of the wing. Therefore, the index covers only a specific period of time. For example, in the 1985-1987 correspondence between code and craft-based were the following:
 
 
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The aircraft carriers “Theodore Roosevelt”, “Abraham Lincoln” and “George Washington”, recently entered into operation, the tail codes of aircraft AJ, NH, AG, respectively.
 
4. The type of squadron and its ordinal number in the Navy.
 
Type of squadron is indicated in the area of the words “NAVY” or “MARINES” and consists of uppercase English letters.
 
For “NAVY”: VA — the assault, VAL light assault: VAP — shock-reconnaissance, VAH — heavy attack, VAQ — electronic warfare VAW — early detection and prevention, VFA — fighter-assault, VF — fighter, the VF (AW) — night fighter, VFP — light scout fighters, VCP — heavy reconnaissance, VP — basic patrol, VS — anti-submarine aircraft, VQ — REO simulate enemy cruise missiles or aircraft transponders long-distance communication with submarines, VX research and testing, VXE — scientific research in Antarctica, VXN — Oceanographic research, VRC — transport aircraft, the VC — support of combat training (formerly reconnaissance aircraft), VR transport aircraft, VRF — ferry, VU — support missiles, RVAH — heavy assault and reconnaissance. For “MARINES”: VMA — assault, VMAT — assault training, VMF — fighter, VMFA — fighter-assault, VMFP — scout fighters, VMCJ — intelligence and electronic warfare (mixed-ML).
 
Following the letters digits the registration number of the squadron in the Navy. It usually consists of no more than three digits.
 
In the late 50-ies can be seen on the fuselage of fighter labels GMGRU-1 or GMGRU-2. It was a special group of planes managed to restore cruise missiles, Navy “Regulus-1” and “Regulus-2”. The group had an unusual two-letter tail codes nye — ZZ (GMGRU-1), GF (GMGRU-2). In 1960, the first group was disbanded and transformed into the second squadron VU-8. Met and decals and CAG DET. The first meant the cars belonging to the staff of the aviation group, the second — belonging to a special group (after it was mentioned the code name of detachment). If the aircraft belonged to the CAG, its side number was 00.
 
5. A PostScript to the ship.
 
Performed fine print on
 
the fuselage, often above the words “NAVY” or “MARINES”. Name of carrier is written after the letters USS (United States Ship), for example: USS SHANGRILA.
 
6. Tail number.
 
The tail number indicated in the forward fuselage (near the two-letter code) and on the wings figures of white or black. Usually it consists of three-digit and serial number of the squadron in the wing (group) and the number of aircraft in the squadron. We remind you that since 1950 the commanders of squadrons serial numbers of aircraft – 00.
The sequence number of squadrons in the wing indicate the purpose of the machines. The correspondence between the designation of aircraft serial number and squadron: fighter 1 and 2, light attack aircraft — 3 and 4, attack — 5, tankers — 52, anti-aircraft — 6 aircraft EW — 61, heavy attack-reconnaissance — 62, aircraft DLRO — 71, fighter-scouts — 9.
 
In basic aviation and marine corps aviation tail number double-digit, it is also the serial number of the aircraft in the squadron.
 
7. Registration number of the aircraft of the US Navy.
 
The number appears in small numbers in the rear fuselage, until the early 80-ies and large numerals at the bottom of the keel. To the 70-ies of the room was applied fully, it now consists of six digits. The last four digits are the serial number of the aircraft.
 
Location of labels and markings on the upper surface of the airframe is already known to the readers of the machines shown in the illustrations. In the future, this information will be shown on the drawings.
 
A. CHECHIN
 
The drawings COMPLIED with N. FARINA

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