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Worf101
12-27-2006, 09:13 AM
I wondered why they painted the tails and noses of US aircraft in such distinctive colors and patterns. The other night I kinda figured it out.

We were in a mixed coop and VA Maj Extreem was sitting in with the Redtails. He'd just managed to plant 1,600 lbs. of high explosive on the deck of the Akagi and sent her to the bottom of the sea. Unfortunately the Son's of Nippon didn't take kindly to this. I'd been on Maj's wing and they killed me off quicker than quick so I was trying to "eye in the sky" him home safe. This pesky Zeke just wouldn't take no for an answer and for a good 20 minutes or so chased Maj Extreem like he'd stolen the last biscuit at breakfast.

Finally, a breather from our side caught up the offender and began peppering him with shot. This turned into a scissor fight. Problem was, our guy (who's name escapes me) pulled out of a rolling scissor and wound up on VA Maj's tail. He was confused and started firing. No, he didn't down Maj but wasted enough lead that he had none for that now returned and thoroughly pissed off Japanese fighter pilot.

Somehow Maj Extreem got back to the carrier and landed, badly but he walked away. Red got the win and he got the points BUT, only because our guy was such a bad shot. I was looking at some Mustang skins and wondered why there were so many elaborate schemes on tails and noses. Now I know why, so that the palsey eyed goober on OUR side doesn't shoot down one of his own squaddies.

Da Worfster<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v366/Worf101/My%20Pics/FortheGloryoftheEmpire1mod.jpg

Worf101
12-27-2006, 09:13 AM
I wondered why they painted the tails and noses of US aircraft in such distinctive colors and patterns. The other night I kinda figured it out.

We were in a mixed coop and VA Maj Extreem was sitting in with the Redtails. He'd just managed to plant 1,600 lbs. of high explosive on the deck of the Akagi and sent her to the bottom of the sea. Unfortunately the Son's of Nippon didn't take kindly to this. I'd been on Maj's wing and they killed me off quicker than quick so I was trying to "eye in the sky" him home safe. This pesky Zeke just wouldn't take no for an answer and for a good 20 minutes or so chased Maj Extreem like he'd stolen the last biscuit at breakfast.

Finally, a breather from our side caught up the offender and began peppering him with shot. This turned into a scissor fight. Problem was, our guy (who's name escapes me) pulled out of a rolling scissor and wound up on VA Maj's tail. He was confused and started firing. No, he didn't down Maj but wasted enough lead that he had none for that now returned and thoroughly pissed off Japanese fighter pilot.

Somehow Maj Extreem got back to the carrier and landed, badly but he walked away. Red got the win and he got the points BUT, only because our guy was such a bad shot. I was looking at some Mustang skins and wondered why there were so many elaborate schemes on tails and noses. Now I know why, so that the palsey eyed goober on OUR side doesn't shoot down one of his own squaddies.

Da Worfster<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v366/Worf101/My%20Pics/FortheGloryoftheEmpire1mod.jpg

Bearcat99
12-27-2006, 09:18 AM
Yes.. that and also whenyou have multiple units on the same mission with different jobs.. it is good to be able to tell whos who.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

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LEBillfish
12-27-2006, 09:37 AM
I've heard numerous reasons as to "why" planes were camoflauged. Though we'd like to believe it's due to when low near the ground clutter it would help hide us, that seems most often not the case as no matter how extensively camoflaged most accounts I've read still state they "shined" or "glinted" to such a degree it didn't help. In kind though we are "color" based in our vision, just like all predators "motion" plays a huge factor, and moving foliage over a static ground doesn't help hide you. So in the end, camoflauge for the most part that I gather simply helping to hide a plane when on the ground.

As you both mention however, aircraft recognition important to "set up" on the right plane and not the wrong. Yet it also always struck me seeing an account on the History Channel of a British Ace I "believe" (don't recall exactly) it was when he spoke of the german 109's....His tone clearly one of trepidation as he noted seeing 109's with their "Yellow Noses", noting how threateneing they looked, how "professional" his exact words. It inferred to me how such brash and glaring markings showed to him absolute confidence, and could tell it made him hesitate first glance.

Don't get me wrong, there are fools markings as well (not like anyone here would have those http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif)....Yet showing that unity, as well as a defiant "know me now?"...does have its bit of fear factor.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

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BrotherVoodoo
12-27-2006, 09:54 AM
So the skins are not just to look cool? Very nice write up Mr.Worf. I do appreciate the intimidation factor Billfish mentions.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

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DuxCorvan
12-27-2006, 10:08 AM
Flying Circus anyone? Nothing new under the sun.

DONB3397
12-27-2006, 10:29 AM
The USAAC ordered fighter groups to come up with 'distinctive tail markings' so allied bomber gunners could differentiate them from enemy a/c.

It took some trial and error experimentation. Certain patterns and color combinations changed at various ranges, according to a book I have (someplace) on U.S. Markings.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

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horseback
12-27-2006, 10:30 AM
Camoflauge was originally intended to diguise aircraft while they were sitting on the ground, then to minimise their visiblity in the air.

Air to air, when you are more or less 'backlit' most of the time when viewed above the horizon, it's pretty much a waste of time. However, in the cloudy and misty skies one often gets above Britain and North/Central Europe, a bit of grey broken up with a darker color can make it harder to see an aircraft, even moving against a static background. Solid colored aircraft are more easily detected.

However, the real reason for distinctive camo or just plain old flashiness is recognition. Most of the time, the only aircraft you're apt to see are friendlies, even in the combat zone. The best protection you can have, therefore, is a way for them to recognize you.

Early in the war, most air forces favored small national insignia, but after several cases of fratricide each went to a much enlarged insignia, which helped a little, but not enough. The Germans opted for recognition markings a bit harder to miss; white or yellow paint over the noses of their aircraft.

The RAF in Europe eventually opted for yellow wing leading edges and in Britain, fuselage stripes just ahead of the tail. At first, P-47s and Mustangs in the ETO needed white stripes on their wings and white noses to dissuade their friends from assuming that they were FWs or 109s.

Only after the "please don't shoot me" phase did these markings evolve into other colors or patterns to demonstrate esprit de corps. Naturally, headquarters soon interfered in order to 'rationalize' these markings and make sure that some poor bastages got stuck with severely ugly paint schemes instead of duplicating one of the really cool outfits' decorations...

cheers

horseback<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

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SeaFireLIV
12-27-2006, 10:37 AM
We tried this in our squad a while back to help discern our side better. In fact, it`s where I first learned the reason for such markings, although the British never really had such bright tail and wing markings.

We just didn`t like having it cos it spoilt the overall look so we abandoned it. I think one of our brother squads still use it though.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

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Worf101
12-27-2006, 12:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BrotherVoodoo:
So the skins are not just to look cool? Very nice write up Mr.Worf. I do appreciate the intimidation factor Billfish mentions. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Love your new sig. Now that wasn't sooo hard was it? Looking good mate.

Da Worfster<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

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