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Flag Top

The british flag, or 'Union Jack', consists in the association of saint Georges cross (red over white, in the foreground) for England, saint Andrew cross (white X over blue, in the background) for Scotland, and saint Patrick cross (red X over white) for Ireland.
Initially sported by the aircraft of the Royal Flying Corps at the beginning of the first World War, it was quickly abandonned after confusions with the german cross (at great distances), and replaced by a classical roundel.
It is sported today on the VIP aircraft of N32 (TR) Squadron. It is also seen on the aircraft detached to overseas operations.

Roundel Top

Roundel, three concentric stripes, red white blue.

Type D roundel, introduced in 1947. The british roundel is sometimes outlined in white, for a better view on dark background colours, like for example on the Hawks entirely painted black. It is painted at the 6 classical positions. Although it is similar to the WWI type A roundel, the proportions are now slightly different : the red center is bigger than before.

Fin flashes Top

Fin flash, three vertical stripes, red white blue.

Fin flash associated to the three-coloured red-white-blue roundel. It is sometimes tilted to the back on fast aircraft, being so trapezial or parallelogram-shaped. As for the roundel, it is sometimes outlined in white for a better visibility. In opposition to the French flag, the red is always towards the front of the aircraft. Here is the port side.

 

Fin flash, two vertical stripes, red blue, dark shades.

Fin flash (port side) associated to the low visibility dark red-blue roundel.

 

Fin flash, two vertical stripes, red blue, light shades.

Fin flash (port side) associated to the low visibility light red-blue roundel.

 

Fin flash, three vertical stripes, red white blue, light shades.

Fin flash (port side) associated to the anti-flash colour scheme.

Variations Top

Low visibility roundel, without the central white stripe, associated since the early 70s to the dark-coloured camouflage patterns (grey and green). Formerly painted at the 6 classical positions, it seems to be used only on the left wing and under the right wing.

 

Low visibility roundel, with reduced contrast, sported since the mid-80s on light colour camouflage patterns (grey, beige) : Tornado ADV, E-3, VC-10, Nimrod, etc. Formerly painted at the 6 classical positions, it seems to be used only on the left wing and under the right wing.

 

Roundel, three concentric stripes, red white blue, light shades.

Roundel associated during the 60s with the overall matt white anti-flash colour scheme painted on some bombers like the V-bombers (Valiant, Victor, Vulcan) or the TSR.2.

Former Top

Roundel, three concentric stripes, red white blue, thin white border.

This classical roundel replaced the british flag. In order to avoid errors of identification with the german cross and friendly fires, a geometry identical to the french one has been chosen, the order of the colours being inverted. The white border helps the identification on the khaki-green camouflaged planes. It is sported with a blue-white-red fin flash painted on the rudder.

 

Roundel, three concentric stripes, red white blue.

Type A roundel, used until the late 30s at the 6 usual positions. After the introduction of the yellow-bordered A1 roundel, the A type roundel was still used uner the wings. It is associated to a red-white-blue (from front to aft) fin flash painted on the rudder. There are some variants with thin yellow or white borders.

 

Roundel, three concentric stripes, red white blue, thick yellow border.

Type A1 roundel, with broad yellow border, introduced in 1938. The yellow border was necessary to improve the contrast, when used on the camouflaged aircraft, for a better and quicker identification. The british aircraft, previously painted aluminium, received then a dark tactical camouflage patterns when tensions rose in Europe (Spanish war, Munich crisis). First, it was used on the side of the fuselage and over the wings, then only on the sides, being replaced by the B type roundel over the wings. The under surfaces kept the A type roundel. It is associated to a fin flash with 3 equally wide stripes, identical to the current one.

 

Fin flash, three vertical stripes, red white blue.

Fin flash associated to the A and A1 type roundels, identical to the current fin flash.

 

Roundel, two concentric stripes, red blue.

B-type roundel, introduced in 1939. It is initially used on the upper surfaces and on the sides of the fuselage, the under surfaces roudels and the fin flash being deleted. Following identification problems, the A roundel is soon reintroduced. In order to ease the recognition on the units fighting with the French, a red-white-blue flag is painted on the rudder.
The B roundel is also used on the upper surfaces and on the fuselage of high altitude aircraft (fighters or recce), together with a A or C type fin flash.

 

Roundel, three concentric stripes, red white blue, thin white central stripe.

C-type roundel. In order to lessen the conspicuousness of the national insignias, the width of the white stripe, almost equal to the other in the A type, is reduced on the C type, introduced from may 1942. The standard application of this scheme consists in the B type on the upper surfaces, the C type on the under surfaces, the C1 on the fuselage sides, and the C-type fin flash on the tail. It is sported in a bigger size on the upper surfaces at the end of the war, until 1947, when the D-type roundel was introduced.

 

Roundel, three concentric stripes, red white blue, thin white central stripe, thin yellow border.

Type C1 roundel, with yellow border. It is used on the sides of the fuselage from may 1942. At the end of WW2, it is used in bigger size on the upper surfaces.

 

Fin flash, three vertical stripes, red white blue, thin white central stripe.

Fin flash (port side) associated to type C (under surfaces) and C1 (fuselage) roundels.

 

Roundel, two concentric stripes, light blue, dark blue.

Roundel used on the aircraft under command of the SEAC (South East Asia Command). To avoid any ambiguity with the Hinomaru, the red circular japanese roundel, the red center of the british roundel is replaced by a blue disc, of a lighter shade of blue than the one of the external part. It is painted at the 6 usual positions, in the same size, quite smaller than the other roundels.

 

Fin flash, two vertical stripes, light blue, dark blue.

Fin flash associated to the SEAC roundel (port side).

 

Roundel, two concentric stripes, white blue, white border, white side bars with blue border.

Roundel used by the Fleet Air Arm / Royal Navy in the Pacific during WW2. The red center is deleted to avoid any mistake with the japanese roundel, and american-style bars have been added.

Ambiguities Top

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