aircraft serial numbers ?????

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by rochie, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    were aircraft serial numbers unique or were they re used ?
    i'm asking because after doing a bit of research on the two models i bought recently i've come across a puzzle.
    the spifire model has a serial number R6595 painted on it with sqn code DW E.
    but my research on R6595 comes up with DW O of 610 sqn and also 140 sqn in 1940 !
    this is likley to be an error on the part of atlas editions but DW were the codes for 610 sqn i believe so what about 140 sqn ?
    the profile ive posted says the aircraft is R6595 of 140 sqn
    any experts out there that can help
     

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  2. Concorde247

    Concorde247 Member

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    Hi Rochie,

    Serial Numbers WERE unique, but aircraft were sometimes transferred between squadrons, or if damaged beyond local repair due to combat, or landing/taxying accidents, they were sent to repair facilities then sent on to replace other aircraft lost on other squadrons the repair facilities didnt always remove/paint over the old squadron codes. there were instances where due to the rigeurs of combat, they went straight into combat with their new squadron, but still wearing the old squadron codes :shock:
     
  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I agree with Concorde247 totally.But there an additional info, the transferring between squadrons was much more often in case of foreign ones.
     
  4. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    Serial numbers are unique to the aircraft and never reallocated. In certain circumstances another serial number may be given to the aircraft, for example, when it becomes an instructional airframe. Blocks of serial numbers were set aside to be allocated to aircraft purchased from abroad. UK manufacturers were given the serial numbers with the contract. The RAF (not the Fleet Air Arm) keeps a history of each of their aircraft on AM Form 78 aka the aircraft movement card. The RAF Museum Hendon keep copies of these form 78s. If you write of email them giving them the serial number of the aircraft they will send you a photocopy of the form 78 for that aircraft. The system breaks down when an aircraft was sent abroad as the information was never sent back to update the records. Because Spitfires are so popular the same information that is on the form 78 can be found published in various books.
    The form 78 for R6595 tells us that its first flight was 7th May 1940. Then it went to 8 MU on the 9th May from where it was allocated to the PDU on the 28th May. It failed to return from ops on 8th August. There is no mention of it being with 610 Squadron. It would be very strange it was as it would have probably been modified at the PDU to turn it into a PR Spitfire.
    140 Squadron was a PR squadron. The squadron eventually formed on 17 September 1941 as a Spitfire and Blenheim equipped photo-reconnaissance unit at Benson, when no 1417 Flight was raised to Squadron status. The Spitfires were used for daylight operations over Northern France and later the Low Countries and Belgium, whilst the Blenheims were used for night reconnaissance using flares. As R6595 was lost in August 1940 strictly speaking it was not in 140 Squadron either.
     
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