RAF "A" and "B" pattern Spitfire Camo?

Discussion in 'Aircraft Markings and Camouflage' started by Alte Hase, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Hi guys!

    I'm a bit confused! I was reading that the RAF used two different camouflage schemes on its Spitfire mk 1s-an "A" and a "B" pattern. The one basically looks like a mirror image of the other! I also read that they applied the one pattern to all even numbered airframes and the other to odd numbered ones.

    Would anyone be able to post confirmation of this? Also, in the different sources I have, there seems to be great confusion as to which exactly was the actual "A" and which was the "B" scheme! So clarification would be really appreciated!

    Thanks as always chaps!
     
  2. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    The "A" was applied to even numbered aircraft and later in the war the "B" pattern was discontinued. Not sure of the date when this came into effect but this was to try and improve production time.

    Geo
     
  3. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Thanks! that makes sense. Does anyone have a definitive picture of what the actual "A" pattern was?
     
  4. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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  5. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    According to rules introduced on 12th October 1937 aircraft of the Fighter Command were painted with a camo scheme consisted of Dark Green and Dark Earth-Brown colours at top and sides. The layout of camo spots depended on a category of aircraft ( single-engine/twin-engine, single-seater/two-seater , monoplane/biplane etc...) For single-engined,single seater,monoplane figthers there were two camo patterns called A and B. The B one was a mirror image of the A pattern. It was accepted at assembling lines that the A pattern was for aircraft of odd serials and the B one for those of even ones. The way of painting fighter planes was affirmed by the Air Ministry order No.154/39 with a supplement no.A.298/39 issued on 27th April 1939. These rules for using of the A and B patterns were used inconsistently by different aircraft manufacturers and got the final form on 15th August 1941 when the Dark Earth-Brown colour was replaced with the Ocean Grey for the A pattern that became the unified layout of camo spots.
     
  6. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    The A pattern....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Thanks all-as always, you're a wealth of information! Great show!
     
  8. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    I was just thinking...it is a bit random that the RAF had two identical but mirror image camouflage schemes! Was there ANY reasoning at all for them to do this? I can't imagine what the benefit of two camo. patterns would be?
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It's worth noting that whilst generally even serialed Spitfires carried the A pattern and odd the B this was reversed for Hurricanes. There are exceptions in both cases.
    There was no order to adopt the A pattern,manufacturers were told to stick to one scheme and most chose the A pattern.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  10. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I think it was an attempt to find the best layout for the opertional area the RAF had to struggle over. The same you can notice if you check on the Luftwaffe camo schemes. Also it might have been the way for an psychological attack that could force enemy pilots to think there was more of RAF pilots than it was actually.
     
  11. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Interesting! Yes, I think if one saw two aircraft flying next to each other wearing mirror image camouflage, it could really be confusing for a few seconds...enough time to maybe fly straight and level and get shot at!
     
  12. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    You can be really right methinks. :)
     
  13. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    The camouflage had nothing to do with the aircraft in flight; it was solely to break up the shape, when on the ground (propellers were painted black for the same reason.) The variation in the patterns was to avoid the possibility of a regimented appearance, if the aircraft were lined up next to each other. Once it was realised that aircraft should be further dispersed, even having their own individual pens, the different patterns became unnecessary, and were discontinued 26-4-41, before Ocean Grey replaced the Dark Earth.
     
  14. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Interesting! Makes good sense. Thanks!
     
  15. prem895

    prem895 Active Member

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    Does anyone have any pics of the Mark vi. I am building the Hase 1/32 and I can not seem to find any good colour pics of this mark
     
  16. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Only 100 MkVI were built. They were finished in the normal day fighter scheme. I don't remember seeing a colour image but someone might know of one.

    They looked pretty much like a Mk V apart from the extended wing tips,four bladed propeller,pressurised cabin and an associated intake duct on the starboard side for the blower which provided that pressure (below the exhausts). The early versions had a canopy that was clamped on and could not be opened in flight,later versions had a Labelle sliding canopy which could be whilst still maintaining a seal when closed.

    The pressurisation was only +2lb. Flying at 37,000 feet this gave a cabin pressure equivalent to 28,000 feet so you'd still need an oxygen mask!

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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