by Tommy H. Thomason

Friday, June 15, 2012

Markings: A Cautionary Example

Two F4Ds, same squadron, possibly deployed but maybe not:

My guess is the Skyray at the top of the picture was a replacement aircraft that hadn't been completely marked by the squadron yet. (The presence and absence of the in-flight refueling probe isn't a marking thing but is a similar issue with respect to the configuration of a particular aircraft.) The difference in location of the squadron identification was particularly interesting. It appears three times in the picture (the angle it was taken from puts the marking on the right side of the lower airplane out of view) and each is in a different position longitudinally. The anti-glare panel color probably depended on when the airplane had gone through overhaul. I can't explain the difference in national insignia orientation. I think that at the time it was supposed to be angled.

Note that national insignia orientation wasn't as hard and fast as you might think as exemplified by this letter in the May 1949 Naval Aviation News:

Chris Paulson posted a comment with a link to a couple of F9F-5 pictures from his father's collection. I've cropped and added them to this post for your convenience.

Note the "20" on the nose that's angled nose down relative to the national insignia:

It's a bit subtle, but the placement, size, stroke weight, etc. of the "AE" on the vertical fin and rudder varies:

One of the Panthers is unpainted. See for the explanation.

1 comment:

  1. Boy...I'll say!

    Couple of favorites from my dad's collection:

    Note the side number 20 is parallel to the ground and uneven, but the AC is sitting at an angle. If I were to model that, even with the picture as proof, I doubt I'd have the discipline NOT to try to straiten it out when applying decals LOL.

    Here is a line up of the tails. No 2 "AE" are painted the same!