The Dark Baron

Well, what else would give you the idea of coloring your airplane bright red? Granted, if it’s a civilian airplane there’s no problem with that, but in a fighter plane I would imagine you sticking out as a target. The same goes for the RAF roundel on the British airplanes. Looks very much like a target to me!

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8 comments on “The Dark Baron
  1. FlyingAce says:

    I dunno. Snoopy exclaiming “Curse you, Dark Baron!” doesn’t have the same ring to it 😉

  2. Crosshair says:

    Well think about it, where did they put the insignia in the early days? Away from the pilot and engine on the wingtips and tail. 😛 Reduce friendly fire and reverse psychology at the same time.

  3. AFP says:

    I always figured that painting bullseyes on their planes was just a subtle British way of mocking their enemies. The New Zealanders take it one step farther, if you look up their roundel.

    That’s right, it’s a bullseye… centered on a flightless bird.

  4. Aaronm says:

    Yep, only us NZers would have an endangered, flightless bird as an Airforce insignia!!

    BTW, We’ve got shirts here at the Aviation Heritage Centre, which explain the red plane thing. “Camouflage is for sissies!” is the caption underneath a portrait of MVR

  5. GuyD says:

    It was just not necessary at world war I. Anti aircraft canons weren’t developed and the pilots themself took the airfight more like a tournament. A brave fight between gentlemen. An episode shows that. After the Manfred von Richthofen (the famous red Baron) died after beeing shot down in a battle, some days later a RAF plane flows deep over his homebase and droped a wreath!

  6. Avian says:

    That would be an RFC plane, the RAF didn’t exist yet!

  7. SimonB says:

    Sorry, Avian, Baron Manfred von R died on 21 April 1918, according to Wikipedia; the RAF was officially formed on 1 April 1918. In the UK, that’s April Fool’s Day. Was someone trying to tell us something? And the roundels – yes, I’d bet it was just sticking the tongue out at the enemy – the RAF was (and to an extent still is) a public school/gentleman’s club atmosphere where that sort of bravado is expected! (I’m allowed to criticise, I’m ex – RAF and love the organisation!)

  8. Thordalf says:

    That “lack of sense of discretion” also occurred in uniforms almost until WW I, GB only stopped using bright red after the Boer War, the french wore blue, etc.
    Modern warfare killed any gentleman-like spirit in a conflict…

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