Re[2]: lozenge theory

Charles Hart (
Tue, 12 Dec 1995 10:55:00 -0700

Stephen wrote:

> My understanding early aircraft were plain ole doped linen
> and that exposure to the sun broke down the fibers in the
> cloth or something like that. Sound right? So they tried
> colored dopes and paint to protect the cloth. The first
> colors that the Brits used was "khaki" but was really sort
> of a brown-red color. The lozenge pattern was a newish thing
> that killed two birds with one stone: it provided some
> camouflage (yeah right) and by printing the fabric, it was
> lighter than covering with dope.
> So.. the purpose of the stuff: Was it completely for
> camouflage, or was it for fabric protection, both, or what?
> Now, as I said at the top, I don't know a lot about it. This
> is stuff that I have read. I saw a lot about it in the
> Monogram book. See you later; gotta go work.

There were significant problems with breakdown of aircraft fabric
coverings due to ultraviolet radiation exposure and Stephen is correct that
this was a problem with plain doped fabric. Protective coverings were part
of the solution sought by several nations. This led to the British PC
(protective covering) dopes and French dopes blended with ground aluminum

The lozenge printed fabrics were for camouflage purposes. The problem
that subsequently developed with them was that the fabric didn't have a
lengthy life span, if the plane managed to stay in service for very long.
The lozenge fabric, lacking a protective covering dope, broke down just as
plain doped linen would and needed over painging to survive very long in
the field.

sorry but I have no references at hand to make these statements, if I
am in error, I appreciate corrections from the list.