authors and colors

C.P. Hart (
Thu, 15 Jun 1995 13:16:14 +0000

Max Bittner wrote:

>There were a few other "sources" that mentioned blue: Squadron put
>out a book on general aicraft and their colors, and there was an "all
>the worlds aircraft and their colors" put out by some publisher.
>When it comes to WW1, I definitely take things that aren't put out by
>well known authors with a grain of salt.

When it comes to colors and markings of WW I aircraft I tend to take
conclusions of "well known" authors with a grain of salt. We are dealing
with interpreting colors from black and white photos. We have one set of
data (the pictures) and from this data interpretations are made. Given
that interpretation is a judgement, people can come to different
conclusions from this data set. Absolute proof of said judgements are
quite difficult. Painting of aircraft, in the case of Germany and Austria,
under conditions of trade embargoes that resulted in materiel shortages of
almost everything. Given those conditions one should question their
ability to "standardize" anything. For example look how long it took to
standardize the shift from the curved Eizerne kreuze to the Balkan Kreuze
on aircraft in service.

In all fairness, we owe much to those authors that have made so much
information on WW I aircraft available in the recent years. This is truly
a Golden age of information on this subject. We should do our best to keep
in perspective how judgement and interpretation creep into modern drawings
and paintings of these machines.

Charles Hart