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Portuguese aircraft fuselage markings

Last modified: 2011-06-10 by antónio martins
Keywords: cross: christ knights | fin flash | roundel |
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Fin flash

FAP fin flash
image by António Martins, 06 Jul 1998

Fin flash of Força Aérea Portuguesa is as the general layout of the national flag without the coat of arms.
Dov Gutterman, 13 Oct 1999

The current fin flash was adopted in 1952.
Dov Gutterman, 22 Jun 2004

Passenger airliners has it also painted on the fuselage. The green part faces the nose, on both sides of the plane.
António Martins, 06 Jul 1998 and 23 Feb 2002

19XX-1952 version

Portugal
image by Vítor Luís and António Martins, 23 Sep 2004

It was later changed to national flag as fin flash (ex.: www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/9376/airacobra.htm).
Dov Gutterman, 22 Jun 2004

1916-19XX version

Former fin flash
image by Vítor Luís and António Martins, 07 Oct 2004

The 1916 marking included rudder insignia made of green-red stripes (1:1) charged with the arms (ex.: www.emfa.pt/galeria/Antigos/1921-1930/1924vickers-valparaiso-i/1924vickers-valparaiso-i-01z.jpg).
Dov Gutterman, 22 Jun 2004

1915-1916 version

Former fin flash
image by António Martins, 07 Oct 2004

[cos98] reports a vertical green-red-green marking as rudder stripes (see contemporary fuselage marking). I could’t find any, and planes in the air museum from this era carry no markings or the 1916 markings.
Dov Gutterman, 22 Jun 2004


Regular roundel

FAP roundel
image by António Martins, 06 Jul 1998

The Portuguese Air Force roundel, based on the Order of Christ cross, widely used on portuguese ships since the 15th century.
António Martins, 06 Jul 1998

The Portuguese Air Force aircrafts show the cross sometimes a plain white roundel, other times with a green ring around it: See, at the FAP website, this plane with it, though this one without it. On Monday, December 17, 2001 18:47, I asked the Portuguese Air Force PR about this and I was answered: «we will be sending you the military aircraft livery guidelines, where all these variations are detailed. This difference depends on the background color of each aircraft.» So, pending more details (construction specs, branch and unit usage, etc), we can safely assume that white (or very light gray?) aircrafts use the roundel with a green ring, while camouflage, NATO blue and other dark painted aircrafts use the roundel without the green ring.
António Martins, 23 Feb 2002

1915-1916 version

[cos98] reports a red around green roundel (see contemporary fin flash). I could’t find any, and planes in the air museum from this era carry no markings or the 1916 markings.
Dov Gutterman, 22 Jun 2004


Roundel for light backgrounds

FAP roundel
image by António Martins, 23 Feb 2002

In Wheeler’s Aircraft Markings [whe86], the roundel is surrounded by a green ring.
Armand du Payrat, 06 Jul 1998

Low-visibility version

FAP roundel
image by António Martins, 06 Jul 1998

Low visibility variant: white cross on grey, inside a white ring.
António Martins, 06 Jul 1998


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