Weekly Photo Challenge: Blue

Eliminating ‘blue‘ sea and ‘blue‘ skies from my quest, I simply scrolled through my Picasa library and waiting for a ‘blue’ (no! not that sort of blue!!) picture to catch my eye…the winner was this Martin B-10 at the USAF Museum near Dayton, in the common pre-WW2 scheme of blue fuselage and yellow wings…

Then I became curious as to the ‘why’ of this colour scheme which seems counter-intuitive for operational military aircraft and found this explanation at War and Game:


 The use of two color schemes, Light Blue for trainers, and Olive Drab for tactical aircraft, caused logistical headaches for Air Corps maintenance facilities. Quantities of O.D. and Light Blue paints were required in stock at all time. Another problem was the need to know an aircraft’s ultimate destination before paint could be applied: examples of many aircraft served in the training roles, and thus could require blue fuselages.

 The solution, as recommended by the Chief of the Material Division in January 1934, was to standardize one paint scheme for all aircraft, regardless of role. His choice was Light Blue fuselages and Yellow wings and tails, reasoning that high visibility was essential for trainers, while temporary water paint camouflages made the lower-contrast Olive Drab for tactical aircraft unnecessary. Stocks of Olive Drab were at the reorder point, making a timely decision that much more important, and in February the recommendation was approved by the Chief of the Air Corps. Revised specifications and T.O’s were printed in May, and shortly afterward, tactical aircraft were noted with Light Blue fuselages.

OK, I can live with that….

1 thought on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Blue

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: “Blue” « Just another wake-up call

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