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|Military Aviation Art
Although the aircraft of WW1 are often remembered as having bright and colorful paint schemes, in actuality, the RFC usually did not allow its pilots to adorn their aircraft with anything other than squadron markings. For a few weeks during the summer of 1917, however, one unit, 60 squadron, was able to get away with painting its birds in bright, flashy colors. The unit had just switched over from flying Nieuports, and in the absence of any “official” markings for their new SE5s they decided to paint the noses and wheel covers of each aircraft according to its flight - red for A flight, yellow for B flight and blue for C flight. The fun was short-lived, however, and the squadron was soon forced to remove its colorful markings in favor of more subdued official markings.
This particular aircraft, SE5 A’8936, belonged to none other than Capt. Billy Bishop - the highest scoring British ace of WW1.