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Cheshire Steve

RAF dakota 2 weeks ago - markings

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They say there are no dumb questions, but I may get a prize here. At the Smallwood Vintage Rally 2 weeks ago we have a fly-by by an RAF marked Dakota. It was fabulous and the sound took me back 30 years - but the photo I took leads to my potentially dumb question - where is the registration number that would surely have been written large on the fuselage - I can't even see it written anywhere? Whick Dakota is it? How can I tell?

Dakota.jpg

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It's in your pic, last stripe on the fuselage, ZA947, one of the BBMF Daks

27083758417_3a3e58a91e_b.jpg

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Wow didn't even see the reg it is so small. So where did I get this crazy idea that WW2 planes had to have bigger reg letters you could easily see?. Maybe the huge letters on the side are part of a group ID. I will try and find an example ...OK have found a photo - can see the large letter is on its own, the reg is smaller but still written large. I think it was the germans who had their ID written large - maybe that is where my confusion comes from.Page16g.thumb.jpg.35dadd225301a72b70ccd48e44032cb1.jpg

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Oops, yes, looks like it was the Germans - though the City Of Lincoln Lancaster has a load of letters that I might have though was RAF id. Page21b.thumb.jpg.b35f01167631f229e5d32c878ce80d95.jpg

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The large letters are squadron codes and individual letter. The serial number is the smaller alpha numeric set and is particular to each airframe. 

 

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Thanks, just me being dumb. When I looked at the photo I took of the dakota I knew something was missing - but its the lack of squadron codes.

Most of the BBMF have the large letters of squadron codes, presumably from their original service, but not this one - which makes it look odd.

Fabulous aircraft though.

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BBMF change squadron codes regularly. Transport command rarely showed squadron codes. 

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