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Portugal

Portuguese Air Force (Forca Aerea Portuguesa)

1912 to middle of 1930s


Wings

Rudder

Rudder (variant)

The Cruz de Cristo [Christ's Cross] has been traditional national marking of the Portuguese air forces since 1912. It was initially carried only on the wings in the four standard positions. The national flag colours (both with and without the coat of arms) were applied on the rudder in bands of unequal width.

Example: Martinsyde F.4/ADC.1 Buzzard

Middle of 1930s to 1952


Wings and fuselage

Rudder

Rudder (variant)

Tail (on British-built aircraft)

In the mid-1930's, a new additional variant of the Cruz de Cristo was introduced with a white disc background. Around 1939-1940, those started to be painted on both sides of the fuselage, too. From late 1943 on, the fuselage crosses began to be applied more and more without white disc background. Also from the mid-1930's, the army's Arma de Aeronautica reduced the rudder markings of its planes to a small flag (either with and without the national coat of arms).

Example: Curtiss P-36 Hawk/Hawk 75

A British-style fin flash was also used from the early 1940's, often to cover up the RAF markings in which these aircraft were delivered to Portugal.

Example: Bristol Blenheim/Bisley/Bolingbroke


Wings and fuselage

Rudder

Rudder (variant)

The navy's Aviacao Naval aircraft retained the earlier rudder markings in use during the whole WWII period, sometimes supplemented with an additional small national flag on the vertical stabilizer.


Black anchor

White anchor

Coat of arms

An additional element designating attachment to naval air forces was a small black or white anchor, painted ob both sides of the vertical fin.

Example: Bristol Beaufighter

1952 to Present


Wings and fuselage

Tailfin

The current national markings were introduced on 1 July, 1952, when the Forca Aerea Portuguesa was created as an indepen-dent force. The Cruz de Cristo with a white background disc is to be carried in all six standard positions on winged aircraft and on the fuselage sides only on helicopters. A fin flash in the form of the general layout of the national flag (without the coat of arms) is to be carried on the tail.

Example: Fiat G.91


Wings and fuselage (variant)

Wings and fuselage (low-visible variant)

The current national markings were introduced on 1 July, 1952, when the Forca Aerea Portuguesa was created as an indepen-dent force. The Cruz de Cristo with a white background disc is to be carried in all six standard positions on winged aircraft and on the fuselage sides only on helicopters. A fin flash in the form of the general layout of the national flag (without the coat of arms) is to be carried on the tail.

by Stephen Sender


Last update: 05/08/2013
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