Saturday, August 20, 2011

War Prizes - An Illustrated Survey of German, Italian And Japanese Aircraft

Aircraft captured during the Second World War were usually not flown by the RAP until British nationality markings had been applied, although this requirement was sometimes waived if the aircraft were to be flown from the point of capture to a test establishment under escort by other RAF aircraft. It was usual for an RAF serial number to be allocated within a few days of capture, as soon as an intention to fly the aircraft had been confirmed. In a small number of cases no serial numbers were issued because the aircraft concerned crashed within a few days of capture, before markings could be allotted or applied. In the first instance, Axis aircraft captured in the United Kingdom, after landing in error or receiving battle damage, were normally flown to the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) at Farnborough for initial evaluation. Then they were handed over to the RAF Air Fighting Development Unit (AFDU), initially at Northolt and later at Duxford and then Wittering, for assessment in mock combat of suitable Allied fighter tactics against these fighter types.