surfaces as a whole assembly. The horizontal
and vertical stabilizers on the aircraft from
the initial series were all wood design and
before the final coating they were sprayed
with a dope or a darker (dark green?) color.
On the newly constructed airframes and gradually converted older aircraft (since 1950)
these componets were made out of duralumin and therefore showed their natural color
before the application of the final coating.
The national insignia application on S-199
(as well as its predecessor S-99) were promulgated by the order MNO-VL č. j. 157 Taj.
let. 1946 from January 1946 on the matter of
“Aircraft Markings” which besides prescribing the units‘ codes also established the
appearance of the Czechoslovak Air Force
and National Security Aviation national insignia. There were two orders governing the
military S-199: the first is dated January 9,
1946, marked by Avia company’s number MeS
101 and prescribed the position of the circular national insignia in the usual six locations
on the upper and bottom wings and both sides of the vertical tail surface. The circular
design was to have three equal segments,
blue one always facing forward, red on the
wing always towards the fuselage and facing downwards on the vertical tail surface.
For the “aircraft sprayed in the dark shade”
the insignia diameter was to be 930 mm on
the wings including 15 mm thick outline (i.e.
the actual insignia’s diameter was 900 mm),
distance from the wingtip edge 1600 mm, insignia center 680 mm from the leading edge
on the wing upper surfaces and 560 mm on
the wing lower surfaces. The vertical tail surface insignia was to be of 600 mm diameter
including 15 mm thick outline (i.e., the diameter of the actual insignia was 570 mm). Note:
another color shade covered by this order
was aluminum overall with blue insignia outline for CS-199 trainers.
The second order (Avia drawing nr.109-Le
62217, national insignia and stencils on C-210
aircraft) dates from October 1947 and refers
only to the “aircraft sprayed with grey color”
with the white outlined national insignia. The
wing insignia were to have 900 mm diameter
Avia S-299.155, “black” MR-4 from the 2nd flight of the 8th Fighter Squadron in Brno-Cernovice camouflaged in the
light grey-green color. This crash ocurred on March 24, 1949 while the aircraft was piloted by Lt. Frantisek Krist. The
image of the lower wing half nicely shows the location of the national insignia with the thin blue outline, further the
“baby bulge” of the ammunition belt links collector of the model 17/7.9N wing machine gun and the starboard liquid
cooler with deployed discharge flap. The gun barrels are again protected by the linen covers.
including 10 mm thick outline (i.e., the actual insignia diameter was 880 mm), insignia
distance from the edge of the wingtip was
1500 mm, insignia center was 615 mm from
the wing’s leading edge on the upper surfaces and 550 mm on the lower surfaces. The
insignia on the vertical tail surface was to
have 550 mm diameter including 10 mm thick
outline (i.e. the insignia’s actual diameter
was 530 mm). The majority of S-199s were
marked according to the aforementioned orders as far as the white outline is concerned
(“a stripe” in the period terminology) however, as always the exceptions existed and
therefore the photographs document both
light and dark painted aircraft sporting blue
outlined national insignia. It could have been
a result of the older order from 1946 as well
as frequently applied rule of thumb „dark
outline (i.e., blue) on the light basis.
Once we described the S-199 camouflage and
markings we have to mention the non-standard white strips found on both upper and
lower wing surfaces close to the wingtips
edge. These are captured by the number of
photographs but mostly appeared on the select airframes which may have led to the mistaken conclusion that it was a part of some
tactical marking. The explanation is fairly
simple – there were (so far) unpainted strips
of fabric covering the gap after the replacement/installation of the wingtips which were
in short time, in accordance with the aircraft
maintenance program, painted with camouflage color, mostly of slightly different shade
than the rest of the wing. To conclude this
part, it is necessary to state that this article
does not claim the ultimate historic accuracy
especially as far as the aforementioned color
shades is concerned. Considering the lack of
the authentic documentation (lost due to the
routine shredding or just plain sloppiness)
or still to be unearthed relevant archive materials and orders this analysis needs to be
accepted as the best authors‘ presentation of
the work of several dedicated researchers.
Avia S-199.253, “black” EZ-9 from the 3rd flight of the 5th Fighter Squadron in Plana at Ceske Budejovice as mentioned in this article, demonstrating the attractive
camouflage. This emergency landing resulting in the damaged wing and the bottom of the fuselage was performed by WO Jiljí Horak. Notice the unpainted metal skin
panels on the nose, cowling and replacement fuselage-vertical tail fairing. The aircraft also features the very thin outline on the vertical tail surfaces national insignia.
Of interest are also the protective fabric covers on the fuselage and wing machine guns.