Captioning Aircraft Photos

August 13, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Captioning Aircraft Photos

Every civilian aircraft carries a prominently displayed registration. In the UK this starts with G- . Type the registration into Google and you will find references to that aircraft. This also works for most military aircraft which carry a more discreet serial number on the rear fuselage. You can improve your search results by putting the aircraft type in, if you know it, as well as the serial or registration. Auster J5V AutocarAuster J5V AutocarNo idea what it is - type the registration into Google

The only exception to this are preserved military aircraft that are in civilian ownership and displayed in a military colour scheme. Often this paint job was never worn by that aircraft or occasionally not even by that type of aircraft. However a search using the displayed serial will usually bring up correct results.

Westland WS-61 Sea King ZH542Westland WS-61 Sea King ZH542Most military aircraft have a serial number on the rear fuselage or tail

The problems start with the results of your search. Many photographers haven’t got the slightest idea what they have photographed so their captions often aren’t accurate? There are several sites that usually have accurate caption info and these include http://www.airliners.net/ and Air Britain at http://www.abpic.co.uk.

By checking between these two you can generally get accurate info and identify the specific Mk (Mark) of an aircraft*. You’re probably not going to worry about constructors numbers or the minutiae of sub marks (I don’t) but a little work will save you looking a wally but calling a Hurricane a Spitfire.

*Aircraft such as the Spitfire progressed through a range of marks from the Mk1 right up to the Mk24 with side shoots of Seafires. These were significantly different aircraft so it is worth identifying the specific Mk.


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