Aircraft recognition

Aircraft recognition

Aircraft recognition is a visual skill taught to military personal and civilian auxiliaries since the introduction of military aircraft in World War I. It is important for air defense and military intelligence gathering.

Aircraft recognition generally depends on learning the external appearance of the aircraft, both friendly and hostile, most likely to be encountered. A variety of techniques have been used to teach this information including scale models, printed silhouette charts, slide projectors, computer aided instruction and even specially-printed playing cards.

In the United Kingdom, The Royal Observer Corps (ROC) was formed as a defence warning organisation with civilians trained in aircraft recognition and operated primarily as such between 1925 and 1957.

In the US during World War II, civilians were enlisted into a Ground Observer Corps to support air defense operations and received aircraft recognition training.

The U.S. military uses the initials WEFT as a mnemonic for the major features of an aircraft. All aircraft are built with the same basic elements: Wings or rotors to provide lift, Engines to provide power, a Fuselage to carry the payload and pilot, and a Tail assembly which usually controls the direction of flight. These elements differ in shape, size, number, and position. The differences distinguish one aircraft type from another. The individual components can be taught in as separate recognition and identification features, but it is the composite of these features that must be learned to recognize and identify an aircraft.

ee also

*Identification Friend or Foe


* [ Friend or Foe? Museum]
* [ U.S. Army aircraft recognition manual]
* [ U.S. WWII Newsmap, "Wing Engine Fuselage Tail, WEFT is a system for aircraft recognition"] , hosted by the [ UNT Libraries Digital Collections]
*cite book
last = Rendall
first = David
year = 1999
title = Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, 2nd edition
publisher = Harper Collins
location = New York
id = ISBN 0-00-472212-4

*cite book
last = Holmes
first = Tony
year = 2005
title = Jane's Vintage Aircraft Recognition Guide
publisher = Harper Collins
location = New York
id = ISBN 0-06-081896-4

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