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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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  #1  
Old 16th May 2019, 14:42
BrianC BrianC is offline
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Red Air Force fuselage numbering

Hi guys

Can anyone clarify the system the Russians used to 'number' their bombers
in WWII? For example, in August 1941, 137-SBAP recorded SB bombers with 19/124, 16/70, 13/134, 1/A (!)

Any assistance appreciated.

Cheers
Brian
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Old 16th May 2019, 16:04
HGabor HGabor is offline
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Re: Red Air Force fuselage numbering

Perhaps serial numbers. (batch/plane ID)
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Old 16th May 2019, 16:57
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Red Air Force fuselage numbering

Hi Brian

The Soviet Union did not have any military serial number system as such.
Each unit used a so called Bort Number (don't know if they were called that during WW 2 or if they started to call them that later) usually consisting of two digits - a code system if you like.

For all other purposes, such as delivery data, unit assignments, maintenance/overhaul and losses, they used their assigned factory production numbers. In principal the same system as used by Germany and Japan.

The production numbers were stamped on a number of places on the aircraft so personal should have "easy" access to them. If any records were kept within the units to correlate the code digits with the production numbers is beyond me.

Each system used by military forces have its bonuses and drawbacks. No idea if anyone has ever tried to make a comparison which one works best. However it was obvious the Soviet Union believed in the system since they kept it until the Union broke up and it seems the Russians still do.

With regard to the SB production numbers, no idea if Gabor is correct or not.

Cheers
Stig
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Old 16th May 2019, 17:07
Graham Boak Graham Boak is online now
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Re: Red Air Force fuselage numbering

I've seen it said that the large numbers on the sides of the Lavochkin fighters were the last two of the full production number. Hence numbers can be an apparently random mix of high and low, and you can find two aircraft in the same unit with the same number. (I must admit here that the one photo I can point to is of MiG 21s....but I believe it to be true of Lavochkins too.)

I've also seen on a Yak (Storrar's?) the same geometric symbol as seen on Soviet tanks, where the top number is said to represent the unit and the lower the individual tank.

Neither method seems to match these SB numbers, though they could perhaps be a mix of batch and aircraft-in-batch numbers, although three figures seems high for either. 1/A just has to be an oddball!
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Old 16th May 2019, 17:33
kirche kirche is offline
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Re: Red Air Force fuselage numbering

Quote:
Originally Posted by HGabor View Post
Perhaps serial numbers. (batch/plane ID)
It's real serial numbers, but "plan ID/batch"
А, Б, В, Г, Д, Е, Ж, З, И, К, Л - it's batchs between 95 and 96
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Old 16th May 2019, 17:44
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Re: Red Air Force fuselage numbering

I have seen a number on a rectangular protrusion that was a structural part of the wing located about a third of the way from the wing root. Seeing such a number is rare and the photo had to be taken from a short distance away. I have also seen individual numbers on the vertical tail like 7 or 9.
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Old 16th May 2019, 22:13
kirche kirche is offline
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Re: Red Air Force fuselage numbering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stig Jarlevik View Post
Each unit used a so called Bort Number (don't know if they were called that during WW 2 or if they started to call them that later)
"Bort Number" - it's started to call them later WW2.
On WW2 it's called "Tail Number" - "Flugzeug and Staffelkennungen" analogue.
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Old 16th May 2019, 22:37
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Red Air Force fuselage numbering

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirche View Post
"Bort Number" - it's started to call them later WW2.
On WW2 it's called "Tail Number" - "Flugzeug and Staffelkennungen" analogue.
Thanks! I knew I was on rather thin ice there....

Cheers
Stig
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