Air Force blue

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Air Force blue colours are a variety of colours that are mostly various tones of the colour azure, the purest tones of which are identified as being the colour of the sky on a clear day.

Some air force blue colours, notably the air force blue colour used by the United States Air Force and the colour used by the US Air Force Academy, may look like they are tones of blue instead of azure (On the RGB colour wheel, which has 12 major colours, blue is the colour at a hue code of 240 degrees and azure is the colour halfway between blue and cyan at a hue code of 210 degrees.). However, they are actually dark tones of azure, not blue, because their hue (h) codes are between 195 and 225, the signature of a tone of azure.

These air force blue colours are used by these various air forces for colour identification.

RAF blue[edit]

Air Force Blue (RAF)How to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Colour coordinates
Hex triplet #5D8AA8
sRGBB  (rgb) (93, 138, 168)
HSV       (h, s, v) (204°, 45%, 66%)
Source Vexillological:[1]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

Air Force blue, more specifically Air Force blue (RAF) or RAF blue, is a medium shade of the colour azure. The shade derives from the light blue uniforms issued to the newly formed British Royal Air Force in 1920, which were influential in the design of the uniforms of some other air forces around the world. Similar shades are still used in Royal Air Force uniforms and the Royal Air Force Ensign.

The choice of blue uniforms for the RAF was the result of a surplus of inexpensive medium sky blue coloured herringbone twill in the United Kingdom, which had been intended for use in the uniforms of Czarist Russian imperial cavalrymen before the Russian Revolution occurred.[1]

The field of the RAF ensign is specified as "NATO stock no.8305-99-130-4578, Pantone 549 C."[2]

Royal Air Force Ensign. Flag ratio: 1:2

The shade of the colour that is shown in the colour info-box is the shade of air force blue used by the Royal Air Force. Some other air forces use shades which closely resemble the shade of air force blue shown above, including besides the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom, other nations of the Commonwealth of Nations that are primarily inhabited by people of British ancestry, i.e., the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

US Air Force blue[edit]

Air Force Blue (USAF)How to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Colour coordinates
Hex triplet #00308F
sRGBB  (rgb) (0, 48, 143)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (100, 66, 0, 44)
HSV       (h, s, v) (220°, 100%, 56%)
Source USAF
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Displayed at right is the colour Air Force blue (USAF).

US Air Force blue is designated as the colour Pantone 287.[3]

USAFA blue[edit]

The shield of the US Air Force Academy
US Air Force Academy BlueHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Colour coordinates
Hex triplet #004F98
sRGBB  (rgb) (0, 79, 152)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (100, 48, 1, 40)
HSV       (h, s, v) (209°, 100%, 60%)
Source PDF, 1.4MB USAFA
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Displayed at right is the colour US Air Force Academy blue.

The US Air Force Academy uses a particular shade of azure, subtly different from US Air Force blue, in its sporting and other insignia, described as USAFA blue in official documentation.[4]

Other variations[edit]

Other air forces of other nations of the Commonwealth, such as the Indian Air Force, the Pakistani Air Force and the South African Air Force, or other air forces of other nations that are not in the Commonwealth, such as the United States Air Force, the French Air Force, the German Air Force, the Russian Air Force, the People's Republic of China Air Force, the Japanese Air Force, the Egyptian Air Force and the Israeli Air Force, for example, use a wide variety of brighter, lighter, or darker tones blue.

Related colours[edit]

Sky blue[edit]

Main article: Sky blue
Sky BlueHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Colour coordinates
Hex triplet #87CEEB
sRGBB  (rgb) (135, 206, 235)
HSV       (h, s, v) (197°, 43%, 92%)
Source X11 color names
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

Displayed at right is the web colour sky blue.

The first recorded use of sky blue as a colour name in English was in 1728 in the Cyclopædia of Ephraim Chambers.[5]

Aero[edit]

AeroHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Colour coordinates
Hex triplet #7CB9E8
sRGBB  (rgb) (124, 185, 232)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (47, 20, 0, 9)
HSV       (h, s, v) (206°, 47%, 91[6]%)
Source Maerz and Paul[7]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Displayed at right is the colour aero.

The first recorded use of aero as a colour name in English was in 1920.[8]

Wild blue yonder[edit]

Wild Blue YonderHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Colour coordinates
Hex triplet #A2ADD0
sRGBB  (rgb) (162, 173, 208)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (22, 17, 0, 18)
HSV       (h, s, v) (226°, 22%, 81%)
Source Crayola
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Displayed at right is the colour wild blue yonder.

This Crayola colour was formulated in 2003. Apparently, it represents the colour of the sky on a cloudy, stormy day.


Air superiority blue[edit]

Air Superiority BlueHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Colour coordinates
Hex triplet #72A0C1
sRGBB  (rgb) (114, 160, 193)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (41, 17, 0, 24)
HSV       (h, s, v) (205°, 41%, 76%)
Source FedStd 595
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

At right is displayed the colour air superiority blue.

The source of this colour is Federal Standard 595, a U.S. Federal Government standard set up in 1956 for paint colours which is mostly used by military contractors and also in engineering. Air superiority blue is designated as Federal Standard 595 colour #FS 15450.

The colour "air superiority blue" was formulated by the US Army Air Force during World War II and then was added as one of the colours when the Federal Standard 595 colour list was set up in 1956. This colour is used as camouflage by being painted on the bottom sides of reconnaissance aircraft to make them less visible from the ground.

Blue yonder[edit]

Blue YonderHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #5072A7
sRGBB  (rgb) (80, 114, 167)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (52, 32, 0, 35)
HSV       (h, s, v) (217°, 52%, 66[9]%)
Source Pantone TPX[10]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

The colour blue yonder is displayed at right.

The source of this colour is the "Pantone Textile Paper eXtended (TPX)" color list, color #18-3937 TPX—Blue Yonder.[11]



See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b History of the RAF, Chapter 7 – Cultural & Organizational Heritage, p. 370]
  2. ^ FOTW website
  3. ^ http://www.trademark.af.mil/symbol/colors/index.asp US Air Force symbol trademark information page.
  4. ^ http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/afa/genrel/auto_pdf/trademarks.pdf PDF, 1.4MB, describing USAFA blue as Pantone 286.
  5. ^ "sky-blue, n. and adj.". Oxford English Dictionary. OUP. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 
  6. ^ web.Forret.com Color Conversion Tool set to color #7CB9E8 (Aero):
  7. ^ The colour displayed in the color box above matches the colour called aero in the 1930 book by Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill; the colour aero is displayed on page 95, Plate 36, Color Sample H6.
  8. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 189; Color Sample of Aero: Page 95 Plate 36 Color Sample BH6
  9. ^ web.forret.com Color Conversion Tool set to hex code of color #5072A7 (Blue Yonder):
  10. ^ Type the words "Blue Yonder" into the indicated window on the Pantone Color Finder and the colour will appear.
  11. ^ Pantone TPX Pantone Color Finder--Type the words "Blue Yonder" into the indicated window on the Pantone Color Finder and the colour will appear: