Talk:United Kingdom military aircraft serials

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Underwing serials, fin flashes, and out-of-sequence serials[edit]

Underwing serials were carried on both wings of most types until the early 80s (IIRC), when the serial under the port wing was discontinued. Since that time they seem to have been phased out altogether, although I'm not entirely sure of the timescale.

I think the section on fin flashes is off-topic and might be better in the Royal Air Force roundels article.

It doesn't seem to be just demonstrators and leased aircraft that are getting out-of-sequence serials, there have been a lot of allocations from the ZZ range recently, and small allocations from recent ranges (eg. ZH001-ZH004) have also been happening. Letdorf (talk) 11:50, 14 December 2007 (UTC).

I agree with your comment about underwing serials, I just couldnt find any reference to when it actually happened. I agree about the fin flash, Thanks for the corrections and I agree with your other comments. Just trying to be careful that this stays encylopedic and not turn into a listing of serials. MilborneOne (talk) 13:53, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
The underwing serials were originally applied so that members of the public could identify individual aircraft and hence pilot, crew, etc., so that they could be reported to the police in cases of unauthorised low or dangerous flying. That was why the underwing serials were in such large lettering. They were later discontinued when for obvious reasons the high speeds of low flying jets made them unreadable and therefore pointless.
Prior to this, offending pilot(s) and/or crew could deny that the aircraft performing the manoeuvres was them and without positive identification the RAF would not take disciplinary action against them. Once the RAF had the aircraft serial and the time of the alleged offence, they knew which pilot and crew were flying in the aircraft at the time.