Bahamas

Bahamas 


History
 
This ex-British colony became independent in 1973, and soon formed a small defence force. The air component consisted of one or two aircraft which carried the Bahamas Defence Force flag on the fin. Since 2009 a roundel of the national colours, blue (outer), yellow  and black is in use.
  

 

 

Bahrain

Bahrain 


History
  Bahrain formed a Police Air Wing in 1965. These helicopters carried the red and white Bahraini flag. In 1977 the Bahrain Amiri Defence Force was formed, Helicopters carried the national flag; fixed wing aircraft used the flag as a fin flash and, from 1985, used a roundel format as a wing marking.

 

 

Bangladesh

Bangladesh 


History
   Formed in 1971 the insignia of the air force is based on the national flag. The wing and fuselage markings consist of a red and green roundel, the fin marking is the national flag: a green field, representing Islam and the agriculture of the country, charged with a red disc for the blood of the martyrs.

 

 

Barbados

Barbados 


History
   
The Barbados Defence Force was established in 1978 and acquired a single aircraft in 1981. This carries a civil registration and the Barbados flag on the fin.

 

Belarus

 Belarus


History
  Once known as Byelorussia, this country has had a seat at the United Nations since 1945. It became independent, as Belarus, in 1991, but has continued to use the old Soviet red star markings. Recently aircraft have also carried a small representation of the national flag. From 2008 the national flag has been seen as a fin flash, often in 'wavy' format.
 

 

Belgium

Belgium 


History
   
Belgium's first military aircraft were formed into the 'Company of Aviators' on 16 April 1913. In late 1914 Belgian aircraft followed other Allied systems by adopting a roundel and rudder striping based on the national colours. The colours of red, yellow and black were the ancient colours of the Duchy of Brabant, the basis for the modern Belgian flag. 
   As the war clouds gathered in the 1930s the silver finish of Belgian aircraft was changed to camouflage, and in 1937 the rudder striping was discontinued. After the German invasion in 1940, two Belgian squadrons of the Royal Air Force, nos. 349 and 350, were formed. Their aircraft carried normal British markings often supplemented by a 'wavy' version of the Belgian flag below the cockpit. Normal Belgian markings continued to be used in the Congo. On the liberation of the country in 1945 the roundel and fin flash were brought back into use. To follow Allied practice in the years immediately after the war, the middle, yellow portion of these markings was much thinner relative to the red and black. Standard markings are now used, the trend for low visibility simply reducing them in size. Since the mid-1960s naval aircraft have occasionally featured a white anchor superimposed over the roundel.

 

 

Belize

Belize 


History
   British Honduras became Independent Belize in 1981. The Belize Defence Force acquired an air wing in 1983. Markings placed above the wings and on the fuselage sides consist of the national flag. This is a horizontal tricolour of red, blue and red, with the national coat of arms on the blue section.

 

 

Benin

Benin 


History
   This ex-French colony became independent as Dahomey in 1960. The Dahomey Air Force, founded in 1962, used a roundel and fin flash in the standard pan-African colours of red, yellow and green. The roundel was split vertically, the left half green and the right half split horizontally, yellow over red.
 
   On 30 November 1975 the country changed its name to the People's Republic of Benin, and changed the aircraft roundel to plain green with a red socialist star. The national flag, which was used as a fin flash, was changed similarly. In 1991 Benin lost its Marxist government and replaced its national flag with the pre-1975 version. The aircraft marking has recently followed suite.

 

 

Bhutan

Bhutan 


History
   
This small Himalayan kingdom has recently acquired a number of helicopters. Some reports have indicated the use of a roundel split diagonally yellow over orange with a white centre spot although this has not been confirmed. This is an adoption of the country's national flag.

 

 

Bolivia

Bolivia 


History
   
The Bolivian Aviation Corps was founded in August 1924 and the Bolivian Air Force in 1940. Since 1924 it has used the three national colours of red, yellow and green as a roundel, rudder striping or fin flash. The red symbolises the military valour of the people, the yellow the country's mineral resources, and the green its agriculture. In 1933 several aircraft bore thin stripes across the wings in the national colours instead of roundels. 

 

 

 

Bosnia

 Bosnia


History
   
This Balkan country has had a turbulent history. Governed by Turkey, Austria and Yugoslavia, and occupied by Italy and Germany it only achieved real independence in 1992.  Its few aircraft have been marked with the Bosnian national emblem, a blue shield split diagonally by a white stripe. There are six gold fleurs-de-lis, three above the stripe and three below. 
   The Bosnian Serb Republic (Republika Srpska) was formed in April 1992. Three main military aviation organisations have existed since: the militia, the army, and the air force. All have used the Serbian flag of red over blue over white as a fin flash, but the wing and fuselage markings have differed. Militia aircraft bear a red shield with white border and white cross. In each quarter is a Cyrillic 'S'. These four Ss represent the slogan 'Samo Slogo Srbino Sposavo' - 'Only unity saves the Serbs', The army uses a similar shield but in blue with a white border and yellow cross and Ss. From May to November 1992 the air force used a roundel split horizontally, red, blue and white. From November 1992 Bosnian Serb Air Force aircraft used a wing and fuselage roundel of red, blue and white in the centre or a roundel split horizontally red over blue over white. Aircraft of the Bosniac Croat Federation carried the national flag, a tricolour of red, white and green with the state arms on the white area. Since 2007 the air forces of Bosnia Srpska, and Bosniac Croat Federation have merged with the Air Defence Force of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and now bear the current Bosnian shield emblem, which replaced the former in 1998.

 

 

 

Botswana

Botswana 


History
   
The Botswana Defence Force was formed in 1977. Aircraft are marked in the national colours of blue, for the sky, and black and white, for racial unity. The wings and fuselage use the colours in the form of a triangle. A thin stripe of blue over white over black is painted across the fin and rudder.

 

 

 

Brazil

Brazil 


History
   The Brazilian Navy formed an air service in 1914, and by 1918, when the Brazilian Army Service was formed, it was using a roundel and rudder striping based on the national colours of green, yellow and blue. In 1934 the Army Air Service devised a different marking, consisting of a wing marking and a green and yellow rudder or fin flash. The wing marking was a star with each of the five points split green and yellow, Superimposed on the centre was a blue disc with a white border. The navy retained the original roundel but a black anchor was added adjacent to it. A unified Brazilian Air Force was formed in 1940 using the army style roundel. In 1943 Brazil declared war on the Axis powers and an Expeditionary Force was sent to Italy and used United States-supplied aircraft. These were marked with the standard American insignia, but with the white star overpainted in Brazilian colours. The centre blue disc was also marked with a representation of the star constellation the Southern Cross.
   
The Brazilian Air Force currently uses the star marking on wings, with the green and yellow fin flash, while the navy, which has been a separate force since 1965, uses the original roundel form often alongside a black anchor. Current Brazilian Army aircraft bear a green, yellow and blue roundel. Superimposed on the blue is the Southern Cross in white whilst the whole roundel is placed on a white army symbol. A roundel marking of yellow and green, with a blue star superimposed on the central yellow, has been recorded during the 1930s but is not confirmed.

 

 

Brunei

Brunei 


History
  An air wing of the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment was formed in 1965 at the time of the confrontation with Indonesia. The coat of arms of the regiment was carried together with a fin flash of the national colours -yellow, white, black and red. A roundel version, which also includes the pan-Muslim green, dates from about 1975 to 1991. Current Brunei aircraft carry the state arms, outlined on a white disc if against a dark colour. The fin carries either the national flag or the four-colour flash. Recent combat aircraft have carried the 1980s type roundel of red, green, white and yellow. 

 

 

 

Bulgaria

Bulgaria 


History
   Bulgarian aircraft first saw action during the Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913. The wingtips of these machines were painted red on one side and green on the other. The rudders were marked with the national colours of white over green over red. 
   
Bulgarian military aviation ceased to exist until the country joined the Central Powers in 1915. Germany supplied aircraft and most of the personnel. The aircraft bore normal German markings, most Bulgarian aircraft bore the black crosses on a white square and white rudder. There were some reports of the addition of a green stripe along the trailing edges of the wings but there is no official or photographic confirmation. During the summer of 1918 a black saltire cross on a white square was marked on the wings and fuselages of some aircraft. The fuselage, wings and fins of naval aircraft of 1918 carried special insignia consisting of a triangle in the national colours and a black lion rampant. White (outer), green and red roundels were used on Bulgarian aircraft to indicate those marked for destruction by the victorious allies. 
   
After the war military aviation was forbidden and, owing to the economic state of the country, was moribund until the mid-1930s. Before then some aircraft carried civil registrations together with rudder striping in the national colours, and even some representation of these colours in a quasimilitary marking. A small air force was formed in 1937. After an initial use of a three-colour roundel, insignia was used based on the royal coat of arms, a rampant red lion on a red and yellow cross. 
   
When the country joined the Axis powers in 1941 an insignia similar to that of the 1918 cross marking was introduced. Rudders were usually marked with the national colours. Bulgaria remained neutral in the Russo-German conflict but was forced to change sides in 1944. Surrender markings consisted of a white stripe across the wings inboard of the black crosses and around the fuselage. The cross marking was discontinued, and a white and red roundel with a green horizontal bar was use, or much more rarely,a white, green and red roundel. A communist government took over in 1946 and this resulted eventually in the change of markings to the standard red star with national colours as a small central roundel. Since the fall of communism in 1992, Bulgaria's military aircraft carry a roundel in the national colours; naval aircraft carry, in addition, a black anchor and lion marking.

 

 

 

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso 


History
   This ex-French colony gained its Independence as Upper Volta in 1960. The Upper Volta Air Force was formed in 1964 and changed its name, with that of the country, to the Air Force of Burkina Faso in 1984. Before 1984 the national colours were red, white and black, but have since been changed to the pan-African colours of red, yellow and green. For a time Burkina Faso's military aircraft continued to carry the colours of Upper Volta, but a roundel based on the current flag has since been adopted. This is red over green, split horizontally, with a yellow star.

 

 

Burundi

Burundi 


History
   This small African country became Independent in 1962 and formed an air arm in 1966. The national colours of red, for those who fell in the cause of independence, white for peace and green for hope, are carried as a roundel. On some helicopters a fin flash-type marking is used.