In The Skies Over Europe

The upcoming summer update will include a series of historical camouflages for several aircraft that took to skies as parts of European nations air forces. They will allow you to add more authenticity to your warbirds – you will be able to fly not just a usual Soviet I-16, but the Spanish one, or rule the skies in a cockpit of a rarity – the Polish Mustang.

Let’s take a look at some of the new paint jobs – you will get to try the others on very soon.

French Air Force at the times of the Vichy government used these paint jobs for P-36 Hawk and Hawk 75 fighters. These camouflage schemes were adopted by the GC II/4 and GC I/5 that operated in Senegal and Algiers in 1942.

A true international warrior: American-built Mustang purchased by the British Royal Air Force and sent to operate in the Polish 316th fighter division “The City of Warsaw”. They fought alongside the British pilots in the skies of Europe in 1944.

This camouflage scheme was used on the Henschel Hs 129 flown by Lazar Muntenau, commander of the Escadrila 41 asalt (assault squadron) of the Romanian Grupul 8 asalt regiment. The machine crash landed at the Genichesk airfield in October 1943.

Several hundreds of Polikarpov I-16 fighters successfully fought over Spain in between 1936 and -1939 in the Rrepublican air force regiments. They posed a significant threat to the bombers and reconnaissance planes of Francisco Franco’s forces by attacking from low altitude and hiding in the ‘dead zones’ of the enemy gunners. Francoist pilots mockingly called the I-16 ‘la rata’ (the rat), while the Republican pilots affectionately called the machine ‘mosca’ (fly).

The Slovakian Air Force required a lot of Junkers Ju 87s for their operations over the Soviet Union, but Germany didn’t have the manufacturing capabilities to satisfy the demand. This forced the Slovakian Ministry of Defense to create a joint company called ‘Slovenská továreň na lietadl’ (Slovak Aircraft Factory) with Germany to start producing this aircraft. The attempt was a failure – a lack of technical specialists and materials resulted in low production and, by summer 1944, only 10 machines had been built. In the end they saw virtually no action. Interestingly, some of these warbirds carried both the Slovakian Air Force’s blue crosses and the civilian OK-XAA, -XAB, -XAC and -XAD markings used to ferry them to the airbases from the factory on their fuselages.

The Lavochkin La-5 was the backbone of the two fighter regiments in the First Czechoslovakian Corps which fought as part of the Soviet Army in World War II. After the liberation of Czechoslovakia and the end of the war these fighters continued their service in the Czechoslovakian Air Force and National Guard up until 1947 when they were replaced by more modern machines.

The most legendary camouflage scheme amongst this new set belongs to the Yakovlev Yak-3. The white arrow on the fuselage and the French tricolore on the propeller spinner distinguish the fighters that brought fame to the Normandie-Niemen fighter regiment of the French Air Force.

The complete list of the countries and warplanes that will receive new paint jobs is as follows:

Spain — I-16 (early), Bf 109B

Czech Republic — La-5

Slovakia — Ju 87G

Hungary — Fw 190V

Romania — Bf 109F, HS 129B

Netherlands — Ju 88P

Poland — P-51A Mustang, Spitfire V

France — P-36 Hawk, Yak-3.

As always, you’ll find the new camouflages available for purchase in the Paint Shop tab of the Hangar. You can tell them apart from the regular and gift paint jobs by their icons as they have the markings of the corresponding national air forces.

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