Chinese Aircraft at War 1926-32

1. Polikarpov R-1
Serial No. 1, Chinese (Nanking) Air Force, 1926. Aircraft is finished in Russian Dark Green on all uppersurfaces, with Light Blue undersurfaces and struts. Serial number is White. Kuomintang insignia consists of a White twelve-pointed star on a Blue disc outlined in Red. This roundel appears on the fuselage sides and lower wing surfaces. The lower wing roundel also appears to have a fine White outline. The fuselage inscription is White, and the Chinese characters read Ming Te (Brilliant Virtue), an intimate name of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen.

2. Vought V-65C Corsair
Serial No. X 10, Cantonese Air Force, 1931. This aircraft carries an unusual scheme the forward fuselage, wheel hubs and undercarriage struts are Natural Metal/Silver, the rear fuselage and vertical tail are painted Olive Drab, and the wings, struts and horizontal tail surfaces are Orange/Yellow. Serial number is White. Chinese Nationalist twelve-pointed star markings in Blue and White are carried on both upper and lower wing surfaces. The Corsair was powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-1340 J-5 engine.

3. Ryan B-1 Brougham
Serial number unknown, Cantonese Air Force, 1930-31. This has an overall Natural Metal/Silver finish. Chinese Nationalist twelve-pointed star markings in Blue and White, with a Red outline are carried on both upper and lower wing surfaces and on the rudder. Also present on the rudder is the Ryan logo in Black. This machine was used as a liaison aircraft, and was Chinese-built, the Brougham having first been produced in China in 1923. The B-1 was powered by a Wright Whirlwind J-5 engine.

4. Waco 240A
Serial number unknown, Cantonese Air Force, December 1930. Aircraft is finished in the standard factory colours of Light Blue fuselage with Silver wings, tail and wheel hubs. Fuselage stripe is Dark Blue outlined in White. Wing struts are Dark Blue. Chinese Nationalist twelve-pointed star markings in Blue and White are carried on both upper and lower wing surfaces. This single seat fighter bomber was armed with two 30 calibre synchronised machine guns, and was fitted with racks enabling it to carry five 25 lb. and two 100 lb. bombs. The 240A was powered by a Wright Whirlwind J-6 engine.

Background
Over twenty separate air forces operated in China in the period from 1920 to 1937. Many of these were little known and much source material has not survived. The full version of this article in Insignia Issue 5 describes Chinese use of the Polikarpov R-1, and the Cantonese Air Force in action against Japan in 1931.

Pictures and text taken from Issue 5 of Insignia Magazine.

All pictures and text © Blue Rider Publishing 2013