Spiralschnause

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Snake Man
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Spiralschnause

Post by Snake Man » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:02 am

I have always been curious about the "Spiralschnause" paint jobs on German aircraft. The Germans seem to be the only ones that painted the spirals on their aircraft spinners, and also sometimes painted the spinners in black and white segments. Does anybody have info on the reason this was done ? My best guess is that it was done to make spinning propellers more obvious to ground crew to help prevent them walking into moving props, or possibly to scare birds away to prevent impact damage from them. Modern aircraft with large jet engines commonly paint spirals on the central "bullet" for scaring birds away. Any thoughts on why nobody but the Germans did this ?

tmanthegreat
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Re: Spiralschnause

Post by tmanthegreat » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:47 am

I've heard a couple different theories for this apart from the "cool looking" factor. One was that it was done to throw off enemy gunners... They would get transfixed by the spiral, not be able to judge distance, aim as accurately, etc. The other is that they were indicators for ground crew to show that the prop was spinning, similar to the function of the spirals on modern jet engines. Not all German planes had spirals... Some just had the spinners painted a solid color (black, white, blue, etc) while others had a section painted white or another color with the rest black.
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hworth18
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Re: Spiralschnause

Post by hworth18 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:57 pm

tmanthegreat wrote:I've heard a couple different theories for this apart from the "cool looking" factor. One was that it was done to throw off enemy gunners... They would get transfixed by the spiral, not be able to judge distance, aim as accurately, etc. The other is that they were indicators for ground crew to show that the prop was spinning, similar to the function of the spirals on modern jet engines. Not all German planes had spirals... Some just had the spinners painted a solid color (black, white, blue, etc) while others had a section painted white or another color with the rest black.
I would agree with Tman's opinion and also add that the spinners were painted overall black or Black green with a white segment from the factory and then over painted in the field with the spirals. IMHO, The spirals were mostly for the cool factor and also help differentiate planes on the ground. Sort of personalized them along with names and cowl art.
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pvanroy
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Re: Spiralschnause

Post by pvanroy » Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:37 pm

Another purpose of both the spirals and the white segment was as a quick recognition aid in air combat for aircraft approaching head-on, allowing pilots to quickly differentiate beween friend and foe. As a result, these makings are mostly limited to fighter aircraft. This goes in particular for the factory-applied white segment; the spirals can also be found sometimes on bombers (e.g. some Heinkel He 177 heavy bombers of KG 40 and KG 100), and even the huge Blohm & Voss BV 222 V2 flying boat sported spinner spirals late in its career.

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