ACE-31 Albatros DIII, Jasta 49, 1918, Ltn Franz Ray
The WW1 German lozenge patterns are some of the most interesting and distinctive camouflage schemes ever devised. This O.A.W. built Albatros flown by Ltn. FRANZ RAY, was painted all black apart from the fin and rudder. The tailplane’s surfaces were black with two white stripes. The wings were covered in five colour lozenge fabric.
During the early stages of the Great War, the Germans were looking for a way to effectively camouflage the aircraft of the Luftstreitkräfte to inhibit enemy observation of the aircraft while it was in the air as well as when at rest on the ground. Large, irregular blotches with two or three colors were used on the upper surfaces of the wing which led to the development of the Buntfarbenanstrich, the lozenge camouflage made up of repeating patterns of irregularly shaped four-, five- or six-sided polygons. Because painting such a pattern was very time consuming, and the paint added considerably to the weight of the aircraft, the patterns were printed on fabric, and the fabric was then used to cover the aircraft. This printed fabric was used in various forms and colors from late 1916 until the end of the war.