This photo was found in some family belongings and we're trying to date it to identify the family member who may have been in his tri-service imaged. So, can anyone identify the plane in the background please?enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ any info about location and/or date? $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Nov 15, 2019 at 9:36

1 Answer 1


It looks like a 1921 Blackburn Dart, British carrier-based torpedo bomber biplane.

blackburn dart


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    $\begingroup$ Noted - There are 4 naval ratings in the photo, two on either end of the front standing row, along with 5 white caps which appear to be naval officers. Their dark blue uniforms stand out from the khaki of the army uniforms. I'm not able to determine rank insignia though. $\endgroup$
    – Criggie
    Nov 15, 2019 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ Khaki? Don't you mean RAF blue? $\endgroup$ Nov 15, 2019 at 23:28
  • $\begingroup$ Wikipedia: "The RAF was founded on 1 April 1918, towards the end of the First World War by merging the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service." So during most of WW1 airplanes were not operated by the not-yet-existing RAF. $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2019 at 11:46
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    $\begingroup$ @simon at rcl - The Blackburn Dart first flew in 1921. The First World War started in 1914, and ended in 1918. On the lighter shade (non-RN) uniforms you can quite clearly see RAF officers' rings on some cuffs, and the eagle badge on other ranks' shoulders. Also look at the cap badges and wings on jackets. $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2019 at 13:20
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelHarvey ….and I never looked up the date of the plane in question. Idiot, me. It seems the initial colour was a pale blue, and RAF Blue was introduced in 1924; however the RFC khaki 'continued for some time' after the formation. The uniforms in the picture do look like naval and army ones, though. (My eyes aren't quite good enough to see much detail, sory.) $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2019 at 14:08

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