Training Aircraft Colour Schemes

RAF training aircraft have sported a number of colour schemes over the years. The basic idea was to improve visibility of training aircraft and therefore reduce the number of potential accidents. Some schemes have proved more successful than others. Below are some of the main schemes used by the RAF.

Hart Trainer

A bright yellow colour scheme was in wide-spread use during the inter-war period (1918-1939). It was believed that yellow would make the aircraft stand out but in practice this was not always the case.


An overall silver finish with yellow bands was the paint scheme favoured in the late 1950s/early 1960s. The small yellow bands were not always clearly visible, however.

Dayglo Provost

In the mid-Sixties a grey scheme with “dayglo” orange was introduced. The fluorescent orange was very visible but the paint faded quickly. The paint was replaced with sticky-backed vinyl but this proved quite expensive.


In the early 1970s a grey, white and red paint scheme was adopted and applied to all training aircraft.

Hawk II

Today all training aircraft are painted gloss black. In trials this proved to be the most visible colour against all daytime skies.