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WW2 Pilots Notes - Cover Font???

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WW2 Pilots Notes - Cover Font???

Old 28th May 2021, 10:46
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WW2 Pilots Notes - Cover Font???

Would anyone be able to tell me which font was used on the card covers of the Air Ministry's Pilot's (and Flight Engineer's Notes) series from WW2?
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Old 28th May 2021, 11:22
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If no-one knows which font it is, send an e-mail to mr. White: DESIGNS | ProjectCancelled.com He appears to know the answer.
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Old 28th May 2021, 15:49
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Originally Posted by Cherskiy View Post
Would anyone be able to tell me which font was used on the card covers of the Air Ministry's Pilot's (and Flight Engineer's Notes) series from WW2?
Guessing, not knowing, it looks very like the Gill Sans you'd expect for the period, but that existed in many varieties and the trick might be to find just which one. Hope this helps until you get a real answer.
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Old 29th May 2021, 07:04
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Thanks - this is all very helpful.
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Old 29th May 2021, 09:08
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Depending on whether you want typography nerd level detail (and typography nerdry is very nerdy indeed), or a way to do a quick mock-up, you may find it helpful to know that the Gill Sans MT that comes with Microsoft Word looks pretty convincing when made Bold.
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Old 30th May 2021, 04:38
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The fonts varied. eg



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Old 30th May 2021, 09:12
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The orange coloured one is interesting, and unlike the other ones reproduced online. I notice that it has the line "Reproduced by permission of the Controller of HM Stationery Office," which suggests it might not be as issued to pilots. The smallest font also looks rather like a typewriter face, rather than letterpress. Any history of that item, megan?
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Old 30th May 2021, 15:19
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The orange cover is typical of the early series of Pilot's Notes issued from about 1940. Later issues had the blue covers - the one in the image states "2nd edtion" in the top left corner. The acknowledgement to HMSO is because it's a facsimile; such things have been published since (I think) the 1970s and are still available.
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Old 30th May 2021, 21:21
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Originally Posted by Innominate View Post
The orange cover is typical of the early series of Pilot's Notes issued from about 1940. Later issues had the blue covers - the one in the image states "2nd edtion" in the top left corner. The acknowledgement to HMSO is because it's a facsimile; such things have been published since (I think) the 1970s and are still available.
Thank you--you've got me interested in this topic now. I found on-line an orange-cover set of notes for the Horsa, which include instructions for casting off; the tug pilot is advised to take care not to get in the way of the glider. I've also discovered you can get the Hurricane notes in Kindle format, so I've now got them on my phone in case the need should arise.

Is the history of publication of these notes described anywhere? I'm a bit interested in how the early ones were reproduced, because they seem to be mostly typescript with half-tone illustrations. These days reproducing that would be simple, but in the 1940s there'd be a fairly intricate choice of medium involved.
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Old 30th May 2021, 21:22
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Google `Crecy.co.uk`....they do PN Copies...
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Old 31st May 2021, 03:16
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Any history of that item, megan
Purchased on line years and years ago, long forgotten retailer. My Hurricane II PDF notes are similarly orange covered but without HMSO acknowledgement so providence is questionable as to originality, P-40 PDF cover is black with gold lettering, Lancaster very light blue, Lerwick PDF of original is orange, P-51 PDF of original is orange and printed in USA for the Air Ministry and in their typical format.

Last edited by megan; 31st May 2021 at 03:31.
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Old 31st May 2021, 03:55
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Thank you, megan. Maybe I should search PPRuNe to see if anyone can remember what it was like producing them. Must have been quite an industry.
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Old 31st May 2021, 08:14
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Just to complicate things, the design seems to have changed slightly in the early fifties. First image is circa 1951, second circa 1954.


1st Edition

2nd Edition


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Old 31st May 2021, 19:43
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Is the history of publication of these notes described anywhere?
Pilot's Notes were first issued in the late 1930s, as part of the "Volume 1" Air Publication - there are none in the Gladiator AP, but there are notes in the Hurricane 1 manual, so that gives a rough idea of the date. The Vol. 1 was a loose-leaf book with an orange label on the front of the binder; I think some of the facsimile editions reproduce this, with a Treasury tag holding the pages together. The blue PNs came in around 1942, as separate booklets that could fit inside a flying boot for easy reference.
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Old 31st May 2021, 20:40
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Favorite Pilots Notes

This one remains my favorite:
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
sleigh.pdf (534.8 KB, 33 views)
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 08:17
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Originally Posted by Innominate View Post
Pilot's Notes were first issued in the late 1930s, as part of the "Volume 1" Air Publication - there are none in the Gladiator AP, but there are notes in the Hurricane 1 manual, so that gives a rough idea of the date. The Vol. 1 was a loose-leaf book with an orange label on the front of the binder; I think some of the facsimile editions reproduce this, with a Treasury tag holding the pages together. The blue PNs came in around 1942, as separate booklets that could fit inside a flying boot for easy reference.
Thank you.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 08:26
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Originally Posted by Self loading bear View Post
This one remains my favorite:
Although not stated on the cover, this must in fact be for NATO use. Airspeeds are given in Km/H, and some of the instructions read a little oddly to a native speaker (for instance, the power units are enumerated as eight or nine "reindeers," as opposed to "reindeer" (as a side note, have you noticed that "aircrafts" is beginning to appear as a plural in quite reasonable parts of the media?) On the other hand, pressures are given in Lb/sq. in.

I suspect this must be an example of the developmental batch of the Notes, for internal use and comment, before general issue.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 09:58
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Hilarious. For the discerning Nicholas addicts, there must be somewhere a similar Pilots Notes for the White Horse of St. Nicholas, whichn is restricted to operation in the Low Lands and some areas in Austria. Strictly for taxying on rooftops only.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 14:27
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On the other hand, pressures are given in Lb/sq. in
Aviators need to be bilingual. Fuel is delivered in litres, the fuel gauge reads in gallons or pounds (in the types I flew), distances may be feet, metres, miles (nautical of course) or kilometres, aircraft weights may be pounds or kilograms. The Gimli glider (767) was a result of the attendant confusion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimli_Glider
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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 01:00
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
Aviators need to be bilingual. Fuel is delivered in litres, the fuel gauge reads in gallons or pounds (in the types I flew), distances may be feet, metres, miles (nautical of course) or kilometres, aircraft weights may be pounds or kilograms. The Gimli glider (767) was a result of the attendant confusion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimli_Glider
Well, indeed, but this is the Santa Sleigh we're talking about, long before metrification or even Imperial standardisation, and evidently the measures have been rather eclectically converted from the original furlongs per fortnight, tuns pressure per square cubit, and bullock-team-draught-power. Times were simpler then.
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