Glossary and Reference

If you have any corrections or suggestions of details that would be useful in this section, please feel free to contact us either on Facebook, or on our Contact Us page.

Last updated: Apr 3, 2018 @ 10:36 pm

Mission Codenames

Circus Daytime bomber attacks with fighter escorts against short range targets. Intended to occupy enemy fighters and keep them in the area concerned.
Intruder Offensive patrols to destroy enemy aircraft over their own territory, usually at night.
Ramrod Short range bomber attacks to destroy ground targets, similar to Circus attacks.
Ranger Freelance flights over enemy territory by units of any size, to occupy and tire enemy fighters.
Rhubarb Fighter or fighter-bomber sections, at times of low cloud and poor visibility, crossing the English Channel and then dropping below cloud level to search for opportunity targets such as railway locomotives and rolling stock, aircraft on the ground, enemy troops, and vehicles on roads.
Roadstead Dive bombing and low level attacks on enemy ships at sea or in harbour.
Rodeo Fighter sweeps over enemy territory.
Rover Armed reconnaissance flights with attacks on opportunity targets

Rawlings, John D.R., Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft, London: Macdonald and Jane’s Publishers

Damage Categories

Before 1941

Cat. U Undamaged
Cat.  M(u) Capable of being repaired on site by the operating unit
Cat. M(c) Beyond the unit’s capacity to repair
Cat. R(B) Repair on site is not possible; the aircraft must be dismantled and sent to a repair facility
Cat. W Write-off

1941 – 1952

Cat. U Undamaged
Cat. A Aircraft can be repaired on site
Cat. Ac Repair is beyond the unit capacity, but can be repaired on site by another unit or a contractor.
Cat. B Beyond repair on site, but repairable at a Maintenance Unit or at a contractor’s works
Cat. C Allocated to Instructional Airframe duties (for ground training)
Cat E Write-off
Cat. E1 Write-off, but considered suitable for component recovery
Cat. E2 Write-off and suitable only for scrap
Cat. E3 Burnt out
Cat. Em Missing from an operational sortie (Missing aircraft were categorised ‘Em’ after 28 days)

1952 – 1961

Cat. 1 Undamaged and can remain in service.
Cat. 2 Aircraft can be repaired within second line servicing capability of the parent or nearest unit.
Cat. 3 The repair is beyond the capabilities of the parent or nearest unit, and will be carried out as indicated by the following suffixes:
Cat. 3 (Rep)C The aircraft is repairable on site by a contractor’s working party.
Cat. 3 (Rep)S The aircraft is repairable on site by a suitably qualified Service unit.
Cat. 3 (Rep)C Fly The aircraft can be flown to the contractor’s works after temporary repair, if necessary, under restricted flight conditions.
Cat. 3 (Rep)C Deferred The aircraft may be flown under limiting conditions specified by the holding unit until a suitable repair date is agreed with the controlling authority. Cat. 3 (Rep)C Deferred aircraft will ultimately be repaired by a contractor, while a Cat. 3 (Rep)S Fly Deferred aircraft will be handled by a suitable Service unit.
Cat. 4 (Rep) Not repairable on site because special facilities and/or equipment is required. Aircraft in this category will be repaired at a contractor’s works after temporary repair, in necessary, and under restricted flight conditions.
Cat. 4 (Rogue) The parent unit and/or controlling authority have conducted technical investigations and air tests and are satisfied that the aircraft has unsatisfactory flying characteristics.
Cat. 5(c) Beyond economical repair or surplus, but is recoverable for breakdown to components, spares and scrap.
Cat. 5(s) Beyond economical repair or surplus, and fit only for disposal for scrap.
Cat. 5(gi) Beyond economical repair or surplus, but suitable for ground instructional use.
Cat. 5(m) Missing.

1961 – present

Cat. 1 Repairable on site by first line maintenance personnel.
Cat. 2 Repairable on site by second line maintenance personnel.
Cat. 3 Repairable on site but beyond the  technical resources of the unit. Repairs will be done by a Service repair party (Cat.3(SER)), or civilian contractor’s working party (Cat. 3(CWP)). A Cat. 3(FLY) aircraft may be flown under limitations until repaired.
Cat.4 The damage sustained requires special equipment not available on site and the aircraft must be moved for repair at an established Service repair depot. (Cat.4(SER)) or to a contractor’s works (Cat. 4(WKS)). A Cat. 4(FLY) aircraft may be flown from a site, after temporary repairs have been carried out, to the repair agency for full repairs.
Cat. 5 The aircraft is damaged beyond economic repair.
Cat. 5(GI) Damaged or surplus, but suitable for ground instructional use.
Cat. 5(COMP) Beyond economical repair or surplus, but is salvage of components or            spare parts is possible.
Cat. 5(SCRAP) Beyond economical repair or surplus, and suitable for scrap only.
Cat. 5(MISSING) Missing – presumed lost.




NFT Night Flying Test