Today, I learned that:
The 21 regions and county councils (“landsting”) in Sweden are currently procuring at least 6 small aircraft for ambulance transport, in an international tender with March 1, 2016, as deadline. One of the requirements deals with the appearance of the aircraft:
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS ON AIRCRAFT
The Aircraft shall be delivered with yellow paint (RAL 1016) with green rectangles (Battenburg markings, RAL 6026) on each side of the aircraft body, registration marks according to EASA and Swedish Transport Agency requirements, and furthermore possess the minimum marking containing the text “Ambulans”, the symbol ‘Star of Life’ and the company logotype.
Reference: SOSFS 2009:10.”
So what are RAL and Battenburg markings?
RAL is a colour space system introduced in Germany in 1927 in order to certify colour nuances and thus guarantee that a certain colour would always look the same. Originally there were only 40 colours, but today there are hundreds in the updated versions. It is widely used in Europe to specify the colour of an industrial product.
Battenburg (originally Battenberg) patterns consist of two contrasting colours side by side, e.g. as in a chess board. The name is derived from the cake that was baked for the marriage in 1884 by Prince Louis of Battenberg to Princess Victoria. The original cake was formed by alternate pink and yellow sponge cakes with a marzipan icing.
… That’s what I learned in school!
1: Complete procurement documentation
2: SOSFS 2009:10 Ambulanssjukvård m.m.
4: RAL-colours make the difference