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"Fake" Registration #s - Preserved Acft  
User currently offlineJohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1725 posts, RR: 2
Posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 5320 times:

I've spent some time searching here and also remember from the past that the registration/serial numbers we're supposed to input here are the ones actually displayed on the aircraft, even if it's a fake registration applied as in the case of certain display aircraft.

I happened upon a rare opportunity recently, a cache of museum planes that somehow haven't yet made their way onto Airliners.net. Some of these aircraft have fake serials. An example: I have an Air Force F-102 that I know from research is 53-1787. However, painted on the tail is 62334.

If I input this into the database using the rule as I understand it, the 62334 should be used as the serial and I should reference 53-1787 in the remarks. The question is, should I use 62334 as-is, or translate it to the format of a real Air Force serial, which in this case would be 56-2334?

FYI, the real 56-2334 is listed on Scramble and on Joe Baugher's site as having gone to the Turkish Air Force, while 53-1787 is listed on both sites as being in the place where I found her.

[Edited 2012-10-09 09:48:41]

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently onlineunattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2397 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5291 times:

Quoting JohnJ (Thread starter):
should I use 62334 as-is, or translate it to the format of a real Air Force serial, which in this case would be 56-2334?

translate it and add the actual serial number to the remark field, with the story.

Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 4214 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5280 times:

Quoting JohnJ (Thread starter):

Hi John,

I've been told it should be 62334, because such a number may or not be 'translatable' .

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Photo © Peter de Jong


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineJohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1725 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5168 times:

Thanks for the feedback both of you. I guess I'll go with the non-translated approach barring input from A.net staff on how this should go. The example I gave had a real-life counterpart, but for some of the numbers I'm dealing with trying to translate are a shot in the dark. Here's where the ability to edit photos in queue comes in very handy.

User currently offlineGPHOTO From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 840 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4790 times:

Hi John,

A late arrival to this thread, but here nonetheless!

In the case of museum aircraft:

For the registration, use the fake one painted on the aircraft.

However, for the variant, please use the true variant for the airframe if it differs from the one associated with the painted on registration and also use the true cn, not the one associated with the painted on registration. We strongly recommend that you place the true registration number and an explanation of the situation in the remarks field as it helps everyone understand what is going on.

One of my own photographs as an example which may be of some help:

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Photo © Jim Groom

And the text I wrote is:

"Hanging from the ceiling of Thinktank in Birmingham is this aircraft. Although painted as Mk1 P3395, this is actually Mk4 KX829 - note the 'Universal' metal wing."

As to what to actually enter for the registration, in this case, translate it to the correct format - 56-2334. US Air Force schemes usually have the data block painted on the aircraft as well and this contains the serial in full - it counts as a registration on an aircraft (because it is!). I don't know if your photograph will include this text or if it is readable, but we often have to assume it is present as they usually are. In this case, we are justified to make that assumption as it is probably right and is in anycase beneficial to understanding the situation. But if you took a photograph of the datablock and it says otherwise, then we would have to change what we wrote......

So, 56-2334 is ok for now, but is subject to change if research indicates it is necessary!

What we don't do, is convert a number in the 'code' field to a 'correct' registration. This is the situation with the example Peter gave. The 'registration' 2100882 is in the code field - the actual registration is the civil N473DC. So we don't convert the code 2100882 into a USAAF format registration (in this case 42-100882) because on this airframe it is a code and not a registration.

I think that means that all three posters above are correct for different reasons!

Best regards,


Erm, is this thing on?
User currently offlinef4wso From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 974 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4601 times:

Good explanation, Jim. I have had several emails over the years telling me that I had erred on a preserved aircraft registration. Keeping the real construction number helps us that like to see an aircraft at various parts of it's service life.


Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work
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