L.1011 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 2209 posts, RR: 10 Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2316 times:
Certain types of planes have very positive connotations to them. It's really the airlines bragging. The 747, 777, "Super 80", etc. Passengers specifically ask for the first two much more often than you might think, and the latter just sounds cool.
MakeMinesLax From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 516 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2043 times:
Some of it might be for ground crew
I've seen these on the underside of the fuselage in front of the nose gear. For example, UA had "SP" printed on their 747SPs for that very reason.
I believe the original question concerned the ones which are visible to PAX, however. I don't believe it's a manufacturer requirement, but the fact that a specific font and format is typically used seems to indicate the "house" tends to promote the practice.
There is definitely some sort of "wow" factor involved, especially when descriptive names such as "Friendship", "Whisperliner", "Astrojet" are tacked on. However, it's been pointed out that AA dropped the "DC-10" and left "Luxuryliner" after the trijet had its highly publicized rash of accidents.
N685FE From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 450 posts, RR: 13 Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1860 times:
"It may also help to prevent from the mechanics
trying to put 737-400 brakes on a 737-700."
You obviously have no knowledge when it comes to maintenance. When you look up the m/m for a brake change, it is tail specific. There fore, any parts it calls out for will only be for that tail number. You could also do a broader application when researching the m/m, then it will list the tail number or s/n effectively along with the m/m.