Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Southwest Tail Numbers-Any Logic?  
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6384 posts, RR: 3
Posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2844 times:

Just wondering how WN comes up with tail numbers for new birds.

For some series (e.g. factory-new 737-3H4's), the scheme is obvious: N3**SW (provided, of course N3**SW was available...I do know, from my days as a GA lineboy, that any N-number ending in 'SW' is quite popular for a custom tail number! Don't know why...). Same goes for the 500 series 737's: N5**SW. 700 series: N7**SW. Then you get into the newest of the new birds and second-hand acquisitions-it starts getting strange...

N750SA? I'm taking it that SW was probably taken...maybe N750WN was taken as well.

Probably the strangest of them all (to me, anyways...) N674AA. Wonder why AA didn't raise an objection on that one  Wink (and yes, I do know that the FAA registry is first-come, first serve, except for all-numeric N-numbers less than 4 digits, reserved for FAA birds)

Be curious if anyone knows the answer...


Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5817 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2822 times:

Because AA sold them the aircraft.

Airlines are not obligated to reregister an airplane when it changed ownership, unless the new owner is based in a different country.

Further, the numbers Southwest uses DO make sense, if you this about it for a little while. The -700s were N7XXab. Then, they ran out of 700 number, so they went for N400ab. 7x2=14, that's my best guess as to where the 4 came from. Ah, but now they've run out of 400 numbers too, so they've gone to N2XXab. Good luck figuring that one out.

In the past, they have kept this sort of doubling nomenclature. The first 100 -300s had N3XXab, and then they doubled the 3 to get N6XXab.

That's all I know about that.
 Smile
R


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2800 times:

In the beginning, the standard registration suffix SWA desired was "SW", but lo, there came a day when the "SW" suffix was not available for a particular number. The back-up plan was "WN", using Southwest's two-letter airline code. Though rare, sometimes both "SW" and "WN" were not available for a particular number, and "SA" (Southwest Airlines) was used.

There are some exceptions to the above general rule(s):

"AA" These -300s were formerly operated by AA (AA inherited them from the AirCal merger), and the aircraft lessor didn't want the registration numbers on our several "AA" aircraft changed. Some lessors will, some, won't. As another example, we picked-up 3 737-200s from Midway Airlines (v1.0), and they were N702ML, N721ML, and N722ML. The lessor for N702ML said "nyet" to the change, while the a different lessor for N721ML and N722ML said OK, and those two aircraft became N721WN and N722WN.

We have several single-use suffixes that are named after company officiers, such as "HK" for Herb, "CB" for Colleen, "JW" for Jim Wimberly, "GB" for Gary Barron, and "RR" for Ron Ricks. For maintenance, we also have "QC" for quality control, and "WR" and "JC" to honor a couple of PHX mechanics who died in a light airplane crash.

Number Ranges...

0-130, 702, 721, 722: Used to be used by the -200s, all retired. The 702, 721, and 722 numbers won't be re-used for the -700s.

The -300s started with (naturally) N300SW, and when we ran out of those, we used 600-series numbers.

The -500s run from 500-528, although there are only 25 in the fleet, i.e. a couple of numbers were skipped.

The -700s started (and filled-up) the 700-series, as did the 400-series, and we're up to N224WN (the just-delivered "Slam Dunk One) in the 200-series.

We also have numbers reserved in the 800-series and 900-series. After that, my guess is that we'd go to the 100-series, and then the 300-series and 500-series once those aircraft started retiring. N300SW is 21 years old now, so my guess is we'll start seeing those retire in 2006 or 2007.

[Edited 2005-11-04 22:33:32]

User currently offlineVisityyj From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2716 times:

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 2):
We have several single-use suffixes that are named after company officiers, such as "HK" for Herb, "CB" for Colleen, "JW" for Jim Wimberly, "GB" for Gary Barron, and "RR" for Ron Ricks. For maintenance, we also have "QC" for quality control, and "WR" and "JC" to honor a couple of PHX mechanics who died in a light airplane crash.

So who is "MX" then ?  nosy  N797MX.


User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 32
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2690 times:

Quoting Visityyj (Reply 3):
So who is "MX" then ? N797MX.

"MX" is an abbreviation for maintenance, so that could be the reason behind the "MX" suffix.

Tom at MSY



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2686 times:

Quoting Visityyj (Reply 3):
So who is "MX" then

I figured I'd miss at least one.. "MX" is for maintenance.... We may also have a "GK" for Gary kelly, but I can't recall. If we don't, I'm sure we'll get one, now that he's been promoted...


User currently offlineSCXmechanic From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 534 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2579 times:

OPNLguy,

Have you heard anything about the -300's being re-skined and operated for several more years? Some guys came back from DAL and said thats what was coming from Jim Sokel who stopped by one of the classes.

Also, any word on Autothrottle and Autobrake being activated?

I heard a while back that we were gonna start using Autobrake in other modes besides the RTO function.


User currently offlineSWAbubba From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2538 times:

I've heard the same rumor about re-skinning the -300's, but haven't heard anything specific.

Check airmen have been using the autobrakes for at least the last six months. The rest of us should start using them soon, they just changed the OPC software to reflect autobrake use.

I don't see autothrottles happening anytime soon, but you never know.


User currently offlineUniuniunium From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 31 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2518 times:

I know the rationale for not using the A/T in WN's 737s, but I'd never heard that they didn't use Autobrakes either. Same reasoning behind both? Or did the -200s not have Autobrakes?

User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2476 times:

Quoting SCXmechanic (Reply 6):
Have you heard anything about the -300's being re-skined and operated for several more years?

Not that I've heard.. Check your PM...


User currently offlineI530j From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 233 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2448 times:

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 2):
The -500s run from 500-528, although there are only 25 in the fleet, i.e. a couple of numbers were skipped.

why were some numbers skipped?



"I love you, I love the kids..." then the phone went dead.
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Southwest's Tail Numbers posted Wed May 28 2003 21:42:39 by Ual767ord
Tail Numbers For Two US Air Flights From 7/29 posted Sun Jul 30 2006 22:10:08 by Cadet57
WestJet Tail Numbers - Why Is The #4 Never Used? posted Thu Jun 1 2006 15:52:28 by YOW
Celebrity Tail-Numbers? posted Fri Mar 31 2006 17:57:08 by Redcordes
Need Help From WN & HP Agents - Tail Numbers.. posted Wed Mar 22 2006 23:52:44 by Airbrasil
Help With Aircraft Tail Numbers For NW Flights posted Wed Feb 1 2006 14:39:52 by Singapore 777
Alaska Employees: Tail Numbers? posted Fri Nov 18 2005 20:03:48 by S12PPL
Need UA Tail Numbers For Upcoming SFO-KIX Flights posted Mon Feb 21 2005 16:07:09 by Aaron747
Creative Tail Numbers posted Mon Jan 10 2005 06:11:57 by Nycfuturepilot
I Need Help With Some Tail Numbers! posted Sun Aug 29 2004 13:49:36 by IDAWA