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Boeing 787; No Customer Codes  
User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4265 posts, RR: 34
Posted (2 years 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 16308 times:

According to the latest Aviation Letter magazine, Boeing is not assigning curstomer codes to 787s, so they will remain referred to as simply 787-8 and 787-9s.
In captions and production lists so far, the 787s flying are already reported as 787-881 (ANA), 787-846 (JAL), 787-837 (Air India) and l/n 2 and l/n 6 have been reported as 787-83Q. Should these customer based numbers be removed from photo captions and other references to 787s ?


nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3084 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 16261 times:

Bit like none of those B777-200IGWs ever being called B777-236ERs?

User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3434 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 16095 times:
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All the "N" registered 787s are appearing in the FAA database as "787-8", so far anyway. No customer code.


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User currently offlineA388 From Netherlands Antilles, joined May 2001, 9576 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 15834 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 2):
All the "N" registered 787s are appearing in the FAA database as "787-8", so far anyway. No customer code.

Strange as all 787's delivered so far still use the customer codes which I think should be kept as well. It's an easy way as reference. Airbus should also have done this but I don't think they want to use the Boeing customer codes as their customer codes   to have a uniform way of identifying airlines and the aircraft they initially used when originally delivered.

A388


User currently offlineGCPET From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2012, 204 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 15803 times:

If the 787 won't have any customes codes will the 747-800 be the same because it seem's to be referred to as the '747-8I'?

GCPET



If it's not Boeing, I'm not going!
User currently offlineEY460 From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 262 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15758 times:

Quoting A388 (Reply 3):
Airbus should also have done this but I don't think they want to use the Boeing customer codes as their customer codes to have a uniform way of identifying airlines and the aircraft they initially used when originally delivered.



I believe Airbus numbering system is much better as it allows to determine the engine manufacturer and the engine version. I think this information is much more useful than the original customer of the airframe.


User currently offlineB2468 From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15708 times:

While we are on the topic of Boeing customer codes, why does/did Boeing use this system of putting a customer code on the aircraft model number? While it is useful and informative for folks like us who might be interested in the history of an airframe, I can't see how it is useful for the airlines.

I think Airbus' system is better, since they use the additional digits in the model number to identify both the model and engine selection (I think...or it identifies something technical about the airframe that might be useful for dispatchers and maintenance personnel).

Maybe someone here can explain the benefits of Boeing's system? I just never understood it.



Dash-8/ERJ/306/310/319/320/332/333/343/346/388/72S/731/732/733/734/73G/738/741/744/74E/752/762/763/77E/77W/DC9/D1C/M82
User currently offlinedfwrevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 915 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15650 times:

Quoting B2468 (Reply 6):
While we are on the topic of Boeing customer codes, why does/did Boeing use this system of putting a customer code on the aircraft model number? While it is useful and informative for folks like us who might be interested in the history of an airframe, I can't see how it is useful for the airlines.

It is useful to know the original owner of the airframe because it communicates the airline-specific options and configurations of the particular airframe. Sometimes these options can be sigificant. We all know the case of TWA opting to have their switches throw a different direction than AA's in their 757 cockpits.

Quoting B2468 (Reply 6):
I think Airbus' system is better, since they use the additional digits in the model number to identify both the model and engine selection

They serve the same purpose, Boeing's just allows a greater resolution in that the customer code can imply more information than just model and engine.


User currently offlineB2468 From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15522 times:

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 7):

Very interesting...thanks for your response! I remember a discussion of some of the weird options TWA got on their 757s, but I forgot about them. Did AA change the switch directions after they took over TW?

So, is there a database out there that can be accessed by the dispatchers and maintenance personnel of second- and third- hand owners of Boeing aircraft that can identify the specific quirky features of each airframe (since I assume some of the later owners might not know the specific options ordered by the original customer)?



Dash-8/ERJ/306/310/319/320/332/333/343/346/388/72S/731/732/733/734/73G/738/741/744/74E/752/762/763/77E/77W/DC9/D1C/M82
User currently offlineCargolex From United States of America, joined exactly 4 years ago today! , 1252 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15439 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 2):
All the "N" registered 787s are appearing in the FAA database as "787-8", so far anyway. No customer code.

But those are aircraft either yet to be delivered (UA will get the first N-reg 787s) or on the pool of test registrations. A registration like N1786B wouldn't have any code attached to it because it used again and again on during pre-flight testing (typically assigned to a 737-800).

I haven't actually seen a build plate, but I expect that all 787s will be delivered with customer codes except for perhaps frames 4-6 - which are in a special position.


User currently offlineA388 From Netherlands Antilles, joined May 2001, 9576 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 15238 times:

Quoting EY460 (Reply 5):
I believe Airbus numbering system is much better as it allows to determine the engine manufacturer and the engine version. I think this information is much more useful than the original customer of the airframe.

Yes, I know this but I find the history of an aircraft itself more important compared to which engine it is. Maintenance track record wise and crash investigation wise, I find the airline more important than the engine type.

A388


User currently offlinelarspl From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 473 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 15213 times:

If Boeing doesn't put a customer code on the aircraft papers it makes it the same as an other 787-8 thus making it easier to certify and register.

Besides, I don't think Boeing allows so many options as a switch in a different direction as before.



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User currently offlineaa777223 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1219 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 14420 times:

I wonder if it has something to do with the adaptability of the airframe. One of the biggest options that an original carrier might choose is engines. The 787 is one of the first aircraft that can swap the engine type pretty easily. Just remove the everything from the pylon down, and swap 'er out! A little computer work, and it supposed to be a 24-48 hour job. Originally, it was designed to not even require a pylon replacement, but the ultimate complexity of the engines precluded it. Pylon down is still pretty slick. Previously, changing engine type was a pretty huge deal, ie 777 ln#1.

I am just throwing it out there as a thought.



Sic 'em bears
User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16345 posts, RR: 86
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 14323 times:

Correct.

Since there ultimately are no customer-defining options available for the 787, the resolution of initial customer is no longer required.

NS


User currently offlineRobk From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 3945 posts, RR: 18
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 14110 times:

Quoting A388 (Reply 3):
Strange as all 787's delivered so far still use the customer codes

According to whom?

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 9):
But those are aircraft either yet to be delivered (UA will get the first N-reg 787s) or on the pool of test registrations. A registration like N1786B wouldn't have any code attached to it because it used again and again on during pre-flight testing (typically assigned to a 737-800).

I haven't actually seen a build plate, but I expect that all 787s will be delivered with customer codes except for perhaps frames 4-6 - which are in a special position.

Boeing has their own code of 3Q so if they were using customer codes in the sub type as some here like to believe then why do they not show as 787-83Q on the FAA register? Your comparison with 737 test reg N1786B is invalid because that is only a temporary registration that is never officially assigned to a specific airframe, unlike the six test 787s which are all fully assigned to individual airframes.

The reason my Boeing source gave for the dropping of the customer code was a combination of a management change and the desire to make data administration easier for those that have to deal with it on a day to day basis.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24109 posts, RR: 23
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 13693 times:

Quoting Robk (Reply 14):
Boeing has their own code of 3Q

Isn't 3Q only for the Boeing leasing operation? I thought "20" was the primary Boeing customer code. When the 707 went into service the customer code of the first operator (Pan Am) was 21. Codes then continued through 99 and then started from 01 to 19, leaving 20 as the Boeing generic code. When they ran out of 2-digit codes the began using alpha-numeric codes.


User currently offlineN14AZ From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2607 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 13110 times:

Quoting Robk (Reply 14):
the desire to make data administration easier for those that have to deal with it on a day to day basis.

such as planespotters   A considerable part of my time required for keeping my logbook up-to-date was to find out the production code for the Boeings.


User currently offlinehomsaR From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 12512 times:

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 7):

It is useful to know the original owner of the airframe because it communicates the airline-specific options and configurations of the particular airframe. Sometimes these options can be sigificant. We all know the case of TWA opting to have their switches throw a different direction than AA's in their 757 cockpits.
Quoting A388 (Reply 10):

Yes, I know this but I find the history of an aircraft itself more important compared to which engine it is. Maintenance track record wise and crash investigation wise, I find the airline more important than the engine type.

I'm not really sure these explanations really make the Boeing customer code useful.

For example, I believe TWA had both 757-231s and 757-2Q8s. What's the difference between the two, other than one set happened to be bought by TWA, and the other set happened to be bought by ILFC and then leased to TWA?

Didn't United pick up a couple of 747-451s that Northwest ordered and never took delivery of (or maybe I have that backwards, and they were 747-422s that went to Northwest)?

Likewise, an airline can buy the same type of plane with different options and still get the same customer code. British Airways bought their first 777-200s with GE engines, and their next batch with RR engines. They are both called 777-236s (or -236ER, or whatever).

Northwest's first batch of 757-251s were different from their second batch of 757-251s.

Even when the engines are the same, there can be a number of differences. A newly delivered AA 737-823 with the latest refinements and the Boeing Sky Interior is going to be a bit different from a 737-823 delivered in 1999 or 2000 or whenever they received their first batch.

The customer code doesn't tell you anything about the maintenance history of a plane. You could hypothetically have two Boeing 737-3XXs delivered to the same airline 20 years ago. One of them stayed with that airline and is still flying with them to this day. The other was sold after five years and wound up flying for some startup airline in a third-world country with minimal safety regulations and oversight. They're both still technically 737-3XXs.

In the end, the only thing that a Boeing customer code tells you is who originally bought the plane (and sometimes, from what I understand, it doesn't even tell you that).

[Edited 2012-04-18 14:35:56]


I was raised by a cup of coffee.
User currently offlineCargolex From United States of America, joined exactly 4 years ago today! , 1252 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 12314 times:

3Q is Boeing Equipment Leasing - usually for BBJ's or other specialty items as far as I know.

Interestingly, five of the six test 787s have only 787-8 on their registration. But one, N787EX, uses 787-83Q. I don't know how to look up a Japanese official registration.


User currently offlineBralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 613 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 11912 times:

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 18):
I don't know how to look up a Japanese official registration.

Apparently NH's 788's are registered with the Civil Aviation Bureau in Japan as type -881's...


User currently onlinebueb0g From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2010, 623 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 11231 times:

Quoting GCPET (Reply 4):

If the 787 won't have any customes codes will the 747-800 be the same because it seem's to be referred to as the '747-8I'?

The new 747 won't have customer codes either, as it's officially the 747-8, or -8F for freighter and -8I for passenger, not -800.



Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
User currently offlinesphealey From United States of America, joined May 2005, 375 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 11151 times:

Ah, the age old argument over significant vs. non-significant part numbers. Probably first held among the designers of the Pyramids (although perhaps the designers of the Babylonian irrigation system), never has been and never will be resolved!

sPh

Personally I side with the non-significant argument.


User currently offlineCargolex From United States of America, joined exactly 4 years ago today! , 1252 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (2 years 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 11048 times:

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 20):
The new 747 won't have customer codes either

Except that they do.

http://www.caa.co.uk/application.asp...e=detailnosummary&fullregmark=GSSD


User currently offlineRobk From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 3945 posts, RR: 18
Reply 23, posted (2 years 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 10689 times:

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 20):
The new 747 won't have customer codes either, as it's officially the 747-8, or -8F for freighter and -8I for passenger, not -800.

That's actually incorrect. Boeing has continued issuing the customer codes as the base model number is still the same.


User currently offlinePM From India, joined Feb 2005, 6840 posts, RR: 64
Reply 24, posted (2 years 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 10552 times:

Quoting EY460 (Reply 5):
I believe Airbus numbering system is much better as it allows to determine the engine manufacturer and the engine version. I think this information is much more useful than the original customer of the airframe.

Agreed.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 7):
They serve the same purpose, Boeing's just allows a greater resolution in that the customer code can imply more information than just model and engine.

Not always. See below.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 7):
It is useful to know the original owner of the airframe because it communicates the airline-specific options and configurations of the particular airframe.

Oftentimes it will not even be able to identify the engine.

Quoting homsaR (Reply 17):
I believe TWA had both 757-231s and 757-2Q8s. What's the difference between the two, other than one set happened to be bought by TWA, and the other set happened to be bought by ILFC and then leased to TWA?

Indeed. And what of all the other ILFC, GECAS and whoever codes?

Quoting homsaR (Reply 17):
Likewise, an airline can buy the same type of plane with different options and still get the same customer code. British Airways bought their first 777-200s with GE engines, and their next batch with RR engines. They are both called 777-236s (or -236ER, or whatever).

Quite.

Quoting homsaR (Reply 17):
In the end, the only thing that a Boeing customer code tells you is who originally bought the plane (and sometimes, from what I understand, it doesn't even tell you that).

  


25 kanban : In the Spares dept. these were extremely useful in the pre computer, pre leasing and pre service cetner days for determining whether a part was appli
26 tdscanuck : I haven't seen a customer code on any 787-8 from Boeing (as opposed to come foreign regulator adding one)...is there an example out there? Boeing has
27 Bralo20 : N787EX is registered with the FAA as a Boeing 787-83Q (3Q = BCC Equipment Leasing), the other US-registered testplanes are registered as 787-8's.
28 gatechae : This is very interesting. Did they assign an airline a customer code on order or on delivery of the first frame? If it was on order, were there any c
29 gipsy : Airbus has it's own numbering system. You can only read out engines and model from it's name but there still is the fleet serial number (101, 102, 40
30 Eagleboy : Thats what I had been told by an airline mgnr about 18 montha ago. By not having individual interior configs Boeing maintains the second hand value o
31 MEA-707 : They were assigned on order (at least quite a while before delivery), there are some interesting ones, 63 for Ghana Airways (cancelled 707-400s), 39
32 skyhawkmatthew : Back in the 707 days, there could be massive differences in airframes, beyond just interior and avionics fit-out, between different customer codes: Qa
33 tdscanuck : Something sounds fishy about that; the interior configuration is one of the things that absolutely is individual to each airline. Tom.
34 kanban : several were noted above, plus all those sold to leasing companies carried a the owners code not the operators.
35 Post contains images Birdwatching : The customer codes have no purpose at all and should have discarded a long time ago. Exactly identical aircraft at different airlines have different m
36 Eagleboy : It was referring to toilet and galley placement rather then seating config.
37 flyPBA : Delta has (or had) a bunch of 767-324s that Continental had once ordered then cancelled before delivery
38 Post contains images bikerthai : I agree. Boeing tends to change it's processes really slow. The 787 and to some extent the 777 were revolutionary planes, not necessarily because of
39 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : Not a bunch. DL has never had more than one of the 5 763s ordered but cancelled by CO. Three others are with Thomson Airways in the UK and one is wit
40 PM : I suppose the interesting thing will be to see if Boeing issue new customer numbers to new customers. Purely hypothetically, what would happen if King
41 kanban : gradually customer codes will cease for all models.. the 737 probably at the switch to the MAX.. 777 at the switch to the X.. 767 probably not becaus
42 Antoniemey : This was my first thought when I saw the topic... The customer codes started, it seems, with the 707... on the 707 Boeing was willing to make nearly
43 N1120A : Exactly. No. They sold the planes to Delta. Also, engine configuration no longer matters, because of the easy interchangability. UA did buy 2 -451s a
44 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : This is the -451 still with UA, N105UA. View Large View MediumPhoto © Cheolmin Shin Latest A.net photo of the other former UA -451 (N106UA when with
45 kanban : There was a time they assisted tracking customer configurations, however they were not the only method. They came about before computers and were a n
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