QANTAS747-438 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2017 posts, RR: 2 Posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1046 times:
What's the deal with AA tail and aircraft classifications? Why would an AA 757 with registration N352AN be classified as "aircraft 5EK"? I've also seen the "N" number end in AA and AM. Where did the AN and AM come from, and what do 5EK or 6TG or 3A0 mean?
My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
David_itl From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 7579 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1023 times:
The alphanumeric code is probably a maintenance reference number/internal code for a given aircraft, with "5" indicating 757s, "1" for Fk100s, etc with the two letters going in sequence with the order in which they received the aircraft.
The different endings for the registration may be down to the fact that "AA"-ending registrations aren't available and they have to locate free registration blocks. (Probably the (last) three figures are consecutive.)
Justplanesmart From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 726 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 982 times:
If you do the math, a fleet number that is just 3 numerals allows for only one hundred aircraft with the first digit pre-determined-e. g. "5" for the 757, "3" for the 737, etc. However, allowing the second and third digit to be letters instead increases this significantly. American has avoided using "I", "O", "Q", and "Z", presumably to avoid being confused with numbers "1", "0", and "2". But this still allows 22*22 = 484 possibilities. As the airline might very well have more that 100 of certain types, this allows them all to be under the same numbering system. It has also allowed the former TWA MD-80 and 757 fleets to be put under the same system, starting with "4TA" and "5TA" respectively.