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Why Numbers Not Names For Aircraft?  
User currently offlinejumbojim747 From Australia, joined Oct 2004, 2464 posts, RR: 44
Posted (1 year 11 months 15 hours ago) and read 4206 times:

Why do aircraft manufacturers use numbers instead of names for aircraft.?


On a wing and a prayer
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 13 hours ago) and read 4179 times:

Easier to keep track of? Easier to compare? Tradition? Dunno...


The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlinejumbojim747 From Australia, joined Oct 2004, 2464 posts, RR: 44
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 13 hours ago) and read 4165 times:

I think its more like you say traditional.
Because they can use numbers for variants and still give an aircraft a name but choose not too
I think Boeing adding dreamliner to to the title of the 787 was a fresh start

[Edited 2012-10-25 00:47:49]


On a wing and a prayer
User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 12 hours ago) and read 4138 times:

Numbering would be easier to keep track of and easier than trying to think up names that would catch on and sell. But that hasn't prevented aircraft being given names in the past.

Think of DHC Twin Otter, Buffalo and Caribou; all the various Pipers; Embraer Brasilia, Lineage and Legacy; Lockheed's Constellation, Super Constellation and Tristar; Vickers Viscount; and perhaps the most memorable to many, Aérospatiale-BAC's Concorde.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31001 posts, RR: 86
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 2 hours ago) and read 3954 times:
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Quoting jumbojim747 (Reply 2):
I think Boeing adding dreamliner to to the title of the 787 was a fresh start...

The name Intercontinental was used with the 707-320 before it was added to the 747-8 and the 777-200LR is also known as the Worldliner.

[Edited 2012-10-25 11:38:50]

User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2438 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months ago) and read 3907 times:

The official model designations used on type certificates are typically numbers. Numbers have a connotation of the general airplane characteristics and work well with engineering drawings and documentation of design data. For Cessna 100 series is for single engine pistons, 200 series for higher performance singles; 300 series for light twins, 400 series for twin turboprops; 500 series for small jets; 600 series for mid-size jets; and 700 series for the bigger jets. Business aircraft manufacturers, however, tend to use Marketing names rather than the official model numbers, compared to most airline manufacturers. The Citation Mustang is more well known than the Model 510, for instance.


Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25338 posts, RR: 22
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3861 times:

Quoting CitationJet (Reply 5):
. For Cessna 100 series is for single engine pistons, 200 series for higher performance singles; 300 series for light twins, 400 series for twin turboprops; 500 series for small jets; 600 series for mid-size jets; and 700 series for the bigger jets.

Roughly 2,000 Cessna 401s and 402s were piston-powered.


User currently offlinefreeze3192 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 164 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3792 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 6):

As well as 404's, 414's, 421s, etc. The only two turboprops of the 400 series (excluding the French made model under license from Cessna) were the 425 and 441. Everything else was/is piston powered.



"A passenger bets his life that his pilot is a worthy heir to an ancient tradition of excellence and professionalism."
User currently onlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6451 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3610 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 4):
The name Intercontinental was used with the 707-320 before it was added to the 747-8

The 707 was from the beginning named Stratoliner.

A lot of airliners got names. In addition to those already mentioned: Comet, Caravelle, Coronado (CV-990). When going back in time: DC-3 Skysleaper, DC-4 Skymaster, CV-440 Metropolitan, Fokker Friendship, Bristol Britannia, Boeing Stratocruiser.

But as the thread starter observed, names seem to some extent to have gone out of fashion for western airliners, adopting the Russian style "numbers only". But then we can at least enjoy the first properly named Russian Superjet.

DC-3 Skysleaper??? Yes, that's right. The DC-3 began as a modified DC-2 with a widened cabin. Instead of 1x1 seating it was made for beds on both sides of the aisle. For overnight US transcon flights with a few fuel stops en route. Incidentally that widened fuselage would also fit 1x2 seating.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17040 posts, RR: 66
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3586 times:

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 8):
DC-3 Skysleaper??? Yes, that's right. T

Well. Skysleeper.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4524 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3543 times:

I don't think Americans like names for Aircraft, historically when a certain type has a name and a model number associated with it they will use the number.


For example, the L1011 Tristar, anywhere else in the world it was most often referred to as the Tristar, but not in the US.


The B747 is widely known as the Jumbo, but not in the US.


The same with Military Aircraft, known as the F4 in the US, elsewhere it's commonly referred to as the Phantom.


Many more examples out there.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3508 times:

A number is easier to record on a document than a number......imagine numbering aircraft spares by names.......but then theres always a name tag that sticks.....


Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinejumbojim747 From Australia, joined Oct 2004, 2464 posts, RR: 44
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3505 times:

Hey thanks to all who replied i did know many of the names given to aircraft but they where given after the number name.
I understand that its easier to use numbers then names.
Mel
Just a quick point In australia Toyota uses the chassis number to identify the part that is needed for a particular model i know so becouse every time i try to order a part for my car they ask me for the vin number.
There is a lot more variants in cars then in planes would it be easier to use the cn number for aircraft
Cheers



On a wing and a prayer
User currently offlinezkojq From New Zealand, joined Sep 2011, 1223 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3465 times:

The big reason will be that numbers are great for relating products to one and other, as to where they sit in a model line-up. An example would be when comparing a 737-700 to a 737-800. If one knew nothing about planes, one could/would assume that the 737-800 is either newer model or a larger model than the 737-700 because -800 is larger than -700. Obviously though, this doesn't always hold true.


Brand prestige probably also has something to do with it.
Consider how 'premium' brands such as Audi and BMW give their products model-numbers such as A4, A6, A8 and 3-Series, 5-Series etc
Meanwhile brands of lesser value such as Fiat and Seat give their products names such as Panda, Punto and Leon, Alhambra etc

Personally, I think names generally sound cheaper and less professional than numbers.



Air New Zealand; first to fly the Boeing 787-9. ZK-NZE, NZ103 AKL-SYD, 2014/08/09. I was 83rd to board.
User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2438 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3461 times:

Quoting zkojq (Reply 13):
Personally, I think names generally sound cheaper and less professional than numbers.

I somewhat agree. However the most premium commercial airliner, Concorde was an exception, the manufacturer never gave it a numerical model designation. In fact, the FAA TCDS A45EU lists the aircraft model as "Concorde Type 1".



Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlinehorstroad From Germany, joined Apr 2010, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3458 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 10):
I don't think Americans like names for Aircraft, historically when a certain type has a name and a model number associated with it they will use the number.

I have to disagree... there is a name for most north american aircraft (either official designations, nicknames or both) ... super conny, flying fortress, stratofortress, stratoliner, lancer, spirit, stratocruiser, jumbo, bobby, worldliner, dreamliner, stratotanker, galaxy, globemaster, hercules...

try to find names for airbus aircraft... well there is the Beluga and the adopted name super-jumbo for the A380 (which isn't really inventive)... but what would someone call an A340, A330 or A320

I think americans really like to name their aircraft and I was always wondering why boeing uses such terms as worldliner or dreamliner for marketing but airbus doesn't, not even for the A380...


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4524 posts, RR: 18
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3380 times:

Quoting horstroad (Reply 15):

I have to disagree... there is a name for most north american aircraft (either official designations, nicknames or both) ... super conny, flying fortress, stratofortress, stratoliner, lancer, spirit, stratocruiser, jumbo, bobby, worldliner, dreamliner, stratotanker, galaxy, globemaster, hercules...

When was the last time you heard anyone actually use those names ?


My point is, a manufacturer may give a name to an Aircraft in the US but no one over here uses it.


By the way, what's a 'bobby ?! '



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3366 times:

Quoting horstroad (Reply 15):

Max is right. Broadly speaking, the Americans and Germans have rarely used names as principal designations for their aircraft (DC-2, P-51, 727, D.VII, Ju 52) while it was common for the French and especially the British (Caravelle, Mirage, Spitfire, Comet). The Airbus practice must be the result of German influence   No, I think numbers are simply considered more modern.

The American commercial aircraft names such as DC-8 Domestic (ever heard that one?) are often supplementary and temporary marketing gimmicks, think of the ridiculous array of names for the Piper PA-28 series.

Peter 


[Edited 2012-10-27 15:26:03]


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3259 times:

Quoting jumbojim747 (Reply 12):
There is a lot more variants in cars then in planes would it be easier to use the cn number for aircraft

True....happens out here too....But then again its a number Not a name.
In Aviation The IPC reffered to is based on the particular Aircraft Either s/n or c/n number & each item is reffered to a particular number.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineAmericanAirFan From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 408 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3188 times:

There are actually a fair amount of names. There are names and then there are nicknames. You have to be careful to not confuse the two. The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner in fact has the name "Dreamliner". The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental incidentally is named "Intercontinental." The Convair 990 was called the Coronado. The Airbus A400M is called the Grizzly. Things such as "Jumbo jet," "mad dog," and "super 90" however are not official names.

At the same time a lot of modern commercial airliners do not have names, but if they're military they have a different number and almost always have a name. Such as the DC-9 being the C-9 Nightengale. Or the Eurocopter EC-145 has a military number and name the Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota. If you want to look to see if an aircraft has an official name go look at Wikipedia. They do a great job of documenting a lot of this information.

I do a lot of Aircraft Recognition in practice for the Aircraft Recognition event that NIFA (National Intercollegiate Flight Association) hosts so it is important that we know aircraft names or lack thereof for both military, and civilian models.



"American 1881 Cleared For Takeoff One Seven Left"
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25338 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3142 times:

Quoting AmericanAirFan (Reply 19):
The Convair 990 was called the Coronado.

If memory correct, "Coronado" was first used as an unofficial marketing name by Swissair for their 990 fleet. I can't recall AA, the largest 990 customer, ever using the Coronado name for their 990s.


User currently offlinezkojq From New Zealand, joined Sep 2011, 1223 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3114 times:

Quoting AmericanAirFan (Reply 19):
The Airbus A400M is called the Grizzly.

Actually they renamed it 'Atlas' back in July for some reason. Personally, I think Grizzly sounds much better.
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...riat-a400m-reborn-as-atlas-373861/

Quoting CitationJet (Reply 14):
In fact, the FAA TCDS A45EU lists the aircraft model as "Concorde Type 1"

Didn't know that. Thanks.  



Air New Zealand; first to fly the Boeing 787-9. ZK-NZE, NZ103 AKL-SYD, 2014/08/09. I was 83rd to board.
User currently offlinehorstroad From Germany, joined Apr 2010, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3014 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 16):
My point is, a manufacturer may give a name to an Aircraft in the US

that´s my point, too...

Quoting Max Q (Reply 16):

By the way, what's a 'bobby ?! '

737


User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4002 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2972 times:
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Because people can't spell!

Quoting horstroad (Reply 15):
what would someone call an A340, A330 or A320

The flying hairdryer, the 767 killer and the lcc flier



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offline3MilesToWRO From Poland, joined Mar 2006, 280 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 2943 times:

Quoting zkojq (Reply 21):
Actually they renamed it 'Atlas' back in July for some reason. Personally, I think Grizzly sounds much better.

But what's a grizzly doing in Europe? Atlas has a meaning related to heavy lifting and sounds really good. Was even "Grizzly" a real name of the type? I thought it's one of those ridiculous names NATO gives to aircrafts (like Flanker, Fagot or Foxbat).


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 79
Reply 25, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 2994 times:

Quoting 3MilesToWRO (Reply 24):
Was even "Grizzly" a real name of the type?

Yes. I was at Farnborough one year with the A400M parked right in front of us...it had Grizzly badges and symbology all over the place.
Quoting 3MilesToWRO (Reply 24):
But what's a grizzly doing in Europe?

Well, it's a big bear of an airplane, and I think everyone knows what a grizzly is even if they don't have them locally. Nobody complained about the DeHavillant Cariboo or Beaver (that I know about) despite those animals being confined to a pretty small part of the globe.


User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2556 posts, RR: 24
Reply 26, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2990 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 25):
Yes. I was at Farnborough one year with the A400M parked right in front of us...it had Grizzly badges and symbology all over the place.

Grizzly was only ever a nickname, but maybe Airbus thought it would stick. The RAF made it clear though that they would not accept that name. Atlas is a bit more appropriate to a transport and alliterative as well.

Quoting 3MilesToWRO (Reply 24):
I thought it's one of those ridiculous names NATO gives to aircrafts (like Flanker, Fagot or Foxbat).

NATO doesn't give those names to NATO aircraft. They are just codenames, simple mnemonics to replace the real numeric designations.



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17040 posts, RR: 66
Reply 27, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2972 times:

Quoting 3MilesToWRO (Reply 24):
I thought it's one of those ridiculous names NATO gives to aircrafts (like Flanker, Fagot or Foxbat).

The reason they are "ridiculous" is that they have to follow a strict system. Fighters start with F and jet powered aircraft have two syllables (props have one). There are only so many two syllable words that make any kind of sense. The code names only apply to potential adversary aircraft.

Bombers start with B (Bear, Backfire), helicopters with H (Hind) and so forth. The one/two syllable rule applies throughout.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 28, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2952 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 27):
The reason they are "ridiculous" is that they have to follow a strict system.

They did have to be a bit silly.

If I recall correctly the MiG-15 was originally 'Falcon', but that was deemed 'too laudable'.



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently onlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6451 posts, RR: 54
Reply 29, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2944 times:

Quoting 3MilesToWRO (Reply 24):
...those ridiculous names NATO gives to aircrafts (like Flanker, Fagot or Foxbat).

Those "names" are called "NATO Reporting Names". They are given not just to aircrafts, but practically every bit of potentially adversary piece of hardware, missiles, ships, submarines etc. They all begin with a letter which indicates the type of weapon, for instance we all know the Scud missile from the Gulf War One, S = ground to ground missiles.

NATO Reporting Names are designed to be easy not to confuse even on a noisy communication link, also by NATO staff who are less than 100% familiar with the English language, Italians, Turks, Danes, Scotsmen   etc.

Therefore, for instance if the MiG-15 had been named Falcon, then there would never have been a Fagot, too easy to confuse. And very likely the MiG-15 was indeed ultimately named Fagot because the two vocals in Falcon and Fagot are identical in the same sequence. There is no other Russian fighter plane with A and O in that sequence, but there is a Foxbat (MiG-25).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_reporting_name



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8841 posts, RR: 24
Reply 30, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2927 times:

Quoting zkojq (Reply 13):
Personally, I think names generally sound cheaper and less professional than numbers.

Blah. The British had a knack for coming up with good names. Stratoliner or Sonic Cruiser sounds simply pretentious. The Brits bought the P-51 and named it the Mustang. The Comet, Trident, Britannia, Vanguard, Viscount, etc.



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