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Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:04 pm

U. S. Military Aircraft Designations

Mon Sep 22, 2003 1:16 am

Currently, the U. S. Military uses an (almost) standard designation system for their aircraft no matter what service the aircraft is flown by.
This current designation system was adopted in 1962.
Prior to that there were 3 different designation systems; one used by the Air Force (which was adopted in 1947 when the Air Force became an independent service), one by the Army (this was developed when the Army took over the procurement of its own aircraft sometime after 1947), and one used by the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard, which had been around since the 1920's.
If anyone is interested, I can supply the pre and post 1962 designations for all U. S. Military Aircraft of that period. It's a pretty big list.
I know that often people tend to get these mixed up and I thought a copy of a standard reference might be helpful.
My source is William Green's "Observer's Book of Aircraft", the 1963 edition.
I think Janes also published a similar cross reference.
Posts: 1299
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:04 pm

RE: U. S. Military Aircraft Designations

Tue Sep 23, 2003 8:36 am

A lot of people have taken a look at this topic, I hope no one is disappointed by my entry. Here's the cross-reference

Douglas AD-( ) A-1( ) Skyraider
" A3D-( ) A-3( ) Skywarrier
" A4D-( ) A-4( ) Skyhawk
North American A3J-( ) A-5( ) Vigilante
Grumman A2F-1 A-6A Intruder
Bell HU-1( ) UH-1A Huey (Came from the
original designation
Kaman HU2K-( ) UH-2( ) Sea Sprite
Sikorsky HSS-( ) SH-2( )
Bell HO-4 SA)">OH-4A
Hiller HO-5 SA)">OH-5A
Hughes HO-6 SA)">OH-6A
Bell HTL-( ) TH-13( )
" HUL-( ) UH-13( )
Sikorsky HRS-3 SA)">CH-19E
" HO4S-3 UH-19F
Vertol HUP-( ) UH-25( )
Sikorsky HSS-( ) SH-34( )
" HUS-( ) UH-34( )
" HR2S-1 SA)">CH-37C Mohave
Kaman HUK-1 UH-43C
" HOK-1 UH-43D
Vertol HRB-1 SA)">CH-46A Sea Knight
" HC-1A SA)">CH-46C
" HC-1B SA)">CH-47A Chinook
Grumman S2F-( ) S-2( ) Tracker
DeHavilland UC-1 U-1B Otter
" L-20A U-6A Beaver
Piper L-21 U-7A
Beech L-23( ) U-8( )
Aero Commander L-26( ) U-9( )
Helio L-28A U-10A Courier
Piper UO-1 U-11A Aztec
Grumman SA-16( ) HU-16( ) Albatross
" UF-( ) HU-16( )
Grumman AO-1( ) OV-1( ) Mohawk
DeHavilland AC-1( ) CV-2( ) Caribou
Cessna L-19( ) O-1( ) Bird Dog
" OE-( ) O-1( )
Lockheed P2V-( ) P-2( ) Neptune
" P3V-( ) P-3( ) Orion
Convair P4Y-2K QP-4B Privateer (Old PB4Y)
Martin P5M-( ) P-5( ) Marlin
North American FJ-( ) F-1( ) Fury
McDonnell F2H-( ) F-2( ) Banshee
" F3H-( ) F-3( ) Demon
" F4H-( ) F-4( ) Phantom II
" F-110A F-4C
Douglas F4D-1 F-6A Skyray
Chance Vought F8U-( ) F-8( ) Crusader
Grumman F9F-6 thru 9 F-9( ) Cougar
Douglas F3D-( ) F-3( ) Sky Knight
Beech SNB-( ) C-45( ) Civil Beech 18
Douglas R4D-( ) C-47( ) Civil DC-3
" R5D-( ) C-54( ) Civil DC-4
" R4D-8( ) C-117( ) Civil Super DC-3
" R6D-( ) C-118( ) Civil DC-6
Fairchild R4Q-( ) You Bet C-119( ) Flying Box Car
Lockheed R7V-1 C-121J
" WV-( ) EC-121( ) Warning Star
" GV-1U C-130F Hercules
Convair R4Y-( ) C-131( ) Civil Convairliner
Lockheed UV-1 C-140C Jetstar
Grumman TF-( ) C-1( ) Trader
Lockheed T2V-1 T-1A
North American T2J-( ) T-2( ) Buckeye
Lockheed TV-( ) T-33( ) T-Bird
North American T3J-1 T-39D Saberliner
Grumman WF-( ) E-1( ) Tracer
" W2F-1 E-2A Hawkeye

This didn't come out too hot. Sorry!!
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RE: U. S. Military Aircraft Designations

Tue Sep 23, 2003 8:35 pm

That list is a heck of a lot more in-depth than I expected. I'm rushing off to work, I'll give it a better read thru when I get home. Thanks for posting it!

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