broke
Posts: 1299
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:04 pm

Unusual Military Designations

Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:52 am

There are some aircraft designations that are interesting, confusing, or funny.
Here are my first two choices;
U-2 - Seeing that the U-1 was the DeHavilland of Canada DHC-3 Otter and the U-3 was the Cessna 310. The U-2 was definitely a red herring of a designation.
USMC C-119's - The Marines flew the C-119 in the 1950's and under the old Naval designation system, it was a R4Q. Honest!!  Smile
R - For a Transport, Q for Fairchild, the 4 meant it was the fourth transport Fairchild has built for the Navy/Marines/Coast Guard.
And, of course, the improved version was the R4Q-2.
Can anyone else come up with some interesting military designations?
 
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ptrjong
Posts: 4088
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:38 am

RE: Unusual Military Designations

Thu Oct 12, 2006 5:10 am

The U-2's designation was confusing on purpose, to conceal its mission.

Quoting Broke (Thread starter):
USMC C-119's - The Marines flew the C-119 in the 1950's and under the old Naval designation system, it was a R4Q. Honest!!

How's that strange? The USN's designation system wasn't abolished until September 18, 1962, and before that all Marines aircraft had Navy designations.

Peter
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
aeroweanie
Posts: 1577
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:33 pm

RE: Unusual Military Designations

Thu Oct 12, 2006 5:34 am

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 1):
How's that strange?

Say the designation a couple of times out loud and you'll get it (or someone will slap you).

To me, the strangest is the X-35/F-35. It wasn't an experimental aircraft, it was a test and evaluation aircraft. It should have been the YF-24 and then the F-24. Or, if the following resume is correct, it might have been correctly the YF-25 and F-25: http://www.edwards.af.mil/units/bio/lanni-bio.html (Look at "Flight Information")
 
grandtheftaero
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 1:05 pm

RE: Unusual Military Designations

Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:07 am

Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 2):
To me, the strangest is the X-35/F-35

The two JSF demonstrators trace their lineage to DARPA birds that had many names (CALF, MRF, ASTOVL, JAST). The X-32 designator was to be given to the plane that would have been built had funding been allocated. When Congress decided to combine the many programs into the Joint Strike Fighter, the X-32 demonstrator became part of the JSF Program and the designation was given to the Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) jet. The X-35 designation was given to the LockMart jet.

Here is a look at the X-32 when it was still called CALF/JAST/ASTOVL http://ails.arc.nasa.gov/Images/Aeronautics/AC95-0019-8.html

To me it looks like an unholy union of the X-32 and X-35. I wonder if that's actually the case since the caption says it was a cooperation between MDD and LM.

Here's a history of the whole affair. To me it's one of the more interesting histories in the aerospace engineering world. http://www.jsf.mil/history/his_prejast.htm

BTW, you are right to speculate F-24 as the actual designation. At a media conference the General in charge of the JSF program blurted out F-35 and the name stuck.

If someone is more intimately connected with this program please feel free to correct me on anything I've written.

--Shane
 
ghostbase
Posts: 343
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 4:49 pm

RE: Unusual Military Designations

Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:49 am

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 1):
How's that strange? The USN's designation system wasn't abolished until September 18, 1962, and before that all Marines aircraft had Navy designations.

This is quite true however some of the USN helicopter designations do roll off the tongue in a rather different manner to the USAF ones. My favourites include the Kaman HOK-1 (the USAF H-43A Huskie) and the Vertol (Piasecki) HUP-2 Retriever. The Bell HTL-2 was a Bell 47D with twin floats. And how about a Sikorski HR2S-1W? (A radar-picket cousin of the Army's H-37 Mojave). Perhaps it depends which designation system you were first familiar with...

 ghost 
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