scalebuilder
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Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:30 am

This may have been discussed before, but does anyone have information or detail knowledge of how airlines go about naming their aircraft? Is there a system in place or is it just random? I know KLM name theirs after famous and influential individuals with great historical significance. SAS seems to go for the great Vikings. In the US it seems uncommon to give aircraft names at all (with the exception of good old Pan Am).

Also, aircraft are mostly named after dead people. Should an aircraft be named after a person, can anyone recall an airliner being named after someone still living?
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yowza
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:36 am

Quoting Scalebuilder (Thread starter):
I know KLM name theirs after famous and influential individuals with great historical significance.

As well as landmarks. "Golden Gate Bridge" and "Mexico City" come to mind.

YOWza
 
scalebuilder
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:52 am

I have seen aircraft from IB being named after geographic places within Spain. Can't seem to figure out how BA decides on how to name theirs. Names they have though.
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vv701
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:56 am

Quoting Scalebuilder (Thread starter):
Should an aircraft be named after a person, can anyone recall an airliner being named after someone still living?

UA name some of their aircraft (usually temporarilly) after both current employees and customers. Hence:
744 N105UA is 'Rosa Santana Employee' and N180UA is 'Edwin D Fuller Customer'. I believe that currently just over thirty aircraft are named in this way although one, 320 N415UA is simply named 'Ronald A Schy' with no indication as to whether he is a customer oir employee.
 
4xRuv
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:00 am

LY names it's aircraft after Israeli cities or areas.
The bigger the city is, the bigger aircraft it gets...
 
scalebuilder
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:09 am

Quoting 4xRuv (Reply 4):
LY names it's aircraft after Israeli cities or areas.
The bigger the city is, the bigger aircraft it gets...

Makes a lot of sense to me  Wink .
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ANITIX87
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:11 am

Olympic Airways/Airlines names their planes after Greek Gods, Islands, and maybe cities as well.

LX names theirs after mountain peaks. The A340's and A330's get the highest mountains to their names, and so on down the pecking order.

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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:15 am

UA used to name their 737's "City of ___________".

N9005U was named "City Of Lincoln".

N9006U was named "City Of Bakersfield".

Don't know when they stopped.

TWA's Constellations were named "Star Of _________".
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scalebuilder
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:16 am

Quoting VV701 (Reply 3):
UA name some of their aircraft (usually temporarilly) after both current employees and customers.

Just curious, but need to ask: Any idea of how UA came up with that particular employee or customer? It must be quite an honor to have your name attached to an aircraft - even though just temporarily.
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Dougloid
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:19 am

You oughtta hear what I used to call some of the airplanes I worked on. Why, it ain't fitten for polite company LOL.
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ptrjong
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:00 am

Names of current KLM a/c:

Fokkers: none
733/734: famous people, all old Dutch scientists and sailors?
738/739: birds. Pre-WW II KLM a/c also had bird names.
744: cities
74F: names of 17th century Dutch East India Company ships
767: bridges
777: Unesco heritage sites, except Albert Plesman who is KLM's founder
MD-11: famous women, all scientists?
A330: city squares.

So, new KLM aircraft are not named after people.
The A330 theme was decided by a competition among frequent fliers. It had to be something making people feel at home.
Names are usually chosen to reflect the 'last one' of the registration.

Peter
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
vv701
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:29 am

Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 8):
Any idea of how UA came up with that particular employee or customer? It must be quite an honor to have your name attached to an aircraft - even though just temporarily.

I guess the employees get chosen through something like an employee of the month competition. Perhaps a customer gets chosen by being the most frequent flyer. Perhaps someone working for UA knows iif this is correct?
 
scalebuilder
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:43 am

Quoting VV701 (Reply 11):
I guess the employees get chosen through something like an employee of the month competition. Perhaps a customer gets chosen by being the most frequent flyer.

This is a fantastic way to recognize both employee effort as well as customer loyalty. I wonder if either of them know that they are being recognized. Would love for a UA employee to confirm how all of this works.
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scoliodon
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:53 am

Slightly off-topic, but I didn't want to waste a thread on it..

Does anyone know of Runways being named - other than the Polderbaan at AMS ??
When I heard of it first, I was surprised a runway had been named. Just curious if there are any more in the world? like a MLK or LBJ Airway or something  Smile
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yowza
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:23 pm

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 10):
all scientists?

not all
Ingrid Bergman and Mother Theresa come to mind.

YOWza
 
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ptrjong
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:16 pm

Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 12):
This is a fantastic way to recognize both employee effort as well as customer loyalty

I disagree, the pax especially make for horrible names. Imagine the Titanic having been named Passenger John Smith.  biggrin 

YOWza, you're right about the MD-11 ladies of course.
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dc10bhx
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:44 pm

I am surprised that no-one has thought to mention the VS 747 which was named after Sir Freddie Laker. (Spirit of Sir Freddie I think). Obviously this was when the man himself was still around. Sad to think that this pioneer of cheaper air travel is no longer with us.

On a different matter I believe that UA use a random draw for naming their Airframes. For customers it is frequent flyers and for Employees it is staff who are nominated for exceptional service.

IIRC BCal used to name their airframes after mountains and lakes in Scotland.
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YukonTrader
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:40 pm

Hi Scoliodon,

Quoting Scoliodon (Reply 13):
Slightly off-topic, but I didn't want to waste a thread on it..

Does anyone know of Runways being named - other than the Polderbaan at AMS ??
When I heard of it first, I was surprised a runway had been named. Just curious if there are any more in the world? like a MLK or LBJ Airway or something

I assume this is not an official name, but just a descriptive term locals and probably also airport employees have assigned to that specific runway, as it just means "the runway built on the polder". Fyi, land reclaimed from the sea and drained with a system of ditches is called polder in Dutch.

Local "names" for runways exist at other airports as well, e.g.

FRA Frankfurt: The East-West runway that faced heavy political opposition in its planning phase had unanimously been dubbed "Startbahn West" by media, officials, locals and environmentalists before the first meter of concrete was laid down. Nobody talked about "runway 16/34" during the sometimes violent decision-taking and construction phases! Since those days, the name has stuck with the runway. A propos Frankfurt: I recall that the speaker on the public observation deck kept announcing take-offs and landings on the older, parallel runway using nothing but the terms Nordbahn, and Südbahn respectively (Northern / Southern runway)

ZRH Zurich: In my hometurf, the general public has given "nicknames" to all three active runways ("Piste" in Swiss German). Even airport staff sometimes use these terms when it's not something official like radio communications with crew etc. These nicks are:
- Runway 10/28: "Westpiste" when 28 in use, "Bisenpiste" when 10 in use (Bise = Cold Northerly wind usually blowing on the few days when 10 is active)
- Runway 14/32: As 14 is used 90% of the time for landings, and just about 10% of the time 32 is used for take-offs (Sat, Sun morning), the runway is simply called "Blindlandepiste" (blind landings because this was the first ZRH runway with Cat III ILS). Some older airport workers sometimes also call it V-Piste, because it has a high-speed taxyway exiting it about 3/4 down the landing roll, angling off at a 30° angle.
- Runway 16/34: When 16 is in use, the general public has actually adopted the official term and calls it "ds Sechzehni" which means nothing else than "the 16". As a relatively new term, referring to the politically controversial procedure when 34 is in use for landings on Sat/Sun mornings, we now also start to hear the term "Südanflugpiste" (Southern approach runway) for 16/34.

I'm sure there are many more local terms for runways which you'll just hear when chatting with the locals...

Cheers, Lukas
 
britannia191a
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:15 am

British Airtours named their 737 family fleet with name of birds such as Kingfisher and rivers such as River Swale
 
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ptrjong
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:15 am

The older runways in AMS also have names. They refer to the areas under the flightpaths. These may have been invented by locals but they are quite official now.

06-24 Kaagbaan
09-27 Buitenveldertbaan, aka 'Bulderbaan' ('Roar Runway')
18L-36R Aalsmeerbaan
18C-36C Zwanenburgbaan
18R-36L Polderbaan

The Polderbaan name for the new runway was chosen in a public competition, I believe the winner was on the ceremonial first flight. The whole of AMS is in a polder, so the name does not make much sense. However, it suggests that the flightpath is all uninhabited farmland. Also, the phrase 'poldermodel' stands for something like 'progress through harmonious collaboriation, not conflict'.

Quoting YOWza (Reply 1):
can anyone recall an airliner being named after someone still living?

Transavia did. Soccer star Johan Cruyff and cycling champion Leontien van Moorsel amongst others.
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
Olympus69
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:41 am

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 15):
Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 12):
This is a fantastic way to recognize both employee effort as well as customer loyalty

I disagree, the pax especially make for horrible names. Imagine the Titanic having been named Passenger John Smith.

Probably that's why the names are only temporary - perhaps only long enough to take a photo to send to the person named.  Smile
Speaking of horrible names - how do you pronounce yours?  sarcastic 
 
scoliodon
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 3:20 am

Thanks a lot Lukas and Ptrjong...

Interesting information on the Zurich runways too..
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ptrjong
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:12 am

Quoting Olympus69 (Reply 20):
Speaking of horrible names - how do you pronounce yours?

Just Peter.
John, I chose that as just a login name for uploading and I find it awkward that I have to use it now that I joined the forums.  banghead 
If you can help me changing it for once, please!!

Quoting Olympus69 (Reply 20):
Probably that's why the names are only temporary

You shouldn't change the names of your ships.
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vunz
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:19 am

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 19):
Quoting YOWza (Reply 1):
can anyone recall an airliner being named after someone still living?

Transavia did. Soccer star Johan Cruyff and cycling champion Leontien van Moorsel amongst others.

And MP, who have named their aircraft after the Dutch royalty
 
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ptrjong
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:30 am

Quoting Vunz (Reply 23):
And MP, who have named their aircraft after the Dutch royalty

Oh yeah, Martinair's scruffy Prince So-and-so names.
But royals are often excepted in this matter. Think of the liner QE II.

Do you still like your user name by the way?
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scalebuilder
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:05 am

Quoting DC10BHX (Reply 16):
BCal used to name their airframes after mountains and lakes in Scotland.

Do you know anything about how BA goes about naming their aircraft? I have seen these named after cities, but also after what appear to be people (famous?)

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 10):
MD-11: famous women, all scientists?

This must have been a change in policy after KLM disposed of their DC-10 and acquired MD-11s. I once flew on a DC-10 with the name Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
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ptrjong
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:15 am

They simply pick a theme for each new aircraft type.
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Argonaut
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:47 am

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 24):
But royals are often excepted in this matter. Think of the liner QE II

At the risk of wandering a little off topic:
FYI, the liner Queen Elizabeth 2 was not named after the monarch. It was called after the first "Queen Elizabeth" liner. That is why an Arabic numeral 2 was used instead of the Roman numeral II (which is always used for royalty, at least in the UK). Also, in the UK it is traditionally thought to be bad luck to name a ship for a living person, especially royalty. (As a footnote, the present queen is the second Queen Elizabeth of England but only the first one of Scotland; and since the ship was built in Scotland, it would have been highly undiplomatic to use the English title anyway.)

Personally, I wish more airlines named their aircraft. Part of the reason many don't, I suppose, it that some fleets are simply so large that no-one can be bothered trying to think up new names. A brilliant exception is JetBlue, whose aircraft are very wittily named on a "blue" theme...e.g. I recently flew on an A320 named "Deja Blue". Now, that's clever...

Does anyone know if there's a list anywhere of the JetBlue names?
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LTU932
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:20 am

Quoting Vunz (Reply 23):
And MP, who have named their aircraft after the Dutch royalty

Not all aircraft have such names. For example, the MD-11s don't have names except for PH-MCU, the one with the flower scheme, which was named after Princess Máxima. However, I've yet to see one MP aircraft with the name of Prince Willem.

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 24):
Oh yeah, Martinair's scruffy Prince So-and-so names.

One 767 with MP doesn't have the name of a Prince, but rather the name of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix.  Wink

I wonder why this hasn't been mentioned: Lufthansa names their aircraft after German Towns and Cities. However, there have been exceptions on at least three aircraft. At least two LH Cargo 742Fs were named differently from the rest. One was named "Afrika" and the other "Shanghai". And there is also the famous A343 D-AIFC, which was named Gander/Halifax, in honour of those two cities which took them in when US airspace was closed on 9/11. Though I wonder, why won't LH change this policy completely and start name aircraft after people who contributed to our country, similar to what the Air Force has done with some aircraft. I'd love to see one named after Konrad Adenauer, Theodor Heuss and other VIPs (it may also be people who are not from Germany and who contributed to our country in a positive way).
 
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yowza
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:31 am

What ever happend to that eBay acution for the naming right to a Virgin Atlantic 340?

YOWza
 
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ptrjong
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:58 am

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 28):
However, I've yet to see one MP aircraft with the name of Prince Willem.


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Photo © Peter de Jong



Well, this one is named after him. This is the crown prince's title.

Quoting Argonaut (Reply 27):
Personally, I wish more airlines named their aircraft. Part of the reason many don't, I suppose, it that some fleets are simply so large that no-one can be bothered trying to think up new names.

Well, there must be hundreds of small German towns that do not yet have a Lufthansa aircraft named after them, so it need not be difficult. I think the real reason is that many names could invoke unforseen negative associations one day - imagine an aircraft named City of Lockerbie - and many airlines simply don't want to bother with that.
However, I think that nice names like the city squares on the KLM A330s really can help an airline's image a little bit.
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
vv701
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:11 am

Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 25):
Do you know anything about how BA goes about naming their aircraft? I have seen these named after cities, but also after what appear to be people (famous?)

With aircraft in their Landor (old) colour scheme British Airways used the following names:

BAC 1-11 - British Counties - e.g. G-AVML 'County of Surrey'

BAC ATP - Scottish Vallies - e.g. G-BTPW 'Strathbrora'

Boeing 737 - British Rivers - e.g. G-BGDG 'River Medway'. (But after some 732s were based at Manchester they were renamed after geographgical features in NW England - e.g. G-BGDG 'Trough of Bowland'. Those based at BHX were named after Shakespearian characters e.g. G-BKYA 'Ariel'.)

Boeing 747 - British Cities - e.g. G-AWNC 'City of Belfast' (but many of the names on the 741s were reused on 744s and the 741s renamed after British Lakes - e.g. G-AWNC 'Lake Windemere'.

Boeing 757 - British Castles - e.g. G-BIKA 'Dover Castle'

Boeing 767 - European Cities - e.g. G-BNLA 'City of Rome'

Boeing 777 - British Aviation Pioneers - e.g. G-ZZZA 'Sir Frank Whittle'

With the demise of the Landor livery and the launch of the 'Utopia' tails BA used the names of the art work used on the tails as the aircraft name. Hence all those aircraft carrying the Swedish design were named 'Blomsterang' on the left nose and its Engliush translation 'Flower Field' on the right nose.

When the current Union Flag livery was universally adopted the first subsonic aircraft, like all the Concorde Fleet, had no name. The second was named 'Union Flag' and the third 'Chatham Historic Dockyard'. Then for more than a year all aircraft painted in these colours were named 'Chatham Historic Dockyard' until the 'United Kingdom' titles on the upper rear fuselage were dropped. Then the name 'United Kingdom was substituted for 'Chatham Historic Dockyard' on the nose.

Eventually 'United Kingdom' was dropped. No names were used except for the launch of new services to the USA. When Club Class lay-flat beds were introduced to the LHR-JFK service the first converted 744 carried the name 'City of New York' for around a year. The launch of 777 services resulted in two aircraft briefly being named 'City of Chicago' and one 'City of Phoenix' while a fourth was named 'City of San Diego'.

Today I believe that the only BA aircraft carrying a nose name are a couple of A320s that have 'Official Airline England Football Team' titles and the English Football Association badge on their upper rear fuselage. Both carry the name 'Three Lions' on their nose - a reference to the badge design.
 
scalebuilder
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:19 am

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 28):
And there is also the famous A343 D-AIFC, which was named Gander/Halifax, in honour of those two cities which took them in when US airspace was closed on 9/11.

That was just one incredible and honorable act. I admire companies that just don't make history soon to be forgotten, but take it upon themselves to make their history a living history that will continue to live on to remind the public of what once happened.
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bohica
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:13 pm

I remember an unofficial naming of a UA A320. After bankruptcy, UA cancelled all retirement parties. A group of mechanics decided to hold their own party in a hangar for a retiring mechanic. An A320 was sitting in the hangar and they put the mechanics name on the nose of the plane and under his name it said "Retired". The plane flew for a short period of time before UA had it removed.
 
scalebuilder
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:24 pm

VV701:

Thanks for a comprehensive and informative post.

I have flown with BA quite a bit over the past years. Always seem to remember that every aircraft was named. But if that tradition ceased at one time, I hope BA will reinvent it. Surely it does not necessarily add anything to the travel experience, but it is kind of neat to remember the name of the aircraft that you once flew on. Sometimes we meet again.....
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SafetyDude
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:34 pm

Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 12):
This is a fantastic way to recognize both employee effort as well as customer loyalty. I wonder if either of them know that they are being recognized. Would love for a UA employee to confirm how all of this works.

I know of a UA customer who was merely informed that UA was going to name a plane after him. He was rather confused yet intrigued about it. I haven't gotten an update yet.

Quoting VV701 (Reply 31):
Today I believe that the only BA aircraft carrying a nose name are a couple of A320s that have 'Official Airline England Football Team' titles and the English Football Association badge on their upper rear fuselage.

There is (was?) a 777 with that title.

-Will

[Edited 2006-03-01 04:34:31]
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
scalebuilder
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:41 pm

Quoting SafetyDude (Reply 35):
I haven't gotten an update yet.

Please share if you can when you do find out. I would be really interested in finding out "why me?".
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TK787
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:50 pm

TK A310's are named after Turkish rivers:
Aras, Coruh, Ergene, Aksu, Goksu

Except for the Cargo one: Samsun
and the one that came from KTHY: Lefkosa
 
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LTU932
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:02 pm

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 30):
Well, this one is named after him. This is the crown prince's title.

Thanks! I stand corrected. I completely forgot that Prins van Oranje was his official title, hence the confusion on my side.
 
aseem
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:06 pm

How can anybody forget AI in this discussion. They've named each and every aircraft they've ever had, even those on lease.

B747 after Maharajas (Kings) and now on famous places in India
B777 after Classical Symphonies
A310 after Rivers.

Here goes the complete list of their current fleet

B747-400

VT-ESM Konark
VT-ESN Tanjore
VT-ESO Khajuraho
VT-ESP Ajanta
VT-EVA Agra
VT-EVB Velha Goa
VT-EVJ Fatehpur Sikri
VT-AIC Sanchi
VT-AID Kaziranga
VT-AIE Mamallapuram
VT-AIF Ellora
VT-AIQ Elephanta


B747-400 (COMBI)
VT-AIM Sunderbans


B747-300 (COMBI)
VT-EPW Shivaji
VT-EPX Narsimha Varman


B777-200
VT-AIK Megh Malhar
VT-AIJ Neelambari
VT-AIL Kalyani
VT-AIR Hamsadhwani




A310-300
VT-EJG Yamuna
VT-EJH Tista
VT-EJI Saraswati
VT-EJJ Beas
VT-EJK Gomati
VT-EJL Sabarmati
VT-EQS Krishna
VT-EQT Narmada
VT-EVW Cauveri
VT-EVX Luni
VT-EVE Periyar
VT-EVF Mahanadi
VT-EVY Ganga
VT-AIA Tapti
VT-AIB Pennar
VT-AIG Kosi
VT-AIH Tungabhadra
VT-AIN Damodar
VT-AIO Vaigai
VT-AIP Pamba

rgds
VT-ASJ
ala re ala, VT-ALA ala
 
aseem
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RE: Naming Convention Of Aircraft

Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:09 pm

when it comes to BA, my personal favourite Big grin
G-BUSH

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cheers!!
VT-ASJ
ala re ala, VT-ALA ala