eastern023
Posts: 631
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:54 am

Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:09 am

How does this work?. Are they by country. How are they assigned. What letters and number combos belong to what country. Confused.
AA will Rise Again!
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:20 am

Yes, it is by country. It is also subject to various treaties which are maintained by the ICAO.

In the United States, the registration prefix is "N". This letter signifies an aircraft registered in the united states. The rules after that are:

1) It must have at least one number
2) It can end in one or two letters
3) The total registration, after the "N", can have up to five characters

So, for example N1KE , N1, N6692S, N62407, N734KU are all valid registrations. N12BRE would NOT be valid.

You can request a "custom" tail number from the FAA for $15-it is often more expensive to paint the tail number on the aircraft than to get a requested regestration [which, by the way, is required by law as soon as the FAA approves the registration]

If, for example, you are an aircraft manufacturer, or a homebuilder, and you don't care what your tail number is, when you apply for aircraft registration, you can request an "in sequence" number, which will be automatically issued by the FAA (these are usually full-length tail numbers, being all numeric or ending with one letter at the end).

That's my area of expertise I'm sure other people will chime in on this subject...

EDIT: D'oh! Spelling mistake...

[Edited 2006-08-24 20:26:39]
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
OV735
Posts: 832
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2004 8:49 am

RE: Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:22 am

Most common registrations are the ones in a form of:
XX-YYY where XX marks the country and YYY the particular aircraft.

Some countries operate a different rego system:
X-YYYY, where X is again (a single-letter) the country code, and YYYY defines the particular aircraft.

Russia, and most of the CIS republics, operate this kind of rego system:
XX-65783, where XX is the country code, the first two digits (65 in this case) indicate the aircraft type and the last trhee digits say the aircraft ID.

The US, for some reason, operates a completely different system:
N123AA, where N means it's an American aircraft, 123 means god knows what, and AA means god knows what else. Big grin  duck 

Hope this helps.
OV735
 
Amazonphil
Posts: 544
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 12:37 pm

RE: Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:22 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 1):
2) It can end in one or two letters

And, it can end in all numbers.
If it ain't Boeing, I ain't goeing!
 
Brick
Posts: 1488
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 1999 11:08 am

RE: Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:50 am

N numbers (United States) and JA numbers (Japan) do not use a dash (-). For example, you'll never see N-101AA. HL numbers (I forget which country it is assigned to) have no dash as well.

Pretty much all other registrations use their country code followed by a dash. For example, I-DUPO, B-HOA, and etc...
A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man...
 
Dalmd88
Posts: 2412
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 3:19 am

RE: Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:57 am

Quoting OV735 (Reply 2):

The US, for some reason, operates a completely different system:
N123AA, where N means it's an American aircraft, 123 means god knows what, and AA means god knows what else.

In the eyes of the FAA the numbers and letters don't mean anything. To the operator they may ID the owner and maybe a series of aircraft.
 
mpdpilot
Posts: 695
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:44 am

RE: Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:57 am

Quoting OV735 (Reply 2):
The US, for some reason, operates a completely different system:
N123AA, where N means it's an American aircraft, 123 means god knows what, and AA means god knows what else.

in this case the AA means that it is probably an American Airlines aircraft, some airlines have their ship numbers match the numbers on the registration but this is not necessary. for most airplanes the registration means nothing but for airlines they typically have some meaning.
One mile of highway gets you one mile, one mile of runway gets you anywhere.
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:07 am

Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 5):
In the eyes of the FAA the numbers and letters don't mean anything.

When the tower tells you to call them after taxiing in, or the local Flight Standards District Office sends you certified mail saying that Farmer Brown saw your tail number flying dangerously low over his property, and that you have 96 hours to respond, with a report, to your FSDO, you better believe that the N number means something!

EDIT: Also, for most private operators, ATC tracks the flight based on the tail number, so, for example, A Cessna 172 with the tail number N2809Q would be "Cessna two eight zero niner Quebec" when operating "in the system."

[Edited 2006-08-24 22:35:44]
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
OB1504
Posts: 3018
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 5:10 am

RE: Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:25 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 1):

So, for example N1KE , N1, N6692S, N62407, N734KU are all valid registrations.

Actually, you'll never see registration numbers N1-N99 on a privately-owned aircraft, since these registrations are reserved exclusively for the FAA.
 
RayPettit
Posts: 602
Joined: Sun May 26, 2002 9:04 pm

RE: Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:30 am

Here is a useful link for starters

http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/history/q0257.shtml

From memory, in the very early days single letter prefixes were used, but then they soon run out! A number of countries have changed prefixes over the years.

Many countries have their own sub-systems. For example Germany, (D-) take note of weight for the second letter, so all airliners above a certain size are D-Axxx.

France (F-) have used F-A, F-B, F-G, and currently F-H for mainstream allocation, with F-W for trials, F-O for overseas based etc.

The UK (G-) started as G-Exxx but was replaced very early on by G-Axxx until that series ran out and followed on with G-B and now G-C. These were always allocated in strict sequence (G-ARTX, G-ARTY etc.) Until the 1970's it was very rare to see an out of sequence registration and those issued were generally marks that would have been allocated not too far ahead. But now, customised registrations are pretty standard.

Smaller UK colonies used registrations in the VP-, VQ- and VR- series, but the third letter was used for each colony. VR-B used to be Bermuda, and VR-C the Cayman Islands.

Here's a list of historical ones

http://www.airlinecodes.co.uk/regprefixhis.asp

Ray
 
Amazonphil
Posts: 544
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 12:37 pm

RE: Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:43 am

For Brazil in the past the PP, PR letters were usually reserved for airlines or commercial operators while PT numbers were for General Aviation. This may have changed in recent years. Our C-185s along the Amazon River area where we live are PT-DNY and PT-CJG.

amazonphil
If it ain't Boeing, I ain't goeing!
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:08 am

Mexico uses the following registration system (as I recall):

XA- letter  letter  letter : Airliner
XB- letter  letter  letter : Commercial operator
XC- letter  letter  letter : General Aviation
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
northstardc4m
Posts: 2724
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 11:23 am

RE: Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:26 am

and just before someone else does:

Canada uses C-Fxxx (pka CF-xxx) and C-Gxxx for Certified Aircraft, C-Ixxx and C-Jxxx for ultralights, home builds and other hobby aircraft, C-Hxxx for Hovercraft. C-Kxxx is supposedly to be used by Airships, but i dont think it has ever been used. Balloons are supposedly being moved to a new series soon as well, C-Lxxx?

And we also have the interesting "non-conforming" countries:

Cuba= CU-Tnnnn for "civil" aircraft.
Venezuela= YV-nn(n)-A/B/C
China has a real mix: B-xxx for HKG and Macau, B-nnnn for mainland, B-nnnnn for Taiwan which used to use B-nnn... ok my head hurts.
most of the CIS nations use something like (Using Kazakhstan as an example) UN-nnnnn for russian types and UN-xxx for newer western types... Why they dont just use one or the other? Probably to let airlines save money on painting out the old soviet/aeroflot regs (CCCP-nnnnn).
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11515
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:33 am

Quoting Brick (Reply 4):
HL numbers (I forget which country it is assigned to) have no dash as well.

HL is South Korea

Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 6):
in this case the AA means that it is probably an American Airlines aircraft,

You have to be a little careful with this, as a lot of N6XXUS birds are NW 747s, and N501US through N549US are NW 752s.

I also don't think the existence or lack of a dash matters; it's just a style thing. For example, Chilean aircraft are registered CC-XXX, but you won't find any Canadian aircraft registered C-CXXX.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Amazonphil
Posts: 544
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 12:37 pm

RE: Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:51 am

Colombia and Ecuador could get confusing if you weren't paying attention

Colombia--HK-XXXX

Ecuador--HC-XXXX
If it ain't Boeing, I ain't goeing!
 
AC320tech
Posts: 193
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:32 am

RE: Aircraft Registration

Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:57 am

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 12):
Canada uses C-Fxxx (pka CF-xxx) and C-Gxxx for Certified Aircraft

A friend of mine works in Transport Canada and we ran out of C-F--- combos, its now C-G--- combos.