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A/c Designations

Sun Aug 10, 2003 4:18 am

i wanted to know what certain numbers/letters in a/c designations mean. for example, i know that a 737-300 is boeing type 737, -300 model. but what do the last 2 numbers in the -300 stand for. ex...


what do the last 2 numbers/letters of those designations stand for?
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
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RE: A/c Designations

Sun Aug 10, 2003 4:52 am

For Boeing aircrafts the 2 last digits are for the customer, 33 being Air Canada, 38 Qantas etc..

For Airbus it is related for the engines builders but I wouldn't be able to tell what is what, I'm sure someone else knows.

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RE: A/c Designations

Sun Aug 10, 2003 9:36 am

is this info listed on the type cert?
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
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Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 12:40 am

RE: A/c Designations

Sun Aug 10, 2003 11:40 am

Yes & no. Boeing has a customer codes system that been in place since the original Pan Am ordered the first 707. All of Boeing customers are assigned a 2 digit code, whether its all numbers, letters or a combination of both. Since Pan Am was the first they were allotted -21, United was second so they got -22, American was third so they received -23. Another example is Southwest, who was assigned -H4. As for your question, each aircraft has it own airworthiness certificate, much like a car's registration. On that piece of paper list the tail number, serial number, line number, some important dates, other important numbers & the subtype your 737-729. Meaning that 737 series 700 was built & perhaps delivered to Sabena...the 29 being Sabena's customer code. That piece of paper stays with the aircraft thru-out its service life. Only different is that when the aircraft changes ownership, the name of the owner is replaced...much like a used car would. The numbers, with the exception of the tail number, stays the same. The FAA also issued the builder its own certificate stating that basic airframe design is safe & cleared to fly. Airbus has its own system, similar to Boeing but still different. Hopes that clears up the mystery a little. Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
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RE: A/c Designations

Sun Aug 10, 2003 3:44 pm

Get some popcorn and enjoy...

01 Piedmont
02 Northern Consolidated / Wien Air Alaska
03 Caribair
04 Britannia Airways
05 Braathens SAFE
06 K.L.M - Royal Dutch Airlines
07 Luftwaffe / West German Air Force
08 Icelandair
09 China Airlines
10 Wien Colsolidated / Wien Air Alaska
11 Wardair
12 M.S.A / Singapore Airlines
13 Ariana - Afghan Airlines
14 Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA)
15 Lake Central
16 LAN Chile
17 CP Air / Canadian International
18 B.E.A
19 NZ National Airways Corp / Air New Zealand
20 Boeing
21 Pan American World Airways
22 United Air Lines
23 American Airlines
24 Continental Airlines
25 Eastern Airlines
27 Braniff Airways
28 Air France
30 Lufthansa
31 T.W.A
32 Delta Air Lines
33 Air Canada
34 Transair Sweden
35 National Airlines
36 B.O.A.C / British Airways
37 Air India
38 Qantas
39 Cubana
40 Pakistan International Airlines
41 Varig
42 Nordair
43 Alitalia
44 South African Airways
45 Seaboard World Airlines
46 Japan Air Lines
47 Western Air Lines
48 Aer Lingus
49 Flying Tiger Line
50 Trek Airways
51 Northwest Airlines
53 United States Air Force
54 Mohawk Airlines
55 Executive Jet Aviation
56 Iberia
57 Swissair
58 El Al
59 Avianca
60 Ethopian Airlines
61 F.A.A
62 Pacific Northern
63 Ghana Airways (ntu) / Faucett
64 Mexicana
65 British Eagle
66 United Arab Airlines / Egyptair
67 Cathay Pacific Airways
68 Saudia / Saudi Arabian Airlines
69 Kuwait Airways
70 Iraqi Airways
71 Trans International / Transamerica
72 Airlift International
73 World Airways
74 Iraqi Airways (ntu) / Libyan Arba (ntu)
75 Pacific Western Airlines
76 Trans Australian
77 Ansett Airlines
78 B.W.I.A
79 Saturn Airlines
80 Bankers Trust (TWA)
81 All Nippon Airways
82 T.A.P - Air Portugal
83 S.A.S
84 Olympic Airways
85 American Flyers
86 Iran Air
87 Aerolineas Argentinas
89 Toa Domestic / Japan Air System
90 Alaska Airlines
91 Frontier Airlines
92 Air Asia / Air America
93 Pacific Air Lines / Air California
94 Syrian Arab Airlines / Syrianair
95 Northeast Airlines
96 Quebecair
97 Aloha Airlines
98 Air Zaire
99 British Caledonian
1A Martinair Holland
1B China Southern Airlines
1C Government of Romania
1H Emirates
1K Airtours International Airways Ltd.
1L China Xinjiang Airlines
1M Oman Air
1Q Tombo Aviation Inc.
1R Virgin Atlantic Airways
1S Deutsche BA
1U BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
2A Hawaiian Airlines
2C Air UK Leisure
2J Arab Leasing
2K Turkmenistan Airlines / Akhal
2L Azerbaijan Airlines
2Q Ukraine International Airlines
2R Pegasus Airlines
2T BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
2U JABJ / Picton II Ltd. (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
3A Ansett Worldwide (AWWAS) / Nordstress Ltd.
3B Air Mauritius
SA)">3C Euralair International
3N American Trans Air
3P Uzbekistan Airways
3Q Boeing (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
3R Western Pacific Airlines
3S Pembroke Capital
3T Real Estate Exchange Inc. (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
3U Chartwell Aircraft Company (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
3V Easyjet Airline Co Ltd.
4A United Parcel Service - UPS
4K Air Nippon
4N China United Airlines
4P Hainan Airlines
4Q Mid East Jet
4S SA)">GB Airways
4T GECAS (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
4U Air Shamrock (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
4V BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
SA)">5A Presidential Airways
SA)">5B Germania
5C Xiamen Airlines
5D LOT - Polish Airlines
5E EVA Air
5F GATX Capital Corp
5H Itochu AirLease Corp.
5N Shandong Airlines
SA)">5P Air Europa
5R Jet Airways (India)
5S CSA - Czech Airlines
5T First Union Commercial Corp. (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
5U Dobro Ltd. (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
5V General Electric Corporation (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ)
6B Cal Air / Novair International Airways
6D Shanghai Airlines
6J Air Berlin
6K Vietnam Airlines Corporation
6M Virgin Express
6N GE Capital Aviation (GECAS)
6Q Boullion Aircraft Holding
6R Wuhan Airlines
7A Far Eastern Air Transport
7B Air Holland
SA)">7C Japanesse Self Defence Force
7D Air Seychelles
7G Malev - Hungarian Airlines
7K Zhongyuan Airlines
7Q Novel Leasing Company
7U Atlas Air
8A Air 2000 Limited
8B Istanbul Airlines
8E Asiana Airlines
8J Tarom
8N Chilean Air Force
8S China Xinjiang Airlines
9D Linjeflyg
9H Leisure International
9J Shorouk Air
SA)">9K Shenzen Airlines
SA)">9L Air China
9M Air Austral
SA)">9N Mid East Jet
9P China Eastern Airlines
9R Pro Air
9T BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
9U Wilmot Trust company (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
A0 Lloyd Aereo Boliiviano
A3 Pluna
A4 Air California
A6 Essex International / LTV Capital
A7 Trans Caribbean
A8 Indian Airlines
A9 Transair Canada
B1 DETA Mozambique / LAM
B2 Air Madagascar
B3 U.T.A
SA)">B4 M.E.A
B5 Korean Air
SA)">B6 Royal Air Maroc
B7 Allegheny / USAir / US Airways
C0 GATX / Boothe
C3 Cruzeiro do Sul
C9 Luxair
D1 Universal Airlines
D3 ALIA - Royal Jordanian Airlines
D4 Ozark Airlines
D6 Air Algerie
D7 Thai Airways International
E0 Dubai Air Wing (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
E0 Dubai Air Wing
E1 Eastern Provincial
E7 Arkia
F1 Air New Zealand (ntu)
SA)">F2 THY - Turkish Airlines
F5 Government of Portugal / Portuguese Air Force
F6 Philippine Airlines
F8 Royal Nepal Airways
SA)">F9 Nigeria Airways
G1 Government of Saudi Arabia
SA)">G4 United States Air Force
G5 L.T.S / L.T.U.
G7 America West Airlines
H2 I.T.T
H3 Tunis Air
H4 Southwest Airlines
H5 Mey Air
H6 Malaysian Airlines
H7 Cameroon Airlines
H9 J.A.T - Jugoslav Airlines
J0 Air Jamaica
J1 Dominicana
J4 Sterling Airways
J6 C.A.A.C / Air China
J7 National Aircraft Leasing
J8 Sudan Airways
J9 Iranian Air Force
K1 Tarom / Romanian Government
K2 Transavia / KLM
K3 Aviogenex
K5 Hapag Lloyd
K9 Bavaria Flug
L4 American Capital Aviation
L5 Libyan Arab Airlines
L6 Aviation Services & Support
L7 Air Nauru
SA)">L8 Government of Yugoslavia
L9 Maersk Air
M0 ARIA - Aeroflot Russian International Airlines
M1 Pelita Air Service
M2 TAAG - Angola Airlines
SA)">M6 Royal Brunei
M7 Hughes Air West
M8 Trans European Airways
M9 Zambia Airways
N0 Air Zimbabwe
N1 Government of Venezuela
N3 Government of Brazil
N6 Government of Nigeria
SA)">N7 Government of Egypt
N8 Yemen Airways
N9 Government of Niger / Air Niger
P1 Goverment of Qatar
P3 HRH Talal bin Abdul Aziz (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
P5 Thai Airways
SA)">P6 Gulf Air
P8 Bahrain Amiri Flight
Q2 Air Gabon
Q3 Southwest Air Lines / Japan TransOcean
Q4 Transbrasil
SA)">Q5 Government of Liberia / Air Liberia
Q8 I.L.F.C
Q9 Itel Corp.
R1 Government of Cameroon
R4 Alyemda
R6 Air Guinee
R7 Cargolux Airline International
R8 Air Tanzania
S1 TACA International Airlines
S2 Federal Express
S3 Air Europe / Sunrock Capital Corp.?
S4 Air Afrique
SA)">S5 Eldorado Aviation
S7 North Central Airlines / Republic Airlines
S9 Maritime Investment
T0 Texas Air Corp / Continental Airlines
T2 Dome Petroleum
T3 Evergreen
T4 Air Florida
T5 Orion Airways
T7 Monarch Airlines
T8 Polaris Leasing
SA) and AB Varmlandsflyg (Sweden)">T9 Boeing
U3 Garuda Indonesia
U4 OSL Villa Holidays
U5 Government of Jordan
U8 Kenya Airways
U9 Polynesian Airlines
V3 COPA Airlines
V5 Bahamasair
V6 Petrolair Systems SA
V8 Air Executive / Busy Bee
W0 China Yunnan Airlines
W2 Aerotour
W6 Government of Morocco
W8 NOGA Import
X2 Air Pacific
X3 Air Charter International
X4 Supair
X6 Markair
X8 Wistair Corp
X9 Indonesian Air Force
Y0 G.P.A Group
Y4 Rafic B Hariri (Saudi customer)
Y5 Air Malta
Y9 Air Malawi
Z0 China Southwest
Z5 United Arab Emirates Royal Flight
Z6 Royal Thai Air Force
Z8 South Korean Air Force
Z9 Lauda Air
AB AB Airlines
AD Eastwind Airlines
AH BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
AJ BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
AK Privitair (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
AN Saudi OGER (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
AR Taiwan Air Force
AS Ryanair
AV Newsflight II Inc. (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
AW BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
BC Boeing NetJets (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
BD AirTran Airways Inc.
BF Funair Corp. (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
BG Flightlease AG
BH BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
BJ Atlas Air (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
BK CIT Leasing Corp.
BS North American Airlines
BX Midway Airlines
CB Hawaiian Airlines
CG GKW Aviation LLC (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
CJ BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ One Inc. (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
CM Aerolineas de Baleares Aebal
CN Privatair (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
CP Ford Motor Company (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
CQ JMC Airlines Limited
CT Westjet
CU Tutor-Saliba corp. (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
CX GATX - Flightlease
DF BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
DM BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
DO BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
DP BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
DR Multiflight (BBJ2 Customer)
DT BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
DV Lowa Ltd. (BBJ2 Customer)
DW BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
DX Kazakhstan Airlines
EA Azteca Airlines
EC Dubai Air Wing (BBJ2 Customer)
ED BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
EF BBJ2 Customer
EG Samsung Aerospace (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
EJ Grupo Omnilife S.A. de C.V. (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
EL Swiflite Aircraft Corporation (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
EM BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
EQ BBJ2 Customer
ES Royal Australian Air Force (BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer)
ET BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
EV BBJ2 Customer
EX BBJ2 Customer
FB BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
FD BJ / EDRB) (closed), Germany">BBJ Customer
Posts: 2404
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RE: A/c Designations

Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:32 pm on earth did you get all those?
Life is better when you surf.
Posts: 6136
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 7:39 am

RE: A/c Designations

Fri Aug 22, 2003 9:50 pm

Probably from this website.


RE: A/c Designations

Sat Aug 23, 2003 2:38 am

One thing to mention - the "customer designation" used by Boeing does not change with new ownership of an aircraft... if a 747-256 ex Swissair is sold to TWA, it does not change the 56, for TWA's 31...
There were a few (very few) exceptions to this rule, as I know that someone "will point out that fact..."  Big grin
(s) Skipper
Posts: 6199
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 12:58 pm

RE: A/c Designations

Sat Aug 23, 2003 2:53 pm

Well Skipper, it's up to you to point out those exceptions. I know of none, zero, zilch and nada. There is also a man who has written many aviation books who lives just up the road from me (name will be witheld, but you all know it) who can think of no exceptions.

A Boeing aircraft carries the -xyy for it's life after it's built.

Oh yes, please nobody point out the 747-125s that EA ordered that beacame -131s. They were completed as -131s. In fact, they were started as -131s. There are though, a few cases when metal was cut on certain aircraft deignated as -xyy but completed as -xzz, certain 757s come to mind here, but once the beast is certified, it is what it is, and shall forever remain so.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.

RE: A/c Designations

Sat Aug 23, 2003 4:18 pm

Dear IMissPiedmont -
You are correct - the 747-125s were eventually delivered as -131...
In my early days with PanAm, I was then on the 707, we had some 707-331, which were never delivered to TWA, instead, PanAm took delivery of these airplanes while they were still on the production line - their designation as -331 was never changed. Actually there were a few differences between the regular PanAn -321 and the -331 (air cycle packs for the 321, vs. freon for the 331, number of TCs, and hundreds of others which fill-up a book of differences...) -
Well, at least, all these technicalities keep aircraft spotters busy...  Smile
Happy contrails -
(s) Skipper
Posts: 448
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2002 2:39 pm

RE: A/c Designations

Tue Aug 26, 2003 2:20 am

As for Airbus, The two number codes after the series (-201, -222) do refer to the engines. For example, An A320-231 would designate An A320, series 200, with IAE engines of the first optional thrust rating. In the code 231 the 3 represents IAE, a 2 would denote Pratt and Whitney, a 0 would denote GE, a 1 would show CFM, and a 4 shows Rolls Royce engines, such as an A330-242.
Posts: 680
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 3:25 pm

RE: A/c Designations

Thu Aug 28, 2003 5:43 pm

I know of at least one Boeing airplane that did change its designation, and it was a 747: c/n 20305, delivered as a 747-124 for Continental with registration N26864, later sold to Wardair and redesignated a 747-1D1 (which was actually Universal's code, as the list above shows), with registration C-FFUN.
"So many planes; so little time..."

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