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German registration question

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:56 pm
by ro1960
I noticed that German registrations are still at the beginning of the alphabet (D-A***) whereas British are at G-E***, French at F-H***.

Is this a reflection of the low number of aircraft registered in Germany or are they using a different system?

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:23 am
by DABYT
I don't know the british system but in Germany the second letter indicates the different aircraft registration classes by weight:

D-A... >20 tons
D-B... > 14 to 20 tons
D-C... > 5,7 to 14 tons
D-E... single engine aircraft < 2 tons
D-F... single engine aircraft 2 to 5,7 tons
D-G... multi engine < 2 tons
D-H... Rotorcraft/Helicopter
D-K... power glider
D-L... airship
D-O... balloon

The number of aircraft registered in Germany is published by the German Federal Aviation Authority (Luftfahrtbundesamt) every year. According to 2016 statistics there were 777 aircraft registered in the class >20 tons

More info here:
http://www.lba.de/DE/Presse/Statistiken/Statistik_Luftfahrzeuge.html?nn=701932

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:55 am
by ro1960
Very interesting that they have different classes in the registration system. This explains the -A for most commercial aircraft. I think other countries just increment as they register new planes. -AAAA, -AAAB, etc. regardless of the tonnage.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:05 am
by Noshow
As an informal company style Lufthansa uses the third letter after D and A to show the aircraft manufacturer. B stands for Boeing and I for airbus (International) for example. Third letter M stands for "Megaliner" on Lufthansa A380s.
German airplanes must have their flag on the tail. If a company like Lufthansa for branding reasons wants to move the flag elsewhere it must have a special permit by the aviation authority LBA. LH has that permit.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:14 am
by Andy33
On the UK system commercial airlines can and do request specific registrations, so for example the new 788 which will be delivered to British Airways next month will carry G-ZBJI, and easyJet's next A320neo will be G-UZHC. As a result you can't take the fact that some other planes are getting registrations in G-E*** as showing how many registrations have been issued.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:19 am
by Pendennis
And remember that Germany reuses registrations, the UK and many others do not. I believe the charge made for an "out of sequence" registration is still quite nominal.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:58 am
by BartSimpson
Andy33 wrote:
...so for example the new 788 which will be delivered to British Airways next month will carry G-ZBJI, and easyJet's next A320neo will be G-UZHC...


I know that Virgin is quite playful with their names and registrations but I don't get the joke on these two regs. Or isn't there one at all?

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:08 am
by ChrisKen
Pendennis wrote:
I believe the charge made for an "out of sequence" registration is still quite nominal.

£300 plus usual (£138) registration fee. Add another £150 to reserve the mark 6 mths prior to use and up to £250 for same day processing.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:24 am
by flyingphil
I have always wondered why german registered aircraft require a German flag on the tail?

Even a new airbus with a temporary german registration has to have a German flag.. I can't think of any other country that requires this..

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:26 am
by Andy33
BartSimpson wrote:
Andy33 wrote:
...so for example the new 788 which will be delivered to British Airways next month will carry G-ZBJI, and easyJet's next A320neo will be G-UZHC...


I know that Virgin is quite playful with their names and registrations but I don't get the joke on these two regs. Or isn't there one at all?


No joke at all. BA use the last three letters of the registration as their internal "fleet number" to identify individual aircraft, and their first concern is to avoid duplication. After that they go for blocks of registrations that help to indicate the type of aircraft, so 788s are G-ZBJ*, 789s are G-ZBK*, and 787-10s will be G-ZBL*. They have used a vaguely humorous theme in the past, where A380s are in the series G-XLE*, the XL being for eXtra Large.
easyJet just go for long alphabetic blocks of registrations, originally they used blocks beginning G-EZ**, but with the Neos they've opted for G-UZ** instead. They need long runs of registrations because of the fleet size - there are 158 planes on order at the moment! There is a slight connection between the actual letters used and the airline - their ICAO code is EZY, the IATA code is U2, both echoed in the series chosen.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:17 am
by 777klm
flyingphil wrote:
I have always wondered why german registered aircraft require a German flag on the tail?

Even a new airbus with a temporary german registration has to have a German flag.. I can't think of any other country that requires this..


yeah, i notice that too. they often have two flags when the painting is (almost) completed but the aircraft is still in test phase: the german flag on the upper section of the tail and the customer origin flag on the usual spot.

also interesting: new boeing aircraft seem to get their new (and often foreign) registration right away.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:20 am
by Noshow
I think in Germany you could opt for a European Union flag as well. Or even both at the same time.
Switzerland has a similar rule requiring the swiss cross on their tails.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:13 pm
by TedToToe
Noshow wrote:
Switzerland has a similar rule requiring the swiss cross on their tails.

With the exception of Liechtenstein which also uses the Swiss register!

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:14 pm
by ro1960
Noshow wrote:
As an informal company style Lufthansa uses the third letter after D and A to show the aircraft manufacturer. B stands for Boeing and I for airbus (International) for example. Third letter M stands for "Megaliner" on Lufthansa A380s.


Thanks for the info, quite interesting.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:16 pm
by ro1960
Andy33 wrote:
No joke at all. BA use the last three letters of the registration as their internal "fleet number" to identify individual aircraft, and their first concern is to avoid duplication. After that they go for blocks of registrations that help to indicate the type of aircraft, so 788s are G-ZBJ*, 789s are G-ZBK*, and 787-10s will be G-ZBL*.


With this system they can only have 26 units of each type. How do they handle fleets over 26 units?

Andy33 wrote:
They have used a vaguely humorous theme in the past, where A380s are in the series G-XLE*, the XL being for eXtra Large.
easyJet just go for long alphabetic blocks of registrations, originally they used blocks beginning G-EZ**, but with the Neos they've opted for G-UZ** instead. They need long runs of registrations because of the fleet size - there are 158 planes on order at the moment! There is a slight connection between the actual letters used and the airline - their ICAO code is EZY, the IATA code is U2, both echoed in the series chosen.


Thanks, interesting info.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:20 pm
by ro1960
Pendennis wrote:
And remember that Germany reuses registrations, the UK and many others do not.


That's what I thought. I've been seeing those D-A*** for years. France seems to just go in incremental sequences and not reuse regs.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:08 pm
by vhqpa
ro1960 wrote:
With this system they can only have 26 units of each type. How do they handle fleets over 26 units?


25 actually. In the UK "Q" cannot be used. If they have more than 25 they usually start a new sequence. For instance on the 744 they started with BNLx then moved onto BYGx and CIVx.

BA is known for using cryptic three letter sequences that correspond to a particular type usually involving Roman numerals

Off the top of my head

BUSx - Early A320 from BCAL's original order
BNLx - 744 "Brand New Large aircraft"
BYGx - 744 Play on the word "Big"
CIVx - 744 "Civil Four" (Roman numerals)
ZZZx - 772 resembles "777"
VIIx - GE 77E seven in Roman numerals
YMMx - RR 77E "Year 2000"
STBx - 77W "STretched Boeing"
XLEx - A380 "eXtra Large"
GATx - A320 Gatwick based
EUxx - A32S "European fleet"

They even had a DC-10 registered G-DCIO but credit for that one goes to BCAL.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:10 pm
by Andy33
ro1960 wrote:
Andy33 wrote:
No joke at all. BA use the last three letters of the registration as their internal "fleet number" to identify individual aircraft, and their first concern is to avoid duplication. After that they go for blocks of registrations that help to indicate the type of aircraft, so 788s are G-ZBJ*, 789s are G-ZBK*, and 787-10s will be G-ZBL*.


With this system they can only have 26 units of each type. How do they handle fleets over 26 units?

They use more than one series - so the once 57 744s started at G-BNLA, ran through the BNL* series, started a new one at G-CIVA, ran though the CIV* series, started a new one at G-BYGA and got as far as G-BYGG before deliveries ceased due to orders having been converted to 772-ERs. There are actually 25 registrations in each series, the letter Q isn't used.
The 130 A320 family planes have what looks like less organised registrations because as well as planes new to BA, there are ones that were new to British Midland (G-DBC* and G-MID*), GB Airways (G-TTO*), and BMED (G-MED*) which retained their registrations as they were already on the UK register, and used ones originally registered in other countries, re-registered in the G-GAT*series because they are allocated to London Gatwick. A318/319/320/321 planes new to BA all have registrations beginning G-EU**. This will change for A320neo and A321neo planes on order for delivery from next year onwards.
Finally the 772-ERs use two series, G-VII* (cunning pun on Roman numeral for 7) and G-YMM* (delivered from 2000 onwards, another Roman numeral pun, MM being 2000 in Roman numerals), plus the one-off G-RAES, given its registration in honour of the Royal Aeronautical Society, usually known as RAeS. This is the only "special" registration in the BA fleet, all the others follow some sort of pattern.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:11 pm
by LH423
BartSimpson wrote:
Andy33 wrote:
...so for example the new 788 which will be delivered to British Airways next month will carry G-ZBJI, and easyJet's next A320neo will be G-UZHC...


I know that Virgin is quite playful with their names and registrations but I don't get the joke on these two regs. Or isn't there one at all?


BA have and, in the case of the 787s, are using letters to stand in for numbers. For instance, their first four 777s (non-ER, A models) were registered G-ZZZA-D, the Z being the letter arguably most closely resembling a 7. They abandoned this practice with the ER deliveries, G-VII* for those with GE, G-YMM* for those with RR, plus the outlier, G-RAES, which is named in honour of the Royal Aeronautical Society. The decision to go with ZB for the 787s, I believe, is rooted in the same pun (B being most closely like an 8). It looks like the pun ends there, other than J has been assigned to the -8 fleet and K to the -9 fleet.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:07 pm
by winterlight
vhqpa wrote:
ro1960 wrote:
With this system they can only have 26 units of each type. How do they handle fleets over 26 units?


BA is known for using cryptic three letter sequences that correspond to a particular type usually involving Roman numerals

Off the top of my head

BUSx - Early A320 from BCAL's original order
BNLx - 744 "Brand New Large aircraft"
BYGx - 744 Play on the word "Big"
CIVx - 744 "Civil Four" (Roman numerals)
ZZZx - 772 resembles "777"
VIIx - GE 77E seven in Roman numerals
YMMx - RR 77E "Year 2000"
STBx - 77W "STretched Boeing"
XLEx - A380 "eXtra Large"
GATx - A320 Gatwick based
EUxx - A32S "European fleet"

They even had a DC-10 registered G-DCIO but credit for that one goes to BCAL.


Their A320neo fleet will be G-TTN* (Three Twenty Neo) and the A321neo the less clever G-NEO*.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:35 pm
by marcelh
Noshow wrote:
I think in Germany you could opt for a European Union flag as well. Or even both at the same time.


Both flags simultaneously is allowed, but the German flag is mandatory. A lot of gliders in Europe are D-registered and non-Germans like to replace the German flag with the EU flag.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:38 pm
by AirInterCRV
French regs seem to be open to whatever customization is available.
Hence:
F-ORLY for Air Caraïbes as a tribute to their home airport
F-HSEA, F-HSEX (now sold) and F-HSUN for Corsair's 744s...

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:35 pm
by ro1960
winterlight wrote:

Their A320neo fleet will be G-TTN* (Three Twenty Neo) and the A321neo the less clever G-NEO*.


Again, just 25 units each max.?

Re: German registration question

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:10 pm
by OlafW
Noshow wrote:
As an informal company style Lufthansa uses the third letter after D and A to show the aircraft manufacturer. B stands for Boeing and I for airbus (International) for example. Third letter M stands for "Megaliner" on Lufthansa A380s.


Some more 3rd position letters which might have a meaning:
D-AIN* are A320neos
D-AIX* are A350s (XWB)

About the reusage of registrations, the 747-8is got the registrations that the 747-100s already had - with exception of D-ABYB, which was the only one written off after a crash in Nairobi

Some naming convention was also used for LH Cityline:
- The BAe/Avro jets were D-AVR*, of course including D-AVRO
- The Canadairs were D-AC** with the first batch sporting the D-ACL* regs and the latest CRJ900 being the NG version D-ACN*

Finally, Augsburg Airways, who were part of the LH Regional group, put IATA codes of mostly German (regional) airports into the registrations of the Dash-8A/B/Cs. The Dash-8Ds then started with D-DH**

Re: German registration question

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:53 am
by leleko747
Question:

I've also noticed that German planes don't seem to have the registration printed under or over the wings (or at least one wing).
Many other European aircraft from other countries seem to adopt that, except Germany. Why?
But the, i've seen a pic of a SunExpress Deutschland B737-800 sporting the reg under one of the wings (a German reg). Is it up to the airline or something?

vhqpa wrote:
ro1960 wrote:
With this system they can only have 26 units of each type. How do they handle fleets over 26 units?


25 actually. In the UK "Q" cannot be used. If they have more than 25 they usually start a new sequence. For instance on the 744 they started with BNLx then moved onto BYGx and CIVx.

BA is known for using cryptic three letter sequences that correspond to a particular type usually involving Roman numerals

Off the top of my head

BUSx - Early A320 from BCAL's original order
BNLx - 744 "Brand New Large aircraft"
BYGx - 744 Play on the word "Big"
CIVx - 744 "Civil Four" (Roman numerals)
ZZZx - 772 resembles "777"
VIIx - GE 77E seven in Roman numerals
YMMx - RR 77E "Year 2000"
STBx - 77W "STretched Boeing"
XLEx - A380 "eXtra Large"
GATx - A320 Gatwick based
EUxx - A32S "European fleet"

They even had a DC-10 registered G-DCIO but credit for that one goes to BCAL.



That's very interesting, thanks for sharing!
I also recall BA have (or had) a Boeing 777 with an odd registration: G-RAES

If I remember correctely, "RAES" was an acronym and was put as a homage. But I simply can't remember what it was.
Anyone...???

Re: German registration question

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:23 am
by VirginFlyer
leleko747 wrote:
I also recall BA have (or had) a Boeing 777 with an odd registration: G-RAES

If I remember correctely, "RAES" was an acronym and was put as a homage. But I simply can't remember what it was.
Anyone...???

RAeS = Royal Aeronautical Society



V/F

Re: German registration question

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:54 am
by DABYT
leleko747 wrote:
Question:

I've also noticed that German planes don't seem to have the registration printed under or over the wings (or at least one wing).
Many other European aircraft from other countries seem to adopt that, except Germany. Why?
But the, i've seen a pic of a SunExpress Deutschland B737-800 Sporting the reg under one of the wings (a German reg). Is it up to the airline or something?

For aircraft under 5,7 tons in Germany it is mandatory to have the registration painted under the left wing.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:17 am
by belfordrocks
Of course there's also Air Austral, which at times had registrations bearing their destinations, F-OMAY (Mayotte), F-ORUN (Reunion), F-OPAR (Paris), F-ONOU (Noumea) and F-OSYD (Sydney)

Re: German registration question

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:10 pm
by leleko747
VirginFlyer wrote:


Very nice! Thanks :bouncy:

DABYT wrote:
For aircraft under 5,7 tons in Germany it is mandatory to have the registration painted under the left wing.


That still doesn't explain the SunExpress B737-800...

Re: German registration question

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:35 pm
by Noshow
Great knowledge coming together. Thanks to all.

Re: German registration question

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:36 am
by ro1960
Noshow wrote:
Great knowledge coming together. Thanks to all.


Absolutely. Thanks all.