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Do Airplanes also have a name like how we human beings have?

Let us understand how and who names our airplane?

Before understanding airplane nomenclature, I recommend you read the blog linked here about the difference between aircraft and airplane.

Let us understand with examples the Aircraft nomenclature and nationality markings.

Accurate Commodeal Pvt. Ltd is one of the non-scheduled air operators based in Kolkata (India). One of the aircraft they operate is a Dassault Falcon manufactured by Dassault Aviation.

There are more than hundred such non-scheduled air operators registered in India and one can find the list with the fleet they operate from the in DGCA web portal link provided below.

Models of Dassault Falcon & Nomenclature

Dassault Falcon has different models, and each model has its own unique feature.

Some of the examples of the different models are Dassault Falcon 10, 20, 30, Dassault Falcon 5X, 6X, 7X, 8X, Dassault Falcon 900, Dassault Falcon 2000 and Dassault Falcon 10X.

Link of Dassault Aviation is provided below and for each model, one can navigate and read the specifications such as Height, length, wingspan, cabin length, cabin height, cabin volume, baggage volume, maximum takeoff weight, maximum landing weight, performances, range, Mach, max certified altitude, and engine performance.

Now, each model would be manufactured in a sizable number.

Dassault Aviation might have manufactured some 200 aircraft of Dassault Falcon 10. Then, all those 200 aircraft will be identified by their production numbers, and it is called Aircraft serial number (or Manufacturer Serial Number abbreviated as MSN).

Say if the aircraft serial number for the aircraft is 93, then, aircraft nomenclature is:

Dassault FA2000 MSN: 93

Some aircraft manufacturers have more than one production line and hence, alongside the serial number, production line code or reference would be suffixed. Different aircraft manufacturers use different terminologies such as Line number and variable number for identification.

While referencing any specific aircraft mentioned, such associated names are to be mentioned accordingly.

Any aircraft must be registered to get a permit to fly. This permit is called a Certificate of Registration (C of R). The certificate of registration provides a unique registration number (combination of alphabets and numerical).

Let us understand this with an example.

VT-RSG is one such aircraft. The first segment (VT) is common to all Indian registered aircraft. The second segment is unique to the aircraft.

Dassault FA2000 MSN: 93 VT-RSG
Unique Registration Code by ICAO

The International Civil Aviation Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UNO), and they assign code for every country. (VT is assigned by ICAO and RSG is assigned by DGCA)

The nationality code for those aircraft that are registered in India is ‘VT’. Similarly, the code for Australia is ‘VH’ and for Nepal it is ‘PH’.

List of National registration code assigned by ICAO:

Bahrain A9C-
Bangladesh S2-
Canada C-
China B-
Czech Republic OK-
France F-
India VT-
Japan JA-
Kuwait 9K-
Malaysia 9M-
Mauritius 3B-
New Zealand ZK, ZL, ZM-
Pakistan AP-
Saudi Arabia HZ-
Singapore 9V-
Turkey TC-

We all know social media has helped people connect and share information irrespective of the geographical barrier. However, there are instances where social media has created controversies. One such example pertains to the nationality registration marking assigned to India. There was a false claim made and circulated in one of the social media that the code ‘VT’ symbolizes ‘Victoria Territory’ symbolizing the slavery to the British Rule. Protests to change the marking, petitions to amend outraged in the social media.

Finally, the issue heated up, discussed, and debated in the upper house of the Indian Parliament. It was clarified by the minister and the claim about ‘slavery’ was falsified.

It is always recommended to verify the credibility of the source before clicking that ‘Forward’ button, especially for the students who are learning and upgrading their skills in online aviation maintenance courses as they might end up learning something wrong.

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