United States military aircraft designation systems

United States military aircraft designation systems

The United States Military Aircraft Designation System was first designed in 1919 when the US Army's Aeronautical Division became the United States Army Air Service. Before this aircraft were put into service under their manufacturers designation. [Angelucci, 1987. p. 9.]


Air Force

From 1920 to 1947 the United States Army Air Service, United States Army Air Corps, and United States Army Air Forces used a designation system based on mission category, with each model in a category numbered sequentially. [Angelucci, 1987. p. 9.]

From 1947 to 1962 the United States Air Force used a "mission"-based system derived from the 1920-1947 system. For instance, the Lockheed P-80 "Shooting Star" (Pursuit) was redesignated as F-80 (Fighter), but the Convair B-36 bomber kept its previous designation. [Angelucci, 1987. p. 10.]

Navy system

From 29 March 1922 to 18 September 1962 the United States Navy (including United States Marine Corps and United States Coast Guard) used a completely separate designation system, based on both "mission" and "manufacturer". [Angelucci, 1987. p. 10.]

Tri-service system (Air Force/Navy/Army)

Since 18 September 1962 a joint system of "mission"-based designations has been used, with most of these restarting from 1. [Angelucci, 1987. p. 11.] Various previously-designated models from the pre-1962 Army-Air Force system (such as the F-111) were not redesignated. All in-use aircraft from the pre-1962 Navy-Marine Corps system were redesignated, except for the McDonnell F4H Phantom II/F-110 Spectre which was re-designated the "F-4 Phantom II" in all services.

Individual system pages

*1924 United States Army Air Service aircraft designation system also applied to aircraft of the United States Army Air Corps, United States Army Air Forces and United States Air Force
*1956 United States Army Air Forces aircraft designation system
*United States Department of Defense Aerospace Vehicle Designations




ee also

* Military aircraft

External link

A comprehensive explanation can be found at [http://www.driko.org/usdes2.html Systems of Designation] .

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