N is a U.S. - registered aircraft.[BR][BR]The last two letters are the airline or leasing company that owns/leases the aircraft. Although, sometimes this does not hold true as some NxxxUS aircraft are actually flown and operated by Northwest Airlines.[BR][BR]I've seen the following US designations:[BR]NxxxUS[BR]NxxxAU (usually on 737s)[BR]NxxxUW (on A320/A330 family craft)[BR]NxxxAL - I think some of the DC-9s carried the Allegheny designator.
Itrade..our former DC-9-31's were N9XXVJ (VJ) being part of the Allegheney (Agony) "Vista Jet" marketing scheme. We still have a B757 that ends with a VJ suffix too. I can't recall which one now....the rest end in N600AU - N632AU regarding the 757's
I have a vague recollection of the AU sequence showing up on some 727-100's Allegheny picked up from United in the mid-70's. These were the first to add a First Class cabin. I was living in Minneapolis in those days, and flew them when they extended that spoke to Phoenix. As I recall, they were beat up, but the service was great, including ice cream. Ah, those were the days. As I write this, I suddenly realize how many years I have patronized this company, and its forebears, and how angry I have become over the way this current management went off on long time customers. It took a lot to get people like me to go elsewhere, but these geniuses clearly had the right stuff.
Tail Numbers can be changed at a cost of a re-registration application. The desired number and suffix does have to be free to use without duplication elsewhere however. Then of course the cost and labor of applying the awarded registration becomes an issue...that many just simply can't justify the benefit of.
My time with USAir Express saw a number of changes in our fleet with used aircraft being picked up...in only one instance with 4 acft out of 27 did I ever witness a change reflecting operating identity.
Budgets get tight...and sometimes issues like this are of little concern.
The 727-100s came from United and if memory serves me right they kept the UAL N numbers.Thus they ended in UA.The 727-200s ended in AL.Even the former PI aircraft were re-registered.As for the Airbuses I believe its just a matter of what numbers are available.Nortwest uses US at the end of there numbers as well.As for the 757 with the VJ,that would be 625.Also,Uncle Ed chose the AU when we got the 737-300 because its the symbol for gold in the table of elements.Ah yes the good old days,when Ed could rub two nickels together and turn them into a $5 bill.
EX=Allegheny Commuter[BR]HA=Piedmont Commuter[BR]JS/PS=PSA Commuter[BR]CQ/SA=Shuttle America[BR]YV/MJ=Mesa Airlines[BR]SK=Chautaqua Airlines (Republic)[BR]HK=TranStates Airlines[BR]FU=Freedom Air (Mesa)[BR][BR]Some HA aircraft are now operated by Allegheny.
Anybody know the difference between the US and UW designators on the -319s, -320s, and -321s? Owned v. leased?
I don't think there is any difference, just the UW a/c # were maybe used by NW or someone else with the US on them.
This was the case with many of the 737 a/c with the AU, the a/c # already existed with NW using the US on theirs..from waht I recll the older US Air 727's had the AL code on them and the DC-9 had the VJ as listed above. In the case with Piedmont, some ended in P and others with N....N767N...N301P..none had the PI at the end. And there were the Empire F-28's with the UR on them too....
On 12/1/2002 1:19:52 PM ITRADE wrote:
N is a U.S. - registered aircraft.
The last two letters are the airline or leasing company that owns/leases the aircraft. Although, sometimes this does not hold true as some NxxxUS aircraft are actually flown and operated by Northwest Airlines.
Just FYI--there have been large red-tailed birds with NxxxUS registrations on them since way back when long-extinct little critters with names like Allegheny, Mohawk, and Lake Central still existed.
Northwest first used the 'US' suffix with the 1959 delivery of their first L-188 Electras, and continued with their DC-8s, 720s, 727s, 707-320s, etc....
A few more points to add:
No Piedmont planes ended PI because the letters I and O are not permitted, to avoid confusion with the numbers 1 and 0 respectively.
Many carriers choose to end their tail numbers with letters identifying the carrier, but some others like AU and VJ are due to marketing gimmicks, inside jokes, or assorted other reasons. Often times when planes change hands the numbers aren't changed for simplicity's sake. Some ex-Chautauqua SAABs now at Shuttle America still have the NxxxCQ where xxx is the serial number that CHQ used, they haven't yet been reregistered in SZ numbers.
As for the ERJ's in service at U, Trans States' HK is the owner of the company's initials. Chautauqua's SK is for Solitair Kapital, the leasing company that financed the planes. CHQ's newest jets (in DL livery) are registered NxxxRP, for Republic Airways, CHQ's new parent company. Mesa's MJ is for MesaJet, the original name of their ERJ operating subsidiary. There are many more unique cases, these are just the ones off the top of my head..