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Sun, Mar 25, 2007

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (03.25.07): Tri-Service Aircraft Abbreviations


Aero-Terms are designed to be a daily reminder of the terms, names, acronyms and explanations of the unique language that populates the aviation world. Aerospace, sport aviation, fixed wing, helo, you name it... it's all fair game.

Aero-Terms should serve as a quick but intriguing reminder of the terms you may use every day, or an introduction to an aspects of the Aero-World you may not yet be familiar with. ANN also encourages readers to go beyond the FMI link, and further research any intriguing terms.

Suggestions for future Aero-Terms are ALWAYS welcome, as are additions or discussion of the explanations given for each Aero-Term.

Tri-Service Aircraft Abbreviations

Ever wonder how those military planes got those abbreviations? An abbreviation is given to all aircraft to specify its particular role. The common structure is: F-14D Tomcat, where, the F is the aircraft type (fighter), the 14 is the number assigned to the aircraft (the F-14 was built before the F-15 and -16, etc.), The D after the 14 is the version of the aircraft, and Tomcat is the aircraft's name. This is the Tri-service System of abbreviations, used for all planes built after 1962 (Before then, each service used their own letters, though it caused confusion. For example, T meant trainer in the Army but Torpedo in the Navy.) Aha, it all makes sense now.



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