Last Updated 24 April 1998

Designation Systems


  1. United States of America
    1. USAAC, USAAF, USAF, tri-service
      1. The 1919 system
      2. The 1924 system
      3. The 1948 system
      4. The 1962 tri-service system
        1. aircraft
        2. guided missiles
        3. electronic equipment
    2. The US Navy
      1. Aircraft
      2. Ships, boats, and other vessels
  2. United Kingdom / The British Empire
    1. Aircraft
      1. The 1918 Designation system.
      2. The 1927 RAF Naming System
      3. The 1932 RAF Naming System
      4. Specifications
  3. Germany
    1. Aircraft
      1. WWI Aircraft designation system
      2. WWII Aircraft designation system
      3. Translations of German Names
  4. Japan
    1. Aircraft
      1. WWII Aircraft designation systems
      2. Allied Code Names
      3. Translations of Japanese Names
      4. Type numbers list
  5. China
    1. Aircraft
  6. Sweden
    1. Aircraft
  7. Russia / The Soviet Union
    1. Aircraft
      1. Before WWII
      2. Type numbers
      3. List of NATO Codenames
  8. Canada
    1. Aircraft
  9. France
    1. Aircraft
      1. Translations of French names
  10. Israel
    1. Aircraft
  11. Brazil
    1. Aircraft
  12. Nicknames

1. United States of America

1.1 USAAS, USAAC, USAAF, USAF and tri-service

1.1.1 1919

The first designation system was invented by the Air Service of the US Army in 1919. Fifteen number designations were introduced and a few additional, not numbered ones:

I.PW Pursuit, water cooled
II.PN Pursuit, night work
III.PA Pursuit, air cooled
IV.PG Pursuit, ground attack
V.TP Two-seat pursuit
VI.GA Ground attack
VII.IL Infantry liaison
VIII.NO Night observation
IX.AO Artillery observation
X.CO Corps observation
XI.DB Day bombardment
XII.NBS Night bombardment, short distance
XIII.NBL Night bombardment, long distance
XIV.TA Training, air cooled
XV.TW Training, water cooled

A Ambulance
M Messenger
R Racer
T Transport

1.1.2 1924

The 1919 system was rather complicated, and a new system was introduced in 1924. The following designations were applied:

A Attack
AT Advanced trainer
B Bomber
C Cargo
HB Heavy bomber
LB Light bomber
O Observation
OA Observation Amphibian
P Pursuit
PT Primary trainer

This system was formally abandoned in 1948. But then 22 additional categories had been introduced, including:

AG Attack Glider
BC Basic Combat (trainer)
BG Bomb Glider (glide bomb)
BQ Bomb, guided
BT Basic Trainer
BLR Bomber, long range
BQ Bomber, radio-controlled
CB Cargo Bomber
CG Cargo glider
CQ Target controller
F Photographic reconaissance
FG Fuel-carrying glider
FM Fighter, multiplace
G Glider
G Gyroplane
GB Glide bomb
GT Glide Torpedo
JB Jet-propelled bomb
L Liaison
O Observation
OA Observation, amphibian
OQ Target, flying model
PB Pursuit biplace
PG Powered glider
PQ Aerial target
R Rotorcraft
TG Training glider
UC Utility cargo
FP Reconaissance fighter

X and Y letters were used as prefix to indicate prototypes and preseries aircraft. The prefix Y1 was used for aircraft bought with F-1 funds instead of normally allocated money. The letter Z was used for obsolete aircraft. In some cases, R (meaning Restricted) was also used for this purpose. Some experimental aircraft had an E prefix, meaning Exempt, instead of the more common X.

1.1.3 1948

The designation system of the USAF was changed in 1948. The new system seems to have mostly similar to that that was accepted as the tri-service system in 1962. Some aircraft were renumbered, e.g. the F-110 became the F-4. Some designations of the 1948 system were not adopted by the 1962 system:

VZ VTOL experimental

1.1.4 1962

In 1962 a new designation was instated for all three services, USAF, USN and USMC. Here is the description of this system, as provided by Erwin Moedersheim:


The current military vehicle designation system for military aircraft
was introduced as a standard for all services in 1962. It is used for
three purposes:

1) Aircraft
2) Guided missiles, rockets, boosters, and satellites
3) Electronic equipment

The system consists of designations of the following type:
                  XXXX-...X    (-..-XX)
where X indicates a letter, and . indicates a number. Not all letters are
used all the time.


Starting at the first dash in the designation above, and moving to
the LEFT, we encounter:

It indicates the type of vehicle at hand, e.g. helicopter, V/STOL. For
normal aircraft, this designator is NOT used. (Example: the SH-2F uses
the H to indicate it is a helicopter. The F-16A is a regular aircraft,
and does not have a vehicle type designator).
  G - Glider
  H - Helicopter
  S - Spaceplane
  Z - Lighter than air

This is the most important designator. It indicates the primary design
task of the aircraft. (Example: The B-1B uses a B because it is a bomber).
  A - Attack
  B - Bomber
  C - Cargo/ transport
  E - Special electronic installation
  F - Fighter
  O - Observation
  P - Patrol
  R - Reconnaissance:
            ER - Electronic Reconnaissance
            SR - Strategic Reconnaissance
            TR - Tactical Reconnaissance
  S - Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
  T - Trainer
  U - Utility
  X - Research

Indicates the vehicle has been modified for a specific mission.
Only one modified mission symbol is allowed. The modified mission
symbol precedes the basic mission symbol.
  A - Attack
  C - Cargo/ transport
  D - Drone control
  E - Special electronic installation
  F - Fighter
  H - Search and Rescue (SAR)
  K - Tanker (from Kerosine tanker)
  L - Cold weather
  M - Multi-mission
  O - Observation
  P - Patrol
  Q - Drone
  R - Reconnaissance
  S - Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
  T - Trainer
  U - Utility
  V - Staff/ VIP transport
  W - Weather

Indicates that the vehicle is not standard due to tests, modifications,
or experiments. This prefix precedes the modified and basic mission
  G - Permanently grounded
  J - Special test temporary
  N - Special test permanent
  X - Experimental
  Y - Prototype
  Z - Planning

Returning to the first dash, and moving RIGHT, we encounter:

Supposedly in sequential order, it indicates the model aircraft
within the basic mission category. For example, C-20D, C-21A, C-22A,
C-23B, EC-24A, VC-25A, C-26A, C-27A, etc. Obviously, the order is
not always sequential, e.g. F-23, F-111, F-117.

Indicates alphabetically major modifications to the original design,
which is indicated by the A. For example, the F-16B is a major
modification of the F-16A. I and O are skipped.

Then we officially encounter another dash, and two more designators.
These are not used very often, however, and are not always indicated
on the aircraft. Moving to the right from the dash, we find:

Indicates the block of identical aircraft to which the aircraft

(another dash)

Indicates the manufacturer.

Let's take an example:                    NKC-135A
                                          |||  | |
Status prefix ----------------------------+||  | |
                                           ||  | |
Modified mission --------------------------+|  | |
                                            |  | |
Basic mission ------------------------------+  | |
                                               | |
Design number ---------------------------------+ |
Series ------------------------------------------+

Sometimes, the block number and manufacturer code are added to the
designation:                              F-4G-43-MC
                                          | || |  |
Basic mission ----------------------------+ || |  |
                                            || |  |
Design number ------------------------------+| |  |
                                             | |  |
Series --------------------------------------+ |  |
                                               |  |
Block number ----------------------------------+  |


Starting at the first dash in the designation above, and moving to
the LEFT, we encounter:

Indicates the type of (unmanned) vehicle.
  B - Booster
  M - Guided missile or drone
  N - Probe
  R - Rocket
  S - Satellite

This is the most important designator. It indicates the primary design
task of the vehicle.
  C - Cargo/ transport
  D - Decoy
  E - Electronic or communication
  G - Surface attack
  I - Intercept aerial or space
  L - Launch detection or surveillance
  M - Scientific/ calibration
  N - Navigation
  Q - Drone
  S - Space support
  T - Training
  U - Underwater attack
  W - Weather

Type of launching platform.
  A - Air
  B - Multiple
  C - Coffin
  F - Individual
  G - Runway
  H - Silo stored
  L - Silo launched
  M - Mobile
  P - Soft pad
  R - Ship
  S - Space
  U - Underwater

  C - Captive
  D - Dummy
  J - Special test temporary
  M - Modified
  N - Special test permanent
  X - Experimental
  Y - Prototype
  Z - Planning

The same rules as for aircraft apply to the rest of the designation,
except for the block and manufacturer. This might be replaced by a
CONFIGURATION NUMBER, which indicates a modification.

Let's take an example:                    AIM-9L
                                          ||| ||
Launch environment -----------------------+|| ||
                                           || ||
Basic mission -----------------------------+| ||
                                            | ||
Vehicle type -------------------------------| ||
Design number --------------------------------+|
Series ----------------------------------------+


Starting at the first dash in the designation above, and moving to
the LEFT, we encounter:

The primary task of this electronic equipment.
  A - Auxilary assemblies
  B - Bombing
  C - Communications
  D - Direction finding, recon, and/or surveillance
  E - Ejection and/or release
  G - Fire control or light finding
  H - Recording or reproducing
  K - Computing
  M - Maintenance or test assemblies
  N - Navigational aids
  Q - Special or combinations of purposes
  R - Receiving/ passive detecting
  S - Detecting and/or range bearing, search
  T - Transmitting
  W - Automatic flight or remote control
  X - Identification and recognition
  Y - Surveillance and control

  A - Infrared or invisible light
  C - Carrier (wire)
  D - Radiac
  E - Nupac
  F - Photographic
  G - Telegraph or teletype
  I - Interphone or public address
  J - Electromechanical or inertial wire covered
  K - Telemetering
  L - Countermeasure
  M - Meteorological
  N - Sound in air
  P - Radar
  Q - Sonar and underwater sound
  R - Radio
  S - Special types, magnetic combination of types
  T - Telephone (wire)
  V - Visual or visible light
  W - Armament
  X - Facsimile or TV
  Y - Data processing

  A - Airborne (piloted aircraft)
  B - Underwater mobile (submarine)
  C - Air transportable
  D - Pilotless carrier
  F - Fixed (ground)
  G - General purpose use
  K - Amphibious
  M - Ground mobile
  P - Portable
  S - Water
  T - Ground transportable
  U - General utility assemblies
  V - Ground vehicular
  W - Water surface and underwater combination
  Z - Piloted and pilotless airborne combination

  AN - Joint services

The same rules as for aircraft apply to the rest of the designation,
except for the block and manufacturer. This might be replaced by a
VARIABLE GROUPING, which indicates a modification.

Let's take an example:                  AN/APG-68A
                                         | |||  ||
Approved for joint services -------------+ |||  ||
                                           |||  ||
Installation ------------------------------+||  ||
                                            ||  ||
Equipment type -----------------------------+|  ||
                                             |  ||
Purpose -------------------------------------+  ||
Design number ----------------------------------+|
Series ------------------------------------------+

1.2. The US Navy designation systems

1.2.1 Aircraft

The aircraft designation system adopted by the USN was qualitatively different from that adopted by the Army, because not only the function of the aircraft but also its manufacturer was indicated. (A similar system was used by the Japanese Navy.)

Designations were built as follows:

  1. One or two function letters. The F4F was a Fighter, the T4M a Torpedo bomber, the SB2C a Scout-Bomber, ...
  2. A sequence number, indicating that the aircraft was the nth one with this function built by the manufacturer. The number 1 was not written. The fighters built by Grumman for the USN were thus labeled: FF, F2F, F3F, F4F, ...
  3. A letter indicating the manufacturer. The F4F was built by Grumman, the F4U by Vought, the F4B by Boeing, ...
  4. A dash.
  5. A number indicating the subtype. The designation F4U-4 indicates that the aircraft is the fourth subtype of the F4U.
  6. Optionally, a letter to indicate minor changes. The F4U-1A was a F4U-1 with a raised cabin and improved cockpit glazing.

There was a short period at the introduction of the system when the manufacturer letter was placed first. Hence a designation as Vought UO, an observation aircrcaft (O) built by Vought (U), and a few others.

Function letters and combinations were subject to changes, to simplify the system, make room for new categories, or adapt the system to changed practice. For example: shortly after WWII the USN abandoned the TB, BF and SB designations for a simplified A designation, indicating the replacement of specialized torpedo and dive bombers by all-round attack aircraft.

A Attack
A Ambulance
BF Fighter bomber
F Fighter
G Utility transport
H Ambulance
HC Transport helicopters
HJ Utility helicopter (?)
HN Utility helicopter (?)
HO Observation helicopter
HR Transport helicopter
HS ASW helicopter
HT Training helicopter
HU Utility helicopter
J Utility transport
JR Utility transport
LB Bomb Glider (unmanned, of course)
LN Training glider
M Observation / Multi-role
N Trainer
O Observation
OS Observation / Scout
P Patrol
PB Patrol Bomber
R Racer
R Transport
S Scout
SB Scout bomber (dive bomber)
SF Scout Torpedo bomber
SN Scout trainer
SO Scout / Observation
T Transport
T Trainer
TB Torpedo bomber
TD Target drone
TS Torpedo bomber / Scout
U Utility
Z Airship

The prefix X indicated a prototype.

Manufacturer letters were not always unique, nor always the same for one manufacturer. The USN manipulated the system to bring numerous manufacturers in line with only 26 letters, or more correctly only 23 because it didn't use all.

A = Brewster F2A Buffalo

General Aviation XFA

Noorduyn JA Norseman

Allied LRA

Aeromarine AS
B = Beechcraft GB Traveller

Boeing F2B

Budd RB Conestoga

C = Curtiss F6C Hawk

Cessna JRC Bobcat

Culver TD2C
D = Douglas A4D Skyhawk

McDonnell F2D Phantom


E = Piper HE

Cessna OE-2 Birddog

Hiller HOE

Bellanca XSE-1

Edo XOSE-1

Pratt-Read (Gould) LBE

Elias EM-2


Pratt Read  
F = Grumman F4F Wildcat

Fairchild SBF Helldiver

G = Goodyear FG Corsair

Great Lakes BG

Eberhart XF2G-1



H = McDonnell FH Phantom

Howard GH Nightingale

Hall PH

Huff Daland  


J = North American FJ Fury

Berliner-Joyce F3J

General Aviation PJ
K = Fairchild J2K Forwarder

Kaman HOK

Keystone NK Pup


Kreidner Reisner  



L = Bell FL Airabonita

Columbia XJL

Loening OL


M = General Motors (Eastern)F3M Bearcat

Bell FM Airacuda

Martin P4M Mercator
N = Naval Aircraft Factory PBN Catalina

Seversky FN

Stinson RN Reliant
O = Lockheed FO Lightning

Piper UO

P = Spartan NP-1

Piper XLNP

Pitcairn OP

Piasecki HUP Retriever

Q = Fairchild R4Q flying Boxcar

Ward Hall  


R = Ryan FR Fireball

Interstate XTDR

Ford RR Trimotor





S = Stearman N2S

Sikorsky HR2S

Aeromarine FS

Schweizer LNS



T = Northrop FT Black Widow

Timm N2T Tutor

Taylorcraft LNT Grasshopper

Temco TT-1

Thomas Morse  

New Standard  
U = Chance-Vought F4U Corsair
V = Lockheed P2V Neptune

Vultee SNV
W = Wright F3W Apache

Waco JW

Canadian Car & Foundry SBW Helldiver
X = Cox-Klemin  
Y = Consolidated PBY Catalina

Convair XFY pogo

Stinson OY Sentinel
Z = Wilford OZ


The letters appended to the end of the designation, after the subtype number, were not always systematically applied. Some used codes were:

A Amphibian
B British version
C Cannon-armed / deck-landing version
D Target / Radar / Drop tanks
E Electronics
F Engine change
G Search & Rescue / Armed
H Ambulance
J Meteorological
K Target
L Arctic
M Missile armed
N Nightfighter
P Photo
Q Electronic warfare
R Transport
T Trainer
U Utility
W Early warning
Z Personnel transport

1.2.2 Ships, boats, and other vessels

AB Crane Ship
ABD Advanced Base Dock
ABSD Advanced Base Sectional Dock
AC Collier
ACS Auxiliary Crane Ship
AD Destroyer Tender
AE Ammunition Ship
AEFS Fleet Replenishment Ship
AF Stores Ship
AFD Mobile Floating Dry Dock
AFS Fleet Stores Ship
AG Miscellaneous Auxiliary
AGC Amphibious Force Flagship
AGDS Launch Area Support Ship
AGF Command Ship
AGL Lighthouse Tender (Coast Guard)
AGM Missile Range Instrumentation Ship
AGP Motor Torpedo Boat Tender
AGOR Oceanographic Research Ship
AGOS Ocean Surveillance Ship
AGS Surveying Ship
AGSS Auxiliary Research/Experimental Submarine
AGTR Auxiliary Technical Reconaissance Ship
AH Hospital Ship
AK General Cargo Ship
AKA Attack Cargo Ship
AKD Deck-Hold Cargo Ship
AKN Net Cargo Ship
AKR Vehicle Cargo Ship
AKS General Stores Carho Ship
AKV Aircraft Ferry
AL Lightship (Coast Guard)
AM Fleet Minesweeper (steel)
AMB Base Minesweeper
AMC Coastal Minesweeper (wooden)
AN Net Laying Ship
AO Oiler
AOE Fast Combat Support Ship
AOG Gasoline Carrier / Tanker
AOR Replenishment Oiler
AOT Transport Oiler / Tanker
AP Troop Ship, non-landing
APA Attack Transport Ship
APB Barrack Ship, Self-Propelled
APC Small Coastal Transport
APD Fast Destroyer Transport
APF Adminstration Flagship
APG Supporting Gunnery Ship
APH Transport, Evacuation of Wounded
APL Auxiliary Personnel Light / Labour Transport Ship
APM Mechanized Artillery Transport
APN Non-Mechanized Artillery Transport
APR Rescue Transport
APS Transport Submarine
APSS Vehicle Transport Submarine
AR Repair Ship
ARB Repair Ship, Battle Damage
ARC Cable Repair/Laying Ship
ARD Floating Dry Dock
ARD Repair Dock, Concrete
ARG Repair Ship, Landing Craft / Repair Ship, Internal Combustion Engine
ARH Repair Ship, Hull
ARL Repair Ship, Landing Craft
ARM Repair Ship, Heavy Machinery
ARS Salvage Vessel
ARV Aviation Repair Vessel
AS Submarine Tender
ASR Surmarine Rescue Vessel
ASSP Auxiliary Transport Submarine
AT Tug
ATA Auxiliary Tug
ATF Oceangoing Fleet Tug
ATO Old Tug
ATR Recue Tug
ATS Salvage & Rescue Ship
AV Seaplane Tender
AVC Catapult Lighter
AVD Seaplane Tender (Destroyer)
AVP Seaplane Tender (Small)
AVR Aircraft Rescue Vessel
AVS Aviation Supply Ship
AVT Auxiliary Aircraft Transport
AW Distilling Ship
AWK Water Tanker
AZ Airship Tender (Lighter-Than-Air)
BB Battleship
BC Battlecruiser
BCGN Nuclear-powered Guided Missile Battlecruiser
BRDM Floating Dry Dock
CA Heavy Gun Cruiser
CAG Guided Missile Heavy Cruiser
CB Large Cruiser
CC Tactical Command Ship
CG Guided Missile Cruiser
CGN Nuclear-powered Guided Missile Cruiser
CHG Helicopter Cruiser with Guided Missiles
CL Light Cruiser
CLAA Light Anti-Aircraft Cruiser
CLC Task Fleet Command Ship
CLG Guided Missile Light Cruiser
CLGN Guided Missile Light Cruiser, Nuclear-powered
CLK Hunter-Killer Cruiser
CM Minelayer
CMC Minelayer, Coastal
CONT Container Ship
CV Aircraft Carrier
CVA Attack aircraft carrier
CVAN Attack aircraft carrier, nuclear powered.
CVB Large Aircraft Carrier
CVE Escort aircraft carrier.
CVH Helicopter Carrier
CVHA Assault Helicopter Transport
CVHE Escort Helicopter Aircraft Carrier.
CVHG Helicopter Carrier with guided missile armament.
CVL Light aircraft carrier.
CVN Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
CVS Support (ASW) Aircraft Carrier.
CVT Training Aircraft Carrier
CVU Utility Aircraft Carrier
DD Destroyer
DDE Escort Destroyer
DDG Guided Missile Destroyer
DDH Helicopter Destroyer
DDK Hunter-Killer Destroyer
DDR Radar Picket Destroyer
DE Escort Destroyer
DEC Control Escort Ship
DEG Guided Missile Escort Ship
DER Radar Picket Escort Ship
DL Frigate
DLG Guided Missile Frigate
DLGH Guided Missile Frigate, Helicopter
DLGN Guided Missile Frigate, Nuclear-powered
DM Light Minelayer (Former Destroyers)
DMS Minesweeper, Fast (Former Destroyers)
EDD Experimental Destroyer
EDE Experimental Escort Ship
FF Frigate
FFG Guided Missile Frigate
FFGH Guided Missile Frigate, Helicopter
FFH Frigate, Helicopter
FFL Corvette
IFS Inshore Fire Support Ship
IX Unclassified Auxiliary
IXS Unclassified Auxiliary Submarine
LASS Launch Area Support Ship
LCAC Landing Craft, Air Cushioned
LCC Command Ship for Amphibious Operations
LCI Landing Craft, Infantry
LCM Landing Craft, Mechanized units
LCP Landing Craft, Personnel
LCT Landing Craft, Tank
LCU Landing Craft, Utility
LCVP Landing Craft, Vehicles and Personnel
LHA Helicopter Assault Ship
LHD Amphibious Assault Ship
LKA Amphibious Cargo Ship
LPA Amphibious Transport
LPD Amphibious Transport Dock
LPH Amphibious Assault Ship
LPSS Amphibious Transport Submarine
LS Landing Ship
LSD Landing Ship, Dock
LSI Landing Ship, Infantry
LSM Landing Ship, Medium
LSMR Landing Ship, Medium, Rockets
LST Landing Ship, Tank
LSU Landing Ship, Utility
LVT Landing Vehicle, Tracked
MCM Mine Countermeasures Ship
MHC Coastal Mine Hunter
ML Minelayer
MS Minesweeper
MSB Minesweeping Boat
MSH Minesweeper,
MSO Minesweeper, Ocean
MV Merchant Vessel
PBR Patrol Boat, River
PC Patrol Corvette
PCE Escort Patrol Corvette
PCS Patrol Corvette, Minesweeping
PF Patrol Frigate
PG Patrol Gunboat
PGH Patrol Gunboat, Hydrofoil
PGM Patrol Gunboat, Motor
PHM Missile-armed Patrol Hydrofoil.
PM Patrol Missile Boat
PT Torpedo Boat
PTG Torpedo Boat, guided missile armament
PTM Missile-armed Torpedo Boat
PY Patrol Vessel (Converted Yacht)
PYC Coastal Patrol Vessel (Converted Yacht)
SC Submarine Chaser (Wooden)
SM Minelayer Submarine
SS Submarine
SSA Cargo Submarine
SSB Ballistic Missile Submarine
SSBN Nuclear-powered Ballistic Missile Submarine
SSG Guided Missile Submarine
SSGN Nuclear-powered Guided Missile Submarine
SSK Hunter-Killer Submarine
SSKN Hunter-Killer Submarine, nuclear powered
SSN Nuclear-powered (attack) Submarine
SSO Oiler Submarine
SSP Vehicle Transport Submarine
SSR Radar Picket Submarine
SSRN Radar Picket Submarine, nuclear powered
TANK Tanker
TRAN Transport
YA Ash Lighter
YAG District Auxiliary, Miscellaneous
YC Open Lighter
YCF Car Float (Railroad)
YCK Open Cargo Lighter
YCV Aircraft Transportation Lighter
YD Floating Derrick
YDG Degaussing Vessel
YDT Diving Tender
YE Ammunition Tender
YF Covered Lighter
YFB Ferry Boat / Launch
YFD Floating Dry Dock
YF Torpedo Transportation Lighter
YG Garbage Lighter
YH Ambulance Boat
YHB House Boat
YHT Heating Scow
YLA Open Landing Lighter
YM Dredge
YMS Motor Mine Sweeper
YN Net Tender
YNG Gate Vessel
YNT Net Tender, Tuc Class
YO Fuel Oil Barge
YOG Gasoline Barge
YOS Oil Storage Barge
YP District Patrol Craft
YPD Pile Driver (Floating)
YPK Pontoon Storage Barge
YR Floating Workshop
YRD Floating Workshop, Drydock
YS Stevedoring Barge
YSD Seaplane Wrecking Derrick
YSP Salvage Pontoon
YSR Sludge Removal Barge
YTB Large Harbour Tug
YTL Little Harbour Tug
YTM Medium Harbour Tug
YTT Torpedo Testing Barge
YW Water Barge

2. United Kingdom / The British Empire

2.1 Aircraft

2.1.1 The 1918 Designation system

The 1918 system was based on the meaning of names as codewords. It was used until 1927. Up to 1921 alliteration of aircraft name and Manufacturer was obligatory; later this was often continued. The following information is from an article in Aeroplane Monthly, November 1994:

 Fighter Zoological, Vegetable, Mineral (terrestial)
 Single-seater Insects, birds and reptiles
 Two-seater Mammals
 Three-seater Flowers
 Four-seater Shrubs
 Five-seater Trees
 Over five seats Metals, Rocks
 Bomber Geographical (inland)
 Single-Seater Italian towns
 Two-seater British towns
 Three-seater French towns
 More than 3, under 5 ton Towns in colonies and dependencies
 5 to 10 tons Towns in Asia
 10 to 15 tons Towns in Africa
 Heavy Armoured Machines Proper Names (male)
 Under 2 tons Mythological Greek
 2 to 5 tons Mythological Roman
 5 to 10 tons Mythological Eastern and Egyptian
 10 to 20 tons Mythological Northern Europe
 Fighter Zoological (marine)
 Single-seater River fish
 Two-seater Saltwater fish
 Three-seater Shellfish
 Bomber Geographical (seaboard)
 Single-Seater Italian towns
 Two-seater British towns
 Three-seater French towns
 More than 3, under 5 ton Towns in colonies and dependencies
 5 to 10 tons Towns in Asia
 10 to 15 tons Towns in Africa
 Patrol and anti-submarine Proper Names (female)
 Under 2 tons Mythological Greek
 2 to 5 tons Mythological Roman
 5 to 10 tons Mythological Eastern and Egyptian
 10 to 20 tons Mythological Northern Europe

2.1.2 The 1927 RAF Naming System

Category Names beginning with...
1. Fighters, land F
2. Fighters, fleet N (maritime significance)
3. Bombers, single-engined P
4. Bombers, multi-engined B
5. Bombers, torpedo M (maritime significance)
6. Army co-operation A
7. Spotter & reconaissance S
8. Coastal reconaissance R
9. Troop carriers C
10. Training aircraft T
11. General Purpose Aircraft G
12. Fighter Reconaissance O (maritime significance)

2.1.3 The 1932 RAF Naming System

1. Fighters Speed, Activity, Aggressiveness
2. Bombers
(a) Day Animals (except felidae)
(b) Army co-operation Classical names
(c) Night Inland town of the Empire, or towns associated with the RAF.
(d) General Purpose British historical names
(e) Transport General towns and seaports of the British Empire.
3. Flying Boats Coastal towns and seaports of the British Empire.
4. Fleet Air Arm
(a) Fighters Mythological names
(b) Fighter reconaissanceSeabirds
(c) Torpedo Bombers Oceans, seas and estuaries
(d) Spotter reconaissanceMarine animals
5. Trainers Tuition, or places of education

2.1.4 Specifications

The RAF introduced a systematic numbering system for aircraft requirements shortly after WWI. Specifications were numbered sequentially per year, and the year was indication by a second number. Here is a partial list of the specifications and the aircraft offered to meet them. The list does not include unbuilt designs.

5/20 Troop carrier Victoria, Awana
10/20 Long-range bomber Aldershot, Derby
2/21 Fighter Bullfinch
5/21 Reconnaissance Fawn
2/22 Two-seat fighter Dormouse, Bloodhound
21/22 Medium-range night bomber Hyderabad
30/22 Three-four seat night bomber Bugle
24/23 Single-seat fighter Gorcock
26/23 Single-engined day bomber Horsley, Handcross, Berkeley, Yeovil
29/23 Ambulance Brandon, Andover
7/24 Fighter Hornbill
9/24 Twin-engined day bomber Sidestrand
27/24 Bomber destroyer Bittern
28/24 Fighter Starling
F.9/26 Zone day and night fighter Bulldog, Hawfinch, Goldfinch, Partridge, Vickers 141, Bulldog IIIA, Armstrong-Whitworth XVI, Gloster SS.19
12/26 Single-engined day bomber Hart, Hound, Antelope
F.10/27 Multi-gun fighter Saunders A.10, Gloster SS.18
B.19/27 Twin-engined night bomber Heyford, Hendon, Vickers 150
F.20/27 Single-seat interceptor Starling, Bullpup, Vickers 151, Gloster SS.18, Siskin, Westland F.20/27, Hawker F.20/27, Wizard, Hornet, DH.77, Firefly II, Saunders A.10
B.22/27 Three-engined night bomber Boulton-Paul P.32, D.H.72
F.29/27 Single COW-gun fighter Westland F.29/27, Vickers F.29/27
C.16/28 Troop carrier Gloster TC.33
F.7/30 Zone fighter Hawker PV.3, Gladiator, Westland F.7/30
F.15/30 Two-seat fighter Demon
B.20/30 Single-engined day bomber Hart
C.26/31 Bomber - transport Bombay, Harrow
B.9/32 Day bomber Wellington, Hampden
P.27/32 Medium bomber Battle
B.3/34 Heavy bomber and transport Whitley
P.4/34 Light bomber Fairey P.4/34, Henley
F.5/34 Hawker Fury replacement Gloster F.5/34, Venom, MB.2
F.7/34 Interceptor Spitfire
F.36/34 Interceptor Hurricane
F.7/35 Four-cannon fighter Whirlwind
F.9/35 Land-based turret fighter Defiant, Hotspur
B.21/35 Heavy bomber Whitley
B.29/35 Bomber and troop transport Harrow
B.12/36 Four-engined night bomber Stirling
42/36 Target towing Henley
X.10/40 Assault Glider Hotspur
X.22/40 Assault Glider Hotspur Mk.II
X.23/40 Assault Glider Hotspur Mk.II
X.25/40 Glider Hengist
X.26/40 Assault Glider Horsa
X.26/40 Assault Glider Hamilcar
X.4/44 Powered Glider Hamilcar Mk.X
E.6/44 Flying boat jet fighter SR/A.1

3. Germany

3.1 Aircraft

3.1.1 Designation system for WWI aircraft

During WWI, German aircraft received a designation consisting of (1) the name of the manufacturer, (2) a function letter, and (3) a Roman number. The three parts of the designation were needed to get an unique designation. For example, there was a Fokker E III, but also a Pfalz E III and a Siemens-Schuckert E III.

The meaning of the function letters is listed below. During the war, there were some changes. The most important one is that the letter 'D' was at first only used for biplane fighters, while 'E' was used for monoplane fighters ans 'Dr' for triplane fighters. At the end of the war, the 'D' designation was used for single-seat fighters, even if they were monoplanes. Hence the Fokker E V was renamed Fokker D VIII.

A Unarmed reconaissance aircraft
B Two-seater, with the observer seating in front of the pilot.
C Two-seater, with the observer in the aft cockpit.
CL Fast two-seater, multi-role aircraft
D 'Doppeldecker', biplane. Later: fighter, in general
E 'Eindecker', monoplane.
Dr 'Dreidecker', triplane.
G 'Grosskampfflugzeug', bomber
J Ground-attack aircraft
K 'Kampfflugzeug', later redisgnated with a G.
R 'Riesenflugzeug', long-range bomber.

3.1.2 Designation system for WWII aircraft

The German WWII designation system used the first two letters of the manufacturer's name (Ju for Junkers, Fw for Focke-Wulf, ...) and an unique number. Numbers were indeed supposed to be unique, and usually a block of numbers was allocated to a manufacturer. All technical drawings carried the aircraft type number.

However, sometimes numbers were exchanged by manufacturers, and sometimes they were used twice if they had been used for an unsuccessful type. In some cases aircraft designs were moved from one manufacturer to another; they usually, but not always, retained their number. There also was a tendency to use variations of the first digit to related or similar aircraft. For example, Messerschmitt produced a the Bf 110, the Me 210 which was intended to replaced it, the Me 310 design which was an improved Me 210, and the Me 410, which was also an improved Me 210.

Versions were distinguished by capital letters and subdived with numbers, e.g. Ju 88G-6. The number 0 was usually used for pre-series aircraft. Sometimes lowercase letters were added to indicate minor variations, eg. Me 262A-1a. Prototypes had the letter V (for Versuchsflugzeug) and a sequential number, eg. Bf 109 V23, except in the early years, when they were generally given lowercase letters, eg. Fi 98a.

Aircraft could also be modified with a 'Umbrust' or 'Bausatze' set or be tropicalized; eg. a Bf 109G-2/U1 was a Bf 109G-2 fitted with a reversible pitch prop, an Bf 109G-2/R1 had a 500kg bomb carrier fitted, and an Bf 109E-4/Trop had a dust filter installed.

Here is a list of the WWII aircraft numbers. The official list started at 10, but Heinkel asssigned some of its own numbers. The second column gives the (approximate) number of aircraft built, if available, or a status letter: P for prototypes only, E for experimental only, and C for cancelled or abandoned before any aircraft were completed. The third column is a short description.

Designation Status Description.
He 1, Heinkel . Low-wing seaplane built in Sweden.
He 2, Heinkel . Development of the He 1.
He 4, Heinkel . Development of the He 2.
He 5, Heinkel . Development of the He 4.
He 8, Heinkel . Development of the He 5 for Denmark.
Do 10, Dornier P Parasol-wing fighter
Do 11, Dornier . Twin-engined transport and bomber
Do 12, Dornier 1 Small snigle-engined amphibian.
Do 13, Dornier . Bomber, improved Do 11.
Do 14, Dornier 1 Experimental long-range flying boat.
Do 15, Dornier 2 Experimental three-engined bomber.
Do 16, Dornier . Final version of the famous "Wal" flying boat.
Do 17, Dornier . Twin-engined bomber.
Do 18, Dornier . Twin-engined flying boats, with tandem Diesel engines.
Do 19, Dornier P Four-engined bomber.
Do 20, Dornier C Design for a large long-range flying boat with eight Diesel engines.
Do 22, Dornier 31 Sesquiplane reconnaissance aircraft.
Do 23, Dornier 210 Improved Do 13.
Do 24, Dornier 294 Three-engined flying boat.
Do 25, Dornier . Post-war STOL aircraft, built in Spain.
Do 26, Dornier 6 Four-engined flying boat
Do 27, Dornier . Post-war STOL aircraft.
Do 28, Dornier . Post-war STOL aircraft.
Do 29, Dornier 3 Post-war STOL aircraft.
He 31, Heinkel . Development of the He 8.
Kl 31, Klemm . Cabin monoplane.
Kl 32, Klemm . Cabin monoplane.
Kl 35, Klemm . Monoplane trainer.
DFS 39 E Experimental tailless aircraft.
DFS 40 E Experimental tailless aircraft.
Bv 40, Blohm und Voss 7 Glider fighter built in 1944.
He 42, Heinkel . Trainer and reconnaissance aircraft.
Fw 44, Focke-Wulf . Trainer.
He 45, Heinkel 512 Trainer.
He 46, Heinkel 481 Parasol-wing reconnaissance aircraft.
He 49, Heinkel 4 Biplane fighter.
He 50, Heinkel (130) Biplane dive bomber.
He 51, Heinkel 725 Biplane fighter.
He 52, Heinkel . Biplane fighter, developed from He 51.
Ju 52, Junkers 4835 Three-engined transport aircraft.
He 55, Heinkel . Shipboard flying boat.
He 56, Heinkel . Reconnaissance biplane.
Fw 56, Focke-Wulf 900 Lightweight home defence fighter.
Fw 57, Focke-Wulf 3 Twin-engined heavy fighter.
Fw 58, Focke-Wulf 1987 Twin-engined trainer and utility aircraft.
He 59, Heinkel . Seaplane, a biplane mostly used for SAR.
He 60, Heinkel 205 Shipboard biplane.
Ju 60, Junkers . Single-engined fast mailplane.
He 61, Heinkel . Two-seat reconnaissance biplane.
Ju 61, Junkers 2 High-altitude bomber.
Fa 61, Focke-Achelis E The first practical helicopter.
Fw 61, Focke-Wulf E Correct designation for Fa 61.
He 62, Heinkel . Two-seat reconnaissance biplane.
Fw 62, Focke-Wulf 4 Reconnaissance floatplane.
He 63, Heinkel . Two-seat reconnaissance biplane.
He 64, Heinkel . Two-seat reconnaissance biplane.
Ar 64, Arado . Biplane fighter.
Ar 65, Arado 85 Biplane fighter.
He 66, Heinkel . Export designation of the {He 50}.
Ar 66, Arado 6000+ Trainer.
Ar 67, Arado 1 Biplane fighter.
Ar 68, Arado . Biplane fighter.
He 70, Heinkel . Single-engined fast mailplane.
He 72, Heinkel . Biplane trainer.
He 74, Heinkel 3 Smaller development of He 51.
Ar 76, Arado . Lightweight home-defence fighter.
Ju 77, Junkers . ?
Ar 79, Arado . Low-wing cabin monoplane.
Ar 80, Arado 5 Single-seat fighter.
Ar 81, Arado 3 Biplane dive bomber.
Ju 82, Junkers C 1942 design for a jet fighter.
Ju 85, Junkers C Twin-engined bomber, alternative for Ju 88.
Ju 86, Junkers . Twin-engined bomber and high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft.
Ju 87, Junkers 5700 Dive bomber
Ju 88, Junkers 10774 Twin-engined bomber, heavy fighter and nightfighter.
Ju 90, Junkers . Four-engined transport.
Ar 95, Arado . Floatplane.
Ar 96, Arado 11546+ Trainer.
Fi 98, Fieseler 1 Biplane dive bomber.
He 100, Heinkel 25 Single-seat fighter.
Fi 103, Fieseler 175 Manned version of V-1 flying bomb.
Fh 104, Siebel 48 Light transport.
Si 104, Siebel . Renamed Fh 104.
Kl 104, Klemm . Original name of Fh 104.
Kl 106, Klemm . Development of Kl 35.
Bf 108, Messerschmitt 887+ Cabin monoplane.
Bf 109, Messerschmitt 35000+ Single-seat fighter.
Bf 110, Messerschmitt 6100 Twin-engined heavy fighter and nightfighter.
He 111, Heinkel 7300+ Medium bomber.
He 112, Heinkel 68 Single-seat fighter.
He 113, Heinkel . Fake designation for He 100.
He 114, Heinkel 98 Seaplane.
He 115, Heinkel 500+ Big-twin engined seaplane torpedo-bomber.
He 116, Heinkel 14 Long-distance mailplane.
He 118, Heinkel 13 Dive bomber.
He 119, Heinkel 8 Two-seat reconnaissance aircraft.
Hs 122, Henschel P Parasol-wing army co-operation aircraft.
Hs 123, Henschel . Biplane dive bomber.
Hs 124, Henschel 3 Twin-engined heavy fighter.
Hs 126, Henschel . Tactical reconnaissance type, developed from Hs 122.
Hs 127, Henschel P Twin-engined bomber.
Hs 128, Henschel E High-altitude research aircraft.
Hs 129, Henschel 879 Armoured anti-tank aircraft.
Hs 130, Henschel . Twin-engined High-altitude bomber.
Bu 131, Bucker . Biplane trainer.
Hs 132, Henschel P Small jet-engined dive bomber.
Bu 133, Bucker . Biplane trainer.
Ha 135, Blohm und Voss . Biplane trainer.
Ha 136, Blohm und Voss . Monoplane trainer.
Ha 137, Blohm und Voss 5 Dive bomber and support aircraft.
Bv 138, Blohm und Voss 279 Three-engined flying boat.
Ha 139, Blohm und Voss 3 Shpboard mailplane and reconnaissance aircraft.
Ha 140, Blohm und Voss 4 Twin-engined torpedo-bomber.
Bv 141, Blohm und Voss 13 Assymmetric tactical reconnaissance aircraft.
Bv 142, Blohm und Voss 4 Landplane version of the Ha 139.
Bv 143, Blohm und Voss . Anti-ship missile.
Bv 144, Blohm und Voss 2 Transport aircraft built in France.
Go 145, Gotha 9500+ Trainer biplane
Go 147, Gotha . Reconnaissance aircraft.
Ta 152, Focke-Wulf 215 Development of the Fw 190.
Ta 153, Focke-Wulf 1 Development of the Ta 153.
Ta 154, Focke-Wulf 50+ Twin-engined fighter of wooden construction.
Bv 155, Blohm und Voss 3+ ? Development of the Me 155.
Me 155, Messerschmitt C Single-seat fighter.
Fi 156, Fieseler 2549 STOL liaison aircraft.
Fw 159, Focke-Wulf 3 Parasol-wing fighter.
Ju 160, Junkers 48 Refined Ju 60 mailplane.
Bf 161, Messerschmitt C Reconnaissance version of the Bf 110.
Bf 162, Messerschmitt P Twin-engined bomber.
He 162, Heinkel 275 ? Simple jet fighter.
Bf 163, Messerschmitt 1 STOL liaison aircraft.
Me 163, Messerschmitt . Rocket-powered, tailless fighter.
Fi 167, Fieseler 12 Carrier-borne attack aircraft.
He 170, Heinkel 19 Export version of He 70.
He 172, Heinkel 1 Development of He 72.
He 176, Heinkel E Rocket-powered aircraft based on He 112.
He 177, Heinkel 1094 Twin-engined heavy bomber.
He 178, Heinkel 2 The first jet aircraft.
Bu 180, Bucker . Primary trainer.
Bu 181, Bucker . Cabin monoplane.
Ta 183, Focke-Wulf C Swept-wing jet fighter.
Fl 185, Flettner E Helicopter.
Fw 186, Focke-Wulf P Autogyro.
Ju 186, Junkers C Four-engined development of Ju 86.
Fw 187, Focke-Wulf 9 Twin-engined fighter.
Ju 187, Junkers C More modern replacement for Ju 87.
Ju 188, Junkers 1036 Development of Ju 88.
Fw 189, Focke-Wulf 864 Twin-boom tactical reconnaissance aircraft.
Fw 190, Focke-Wulf 20001 Single-engined fighter.
Fw 191, Focke-Wulf 3 Twin-engined high-altitude bomber.
DFS 193 C Tailless reconnaissance aircraft.
DFS 194 E Experimental tailless aircraft.
Ar 195, Arado 3 Development of Ar 95.
Ar 196, Arado 546 Shipboard floatplane.
Ar 197, Arado 3 Biplane fighter, development of Ar 68.
FiSk 199, Fieseler-Skoda 2 ? Attack derivative of Bf 109.
Fw 200, Focke-Wulf 276 Four-engined transport and maritime reconnaissance aircraft
Si 201, Siebel P STOL liaison aircraft
Si 204, Siebel 1500+ Twin-engined liaison aircraft; development of Si 104.
Me 208, Messerschmitt 2 Development of Bf 108.
Me 209, Messerschmitt 4 Record-setting aircraft.
Me 209, Messerschmitt 2 Unrelated fighter design; later renamed Me 109 L.
Me 210, Messerschmitt 352 Twin-engined heavy fighter.
Hu 211, Hutter C High-altitude reconnaissance version of He 219.
Do 212, Dornier 1 Single-engined amphibian built in Switzerland.
Do 214, Dornier C Long-range flying boat.
Do 215, Dornier . Derivative of Do 17.
Do 216, Dornier C Six-engined flying boat design.
Do 217, Dornier 1750 Twin-engined, medium bomber.
He 219, Heinkel 294 Twin-engined nightfighter.
Bv 222, Blohm und Voss 13 Six-engined flying boat.
Fa 223, Focke-Achelis P Twin-rotor transport helicopter.
FGP 227, Prag E Reduced-scale flying model of the Bv 238.
DFS 228 P Rocket-assisted glider, reconnaissance aircraft.
Go 229, Gotha P Tailless jet fighter.
Ho 229, Horten . More correct designation for Go 229.
DFS 230 . Assault glider.
Ar 231, Arado 6 Reconnaissance aircraft for submarines.
Ar 232, Arado 22 Transport aircraft.
Ar 234, Arado 274 The first jet bomber.
Bv 237, Blohm und Voss C Fighter-bomber derivative of Bv 141.
Bv 238, Blohm und Voss 1 Six-engined flying boat.
Ar 240, Arado 15 Twin-engined heavy fighter.
Go 242, Gotha 1528 Twin-boom assault and transport glider.
Go 244, Gotha 176 Twin-engined version of Go 242.
Bv 246, Blohm und Voss . Guided missile.
Ju 248, Junkers . Development of Me 163.
Bv 250, Blohm und Voss C Planned landplane version of Bv 238.
Ju 252, Junkers 25 Three-engined transport aircraft.
Ta 254, Focke-Wulf C Development of Ta 154.
Fi 256, Fieseler C Development of Fi 156.
Fw 261, Focke-Wulf C Four-engined, twin-tail bomber.
Me 261, Messerschmitt 3 Twin-engined record-breaker.
Me 262, Messerschmitt 1430 Jet fighter.
Me 263, Messerschmitt 1 Former Ju 248.
Me 264, Messerschmitt 2 Four-engined strategic bomber.
Fl 265, Flettner 6 Helicopter.
Fa 266, Focke-Achelis . Improved Fa 223.
Ju 268, Junkers C Design for a jet-engined "Mistel".
Fa 269, Focke-Achelis C VTOL design.
He 270, Heinkel 1 Development of He 70.
He 274, Heinkel 1 Four-engined development of He 177.
He 275, Heinkel 1 Four-engined bomber.
He 277, Heinkel 8 Four-engined development of He 177.
He 280, Heinkel 9 Jet fighter.
Fl 282, Flettner 24 Helicopter, improved Fl 265.
Ta 283, Focke-Wulf C Fighter with ramjet engines.
Fa 284, Focke-Achelis C Crane helicopter design.
Ju 286, Junkers C High-altitude aircraft.
Ju 287, Junkers 1 Four-engine jet bomber with forward swept wings.
Ju 288, Junkers 22 Advanced twin-engined bomber.
Ju 290, Junkers 65 Maritime reconnaissance and transport development of Ju 90.
Hs 291, Henschel C Sea-skimming missile.
Hs 293, Henschel . Guided missile.
Ar 296, Arado C Development of Ar 96.
Fw 300, Focke-Wulf C Design for an improved Fw 200.
Me 309, Messerschmitt 4 Single-seat fighter.
Me 310, Messerschmitt C Proposed development of Me 210.
Do 317, Dornier 1 High-altitude bomber derived from Do 217.
Do 318, Dornier 1 Do 24 modified to test boundary layer control system.
He 319, Heinkel C Development of the He 219.
Me 321, Messerschmitt 200 Large transport glider.
Ju 322, Junkers P Flying-wing transport glider.
Me 323, Messerschmitt 198 Version of Me 321 with six engines.
Fa 325, Focke-Achelis P Rotorglider version of DFS 230.
Me 328, Messerschmitt P? Small jet fighter with pulse jet engines.
Me 329, Messerschmitt C Tailless two-seat fighter.
Fa 330, Focke-Achelis 200 Rotor kite for U-boats.
DFS 332 C High-speed glider for aerodynamic tests.
Fi 333, Fieseler C Twin-engined utility aircraft.
Me 334, Messerschmitt C Small tailless fighter, conventional derivative of Me 163.
Do 335, Dornier 28 Tandem-engined heavy fighter.
Fl 339, Flettner P Small helicopter.
Ar 340, Arado C High-altitude bomber project.
He 343, Heinkel C Design for a four-engined jet bomber.
Go 345, Gotha C Design for transport glider.
DFS 346 C/E Supersonic, rocket-powered aircraft. Flown in the USSR.
Ba 349, Bachem 36 Vertically launched, rocket-powered fighter.
Ju 352, Junkers 45 Derivative of Ju 252.
Ar 381, Arado C Small rocket-powered interceptor.
Ju 388, Junkers 103 Development of Ju 188.
Ju 390, Junkers 2 Six-engined development of Ju 290.
Ar 396, Arado . Development of Ar 96.
Ta 400, Focke-Wulf C Six-engined bomber, maybe a variation on the Fw 300.
Me 409, Messerschmitt C "Twin" fighter using Me 209 parts.
Me 410, Messerschmitt 1160 Twin-engined heavy fighter, much improved Me 210.
Do 417, Dornier C Twin-engined bomber design.
He 419, Heinkel 6 He 219 with longer wings.
Ka 430, Kalkert 13 Single-tail development of Go 242.
Ar 432, Arado . Mixed-construction version of Ar 232.
Ar 440, Arado 4 Improved Ar 240.
Ju 488, Junkers C Four-engined long-range bomber.
Me 509, Messerschmitt C Single-seat fighter with engine behind pilot.
Me 609, Messerschmitt C "Twin" fighter using Me 309 parts.
He 535, Heinkel C Mixed-power derivative of the Do 335.
Ju 635, Junkers C "Twin" long-distance aircraft using Do 335 parts.

3.1.3 Translations of German names

Here are some translations of German aircraft names:

Bachstelze Wagtail
Blitz Lightning
Drache Dragon, Kite
Falke Falcon
Floh Flea
Gelber Hund Yellow Dog
Greif Griffon
Hagelkorn Hailstone
Hornisse Hornet
Kadett Cadet
Kauz Owl
Kleinstjager Very small fighter
Komet Comet
Mistel Mistletoe
Natter Viper
Pfeil Arrow
Stieglitz Goldfinch
Storch Stork
Stosser Bird of Prey
Taifun Typhoon
Taube Dove
Wal Whale
Weihe Kite (bird)
Wiking Viking
Zwilling Twin

4. Japan

4.1 Aircraft

4.1.1 WWII Aircraft designation systems

The designations of Japanese military aircraft are simple; the situation becomes complicated only because the Navy and the Army each had two systems.

Officially, Japanese naval aircraft were indicated by a description of their function and a number, according to the year the production started. The A6M was called Carrier-borne Fighter Type 0 because in entered service in the Japanese year 2600 (1940). A model number was used to indicate the versions. From the mid-thirties two-digit model numbers were used; the first digit indicated the airframe, the second digit the engine. In 1943 the numbering system was abandoned, because it was too informative about the year of service entry of an aircraft. From then aircraft were referred to by their names.

In the late '20s the Imperial Japanese Navy introduced a short designation system for its aircraft, very similar to that of its oppononent, the USN. This system had:

Function letters used by the Japanese Navy:

A Carrier-borne fighter
B Carrier-borne (Torpedo) bomber
C Reconaissance, wheeled undercarriage
D Carrier-borne Dive bomber
E Reconaissance seaplane
F Observation seaplane
G Land-based bomber
H Flying boat
J Land-based fighter
K Trainer
L Transport
M Special seaplane
MX Special purpose
N Fighter seaplane
P Bomber
Q Patrol
R Land-based reconaissance
S Night fighter

Manufacturer letters used by the Japanese Navy:

A Aichi
D Showa
H Hiro
K Kawanishi
M Mitsubishi
N Nakajima
P Nihon
V Seversky
W Watanabe
W Kyushu
Y Yokosuka (Naval Arsenal)

The official designation system of the Japanes Army also used year numbers, similar to the IJN system except that the year 2600 was referred to as year 100, not 0. Simple model numbers were used with alphabetical suffixes.

The Japanese Army from 1932 onwards numbered aircraft that had been built to its requirements in the 'Ki' (Kitai, airframe) series with a simple sequential system -- until 1944, when anomalies were introduced for security reasons. An exception was made later for gliders, that were given 'Ku' (Guraida) numbers. Aircraft that were not designed to an Army requirement were not given Ki numbers, as the Ka-1 and the LO. Different versions of an aircraft were indicated with Roman numerals, and minor modifications were indicated with the Ko, Otsu,... sequence of suffixes. But a major modififaction would be indicated with a Kaizo symbol, normally transliterated as KAI.

The letter sequence used for minor modifications is Ko, Otsu, Hei, Tei, Bo, Ki, Ko, Shin, Jin and Ki -- the first and seven are different characters in writing. They have no real alphabetic or numerical significance and are more akin to North, South, East, West in idea. Only the first four were commonly used.

4.1.2 Allied Code Names

List of allied code names for Japanese WWII aircraft. General rules (not always followed) were:

  1. Fighters and reconaissance seaplanes have boy's names.
  2. Bombers, dive-bombes, torpedo-bombers, seaplanes and reconaissance aircraft were given girl's names.
  3. Transport aircraft were given girl's names beginning with T.
  4. Trainers were given the names of trees.
  5. Gliders were given the names of birds.
Abdul Nakajima Ki.27 (Unofficial)
Adam Nakajima SKT-97. Did not exist.
Alf Kawanishi E7K
Ann Mitsubishi Ki.30
Babs Mitsubishi C5M
Babs Mitsubishi Ki.15
Belle Kawanishi H3K
Ben Nagoya-Sento KI-001. Did not exist.
Bess Heinkel He 111. Not in Japanese service.
Betty Mitsubishi G4M
Betty Mitsubishi G6M
Bob Aichi 97 seapleane. Did not exist.
Bob Kawasaki Ki.28
Cedar Tachikawa Ki.17
Cherry Yokosuka H5Y
Clara Tachikwawa Ki.70
Claude Mitsubishi A5M
Cypress Kyushu K9W
Dave Nakajima E8N
Dick Seversky A8V
Dinah Mitsubishi Ki.46
Doc Messerschmitt Bf 110. Not in Japanese service.
Doris Mitsubishi B-97. Did not exist.
Edna Mitsubishi Ki.71
Emily Kawanishi H8K
Eva Not a military aircraft.
Eve Not a military aircraft.
Frances Yokosuka P1Y Ginga / Kyokko
Frank Mitsubihi TK-4. Did not exist.
Frank Nakajima Ki.84 Hayate
Fred Focke-Wulf Fw 190. Not in Japanese service.
Gander Kokusai Ku-8.
George Kawanishi N1K1-J and N1K2-J
Glenn Yokosuka E14Y
Goose Kokusai Ku-8
Grace Aichi B7A Ryusei
Gus Nakajima AT-27. Did not exist.
Hamp Mitsubishi A6M Reisen with clipped wing tips.
Hap Mitsubishi A6M Reisen with clipped wing tips, renamed 'Hamp'.
Hank Aichi E10A
Harry Mitsubishi TK-4. Did not exist.
Helen Nakajima Ki.49 Donryu
Hickory Tachikawa Ki.54
Ida Tachikawa Ki.36
Ida Tachikawa Ki.55
Ione Aichi AI-104. Did not exist.
Irene Junkers Ju 87. Not in Japanese service.
Irving Nakajima J1N Gekko
Jack Mitsubishi J2M Raiden
Jake Aichi E13A
Janice Junkers Ju 88. Not in Japanese service.
Jean Yokosuka B4Y
Jerry Heinkel He 112.
Jill Nakajima B6N
Jim Nakajima Ki.43 (unofficial)
Joe TK-19. Did not exist.
Joyce Tachikawa. Did not exist.
Judy Yokosuka D4Y
Julia Type 97 heavy bomber. Did not exist. (Was Ki.48)
June Seaplane version of Aichi D3A. Did not exist. (Was E13A.)
Kate Nakajima B5N
Kate 61 Mitsubishi B5M
Laura Aichi E11A
Lily Kawasaki Ki.48
Liz Nakajima G5N
Loise Mitsubishi Ki-2
Lorna Kyushu Q1W Tokai
Louise Mitsubishi Ki-2
Luke Mitsubishi J4M
Mabel Mitsubishi B5M
Mavis Kawanishi H6K
Mike Messerschmitt Bf 109. Not in Japanese service.
Millie Vultee VG-11. Not in Japanese service.
Myrt Nakajima C6N Saiun
Nate Nakajima Ki.27
Nell Mitsubishi G3M
Nick Kawasaki Ki.45 Toryu
Norm Kawanishi E15K Shiun
Norma Type 97 light bomber. Did not exist. (Was Ki-15)
Oak Kawanishi K10W
Omar Suzukaze 20. Did not exist.
Oscar Nakajima Ki.43 Hayabusa
Pat Tachikawa Ki.74
Patsy Tachikawa Ki.74
Paul Aichi E16A Zuiun
Peggy Mitsubishi Ki.67
Perry Kawasaki Ki.10
Pete Mitsubishi F1M
Pine Mitsubishi K3M
Randy Kawasaki Ki.102
Ray Mitsubishi Type 1. Did not exist. (Was A6M)
Rex Kawanishi N1K Kyofu
Rita Nakajima G8N Renzan
Rob Kawasaki Ki.64
Rufe Nakajima A6M, floatplane version of the A6M 'Zeke'.
Ruth Fiat BR 20
Sally Mitsubishi Ki.21
Sam Mitsubishi A7M Reppu
Slim Watanabe E9W
Sonia Mitsubishi Ki.51
Spruce Tachikawa Ki.9
Stella Kokusai Ki.76
Susie Aichi D1A
Tabby Showa / Nakajima L2D.
Tess Douglas DC-2
Thalia Kawasaki Ki.56
Thelma Tachikawa LO
Theresa Kokusai Ki.59
Thora Nakajima Ki.34
Tina Mitsubishi L3Y
Toby Lockheed 14
Tojo Nakajima Ki.44 Shoki
Tony Kawasaki Ki.61 Hien
Topsy Kawasaki Ki.57
Trixie Junkers Ju 52/3m. Not in Japanese service.
Trudy Focke Wulf Fw 200. Not in Japanese service.
Val Aichi D3A
Willow Yokosuka K5Y
Zeke Mitsubishi A6M Reisen

4.1.3 Translations of Japanese Names

List of Japanese names of aircraft, aircraft carriers, and engines.

Akagi A mountain near Tokyo.
Akikusa Autumn Grass
Amagi Castle in the Sky (Also a mountain. Amagi was laid down as a battleship)
Asakaze Morning Wind
Atsuta Hot Rice Paddy (Geographical?)
Byakko White Light
Chitose Thousand Years
Chiyoda Thousand Generations
Chuyo Middle Sea
Denko Lightning Bolt
Donryu Storm Dragon
Fugaku Mount Fuji
Funryu Raging Dragon
Gekko Moonlight
Ginga Milky Way
Hayabusa Peregrine Falcon
Hayate Gale
Hien Swallow
Hikari Light
Hiryu Flying Dragon
Hiyo Bright Sea
Homare Honour
Hosho Flying Phoenix
Jinrai Thunderclap
Junyo Deep Sea
Kaga A Japanese province.
Kamikaze Divine Wind
Karigane Wild Goose
Kasei Mars
Katsuragi Eternity
Kayo Eternal Sea
Keiun Beautiful Cloud
Kikka Orange Blossom
Kinsei Golden Star
Kotobuki Congratulation
Kyofu Mighty Wind
Kyokko Aurora
Mamoru Protector
Manazuru Crane
Momiji Maple
Myojo Venus
Nankai South Sea
Nanzan Southern Mountain
Ohtori Phoenix
Ohka Cherry Blossom
Raiden Thunderbolt
Reisen Zero Fighter, contraction of 'Rei Shiki Sentoki'
Renzan Mountain Range
Reppu Hurricane
Ryuho Mythological Dragon
Ryujo Sacred Dragon
Ryusei Shooting Star
Saiun Painted Cloud
Sakae Prosperity
Seiran Mountain Haze
Shoho Flying Bird
Shoki Demon Queller
Shiden Violet Lightning
Shinden Magnificent Lightning
Shinyo Holy Sea
Shinzan Mountain Recess
Shiragiku White Chrysanthemum
Shiun Violet Cloud
Shokaku Flying Crane
Shusui Sword Stroke
Soryu Deep Blue Dragon
Suisei Comet
Taiho Mythological Bird
Taiyo Spirit of the Ocean
Tempu Heavenly Wind
Tenzan Heavenly Mountain
Tokai Eastern Sea
Toryu Dragon Slayer
Tsurugi Sword
Unryu Dragon in the clouds
Unyo Sea of Clouds
Zuiho Auspicious Bird
Zuikaku Auspicious Crane
Zuisei Holy Star
Zuiun Auspicious Cloud

4.1.4 Type Numbers List

Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter A6M Reisen, Mitsubishi 'Zeke'
Navy Type 0 Observation Seaplane F1M, Mitsubishi 'Pete'
Navy Type 0 Primary Trainer Seaplane K8K, Kawanishi
Navy Type 0 Reconnaissance Floatplane E13A, Aichi 'Jake'
Navy Type 0 Small Reconnaissance Seaplane E14Y, Yokosuka 'Glenn'
Navy Type 0 Transport Aircraft L2D, Showa / Nakajima 'Tabby'
Army Type 1 Advanced Trainer Ki.54, Tachikawa 'Hickory'
Army Type 1 Fighter Ki.43 Hayabusa, Nakajima 'Oscar'
Army Type 1 Freight Transport Ki.56, Kawasaki 'Thalia'
Army Type 1 Transport Aircraft Ki.59, Kokusai 'Theresa'
Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber G4M, Mitsubishi 'Betty'
Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber Ground Decoy MXY11, Yokosuka
Navy Type 1 Wing-tip Convoy fighter G6M, Mitsubishi 'Betty'
Army Type 2 Single-seat Fighter Ki.44 Shoki, Nakajima 'Tojo'
Army Type 2 Two-Seat Fighter Ki.45 Toryu, Kawasaki 'Nick'
Navy Type 2 Floatplane Fighter A6M, Nakajima 'Rufe'
Navy Type 2 Intermediate Trainer K10W, Kawanishi 'Oak'
Navy type 2 Primary Trainer K9W Momiji, Kyushu 'Cypress'
Navy Type 2 Training Flying Boat H9A, Aichi
Army Type 3 Command Liaison Aircraft Ki.76, Kokusai 'Stella'
Army Type 3 Fighter Ki.61 Hien, Kawasaki 'Tony'
Navy Type 3 Carrier-borne Fighter A1N, Nakajima
Navy Type 3 Primary Trainer K2Y, Yokosuka
Army Type 4 Assault Aircraft Ki.102, Kawasaki 'Randy'
Army Type 4 Fighter Ki.84 Hayate, Nakajima 'Frank'
Army Type 4 Heavy Bomber Ki.67 Hiryu, Mitsubishi 'Peggy'
Army Type 4 Large Transport Glider Ku.8, Kokusai 'Gander' or 'Goose'
Army Type 4 Primary Trainer Ki.86, Kokusai
Army Type 5 Fighter Ki.100, Kawasaki
Navy Type 10 Carrier Fighter 1MF5, Mitsubishi
Navy Type 10 Carrier Reconnaissance Aircraft C1M, Mitsubishi
Navy Type 10 Carrier Reconnaissance Biplane 2MR, Mitsubishi
Navy Type 13 Carrier Attack Aircraft B1M, Mitsubishi
Navy Type 13 Trainer Seaplane K1Y, Yokosuka
Navy Type 14 Reconnaissance Floatplane E1Y, Yokosuka
Navy Type 15 Reconnaissance Seaplane E2N, Nakajima
Navy Type 15 Flying Boat H1H, Hiro
Army Type 87 Heavy Bomber Do N, Dornier
Army Type 88 Reconnaissance Aircraft KDA-2, Kawasaki
Navy Type 89 Carrier Attack Aircraft B2M, Mitsubishi
Navy Type 89 Flying Boat H2H, Hiro
Navy Type 90 Carrier Fighter A2N, Nakajima
Navy Type 90-1 Reconnaissance Seaplane E3A, Aichi
Navy Type 90-2 Reconnaissance Seaplane E4N, Nakajima
Navy Type 90-3 Reconnaissance Seaplane E5K, Kawanishi
Navy Type 90-1 Flying Boat H3H, Hiro
Navy Type 90-2 Flying Boat H3K, Kawanishi
Navy Type 90 Crew Trainer K3M, Mitsubishi 'Pine'
Navy Type 90 Training Seaplane K4Y, Yokosuka
Navy Type 91 Flying Boat H4H, Hiro
Navy Type 91 Reconnaissance Seaplane E6Y, Yokosuka
Army Type 92 Fighter KDA-5, Kawasaki
Army Type 92 Reconnaissance Aircraft 2MR8, Mitsubishi
Army Type 92 Very Heavy Bomber Ki.20, Mitsubishi
Army Type 93-1 Twin-engined Light Bomber Ki.1, Mitsubishi
Army Type 93-2 Twin-engined Light Bomber Ki.2, Mitsubishi
Navy Type 93 Attack Bomber G1M, Mitsubishi
Navy Type 93 Intermediate trainer K5Y, Yokosuka 'Willow'
Army Type 94 Reconnaissance Aircraft Ki.4, Nakajima
Navy Type 94 Carrier Bomber D1A1, Aichi 'Susie'
Navy Type 94 Reconnaissance Seaplane E7K, Kawanishi 'Alf'
Navy Type 94 Transport Deaplane E10K, Kawanishi
Army Type 95-1 Medium Grade Trainer Ki.9, Tachikawa 'Spruce'
Army Type 95 Fighter Ki.10, Kawasaki 'Perry'
Army Type 95-3 Primary Trainer Ki.17, Tachikawa 'Cedar'
Navy Type 95 Attack Bomber G2H, Hiro
Navy Type 95 Carrier-borne Fighter A4N, Nakajima
Navy Type 95 Reconnaissance Floatplane E8N, Nakajima 'Dave'
Navy Type 95 Reconnaissance Floatplane E10A, Aichi 'Hank'
Navy Type 96 Attack Bomber G3M, Mitsubishi 'Nell'
Navy Type 96 Carrier Bomber D1A2, Aichi 'Susie'
Navy Type 96 Carrier Fighter A5M, Mitsubishi 'Claude'
Navy Type 96 Carrier Attack Bomber B4Y, Yokosuka 'Jean'
Navy Type 96 Small Reconnaissance Seaplane E9W, Watanabe 'Slim'
Navy Type 96 Transport Aircraft L3Y, Mitsubishi / Yokosuka 'Tina'
Army Type 97 Command Reconnaissance Aircraft Ki.15, Mitsubishi 'Babs'
Army Type 97 Fighter Ki.27, Nakajima 'Nate'
Army Type 97 Heavy Bomber Ki.21, Mitsubishi 'Sally'
Army Type 97 Light Bomber Ki.30, Mitsubishi 'Ann'
Army Type 97 Transport Aircraft Ki.34, Nakajima 'Thora'
Navy Type 97 Carrier Attack Bomber B5M, Mitsubishi 'Mabel' or 'Kate 61'
Navy Type 97 Carrier Attack Bomber B5N, Nakajima 'Kate'
Navy Type 97 Carrier Reconnaissance C3N, Nakajima
Navy Type 97 Large Flying Boat H6K, Kawanishi 'Mavis'
Army Type 98 Close Support Aircraft Ki.36, Tachikawa 'Ida'
Army Type 98 Single-engined Light Bomber Ki.32, Kawasaki 'Mary'
Navy Type 98 Reconnaissance Aircraft C5M, Mitsubishi 'Babs'
Navy Type 98 Reconnaissance Floatplane E11A, Aichi 'Laura'
Army Type 99 Advanced Trainer Ki.55, Tachikawa 'Ida'
Army Type 99 Assault Aircraft Ki.51, Mitsubishi 'Sonia'
Army Type 99 Twin-engined light bomber Ki.48, Kawasaki 'Lily'
Navy Type 99 Bomber Trainer D3Y Myojo, Yokosuka
Navy Type 99 Carrier Bomber D3A, Aichi 'Val'
Navy Type 99 Flying Boat H5Y, Yokosuka 'Cherry'
Army Type 100 Command Reconnaissance Aircraft Ki.46, Mitsubishi 'Dinah'
Army Type 100 Heavy bomber Ki.49 Donryu, Nakajima 'Helen'
Army Type 100 Transport Aircraft. Ki.57, Kawasaki 'Topsy'
Navy Type He Air Defence Fighter A7He, Heinkel
Navy Type S Two-Seat Fighter A8V, Seversky 'Dick'

5. China

5.1 Aircraft

for export
CJ Chujiao basic trainer PT
H Hong bomber B
J Jian fighter F
JJ Jianjiao fighter/trainer FT
Q Qiang attack A
SH Shuihong maritime bomber PS
Y Yun transport
Z Zhi vertical, i.e. helicopter

6. Sweden

6.1 Aircraft

A Attack
B Bomb
Fpl Flygplan (aeroplane; used for multirole light aircraft)
Hkp Helikopter
J Jakt (fighter)
S Spaning (reconnaissance)
SF Spaning foto (photographic reconnaissance)
SH Spaning havsövervakning (maritime reconnaissance)
Sk Skol (trainer)
T Torped (torpedo bomber) (obsolete)
Tp Transport

7. Russia / The Soviet Union

7.1 Aircraft

7.1.1 Before WWII

List of the pre-WWII designation system for Soviet aircraft, as supplied by Mike Campbell:

A Autogyro
ARK Arctic Coastal Recce
B Bombardirovschik --- Bomber
BB Short-range bomber
Bsh Armoured attacker
DAR Long-range arctic recce
DB Long-range bomber
DI 2-seater fighter
DIS Twin engined escort fighter
I interceptor Istrebitel
I/PI single seat fighter
KOR ship-borne recce
M Seaplane
MA amphibian
MBR short-range maritime recce
MDR long-range maritime recce
MI fighter seaplane
MK armoured seaplane
MP transport seaplane
MR recce seaplane
MTB Maritime heavy bomber
MU trainer seaplane
P mailplane
PB Dive bomber
PL transport
PS mail/passenger
G paratroop transport
R recce
ROM open sea recce
SB high speed bomber
Sch low level attacker
SchR attack fighter-recce
SPB fast dive bomber
TB heavy bomber
Tsh Heavy attack fighter
U primary trainer
UT Basic trainer, "Uchebnotrenirovochny"
UTI fighter trainer
VI High altitude fighter
VIT Assaulter
VT supervised design
Yu Junkers aircraft
V Airship

7.1.2 Type Number System

The type number system was used by the USAF to identify Soviet aircraft from 1947 to 1954. A series of numbers was allocated to Soviet aircraft or missiles.

TypeAircraft / Missile
1 MiG-9 'Fargo'
2 Yak-15 'Feather'
3 La-150
4 La-152
5 La-156
6 La-160
7 Yak-19
8 Su-9 (first aircraft of this name)
9 Tu-12
10 Il-22
11 I-270
12 Tu-73
13 ?
14 MiG-15 'Fagot'
15 La-168
16 Yak-17 'Feather'
17 Su-11
18 Su-15
19 KS-1 'AS-1 Kennel'
20 MiG-17 'Fresco'
21 La-15 'Fantail'
22 Tu-6
23 Su-12
24 Yak-14 'Mare'
25 Ts-25 'Mist'
26 Yak-17UTI 'Magnet'
27 Il-28 'Beagle'
28 Yak-23 'Flora'
29 MiG-15UTI 'Midget'
30 Il-28U 'Mascot'
31 Tu-85 'Barge'
32 Mi-1 'Hare'
33 Be-8 'Mole'
34 Be-6 'Madge'
35 Tu-14 'Bosun'
36 Mi-14 'Hound'
37 M-4 'Bison'
38 Yak-24 'Horse'
39 Tu-16 'Badger'
40 Tu-95 'Bear'

7.1.3 List of NATO Codenames

For the NATO, the ASCC assigned codenames to identify soviet equipment, mainly aircraft and missiles. The system is as follows:

A Air-to-air missile
B Bomber
C Cargo
F Fighter
G Surface-to-air missile
H Helicopter
K Air-to-surface missile
M Miscellaneous aircraft
S Surface-to-surface missile

For aircraft, single-syllable codes designate piston-engined aircraft, and two-syllable names jet aircraft. Besides these single-word codenames, there is a practice to use double-word codenames for electronic equipment.

List of NATO designations of Soviet equipment. I wish to thank Ian Woodrow and Alexey V. Stukalov for their very important contribution.

Acrid AA-6, Bisnovat R-40
Adder AA-12, Vympel RMD (R-77)
Alamo AA-10 (R-27)
Alkali AA-1, Tomashevitch K-5
Amos AA-9, Vympel K-33 (R-33)
Anab AA-3, Bisnovat K-8 (R-8, R-98)
Apex AA-7, Vympel K-23 (R-23)
Aphid AA-8, Bisnovat (R-60)
Archer AA-11, Molniya (R-73)
Ash AA-5, Bisnovat K-80 (R-4)
Atoll AA-2, Vympel K-13 (R-3)
Awl AA-4, Mikoyan K-9
Backfin Tupolev Tu-98
Backfire Tupolev Tu-22M / Tu-26
Back Net Surveillance radar for SA-5.
Badger Tupolev Tu-16
Band Stand Radar associated with SS-N-7.
Bank North American B-25 Mitchell
Barge Tupolev Tu-85
Bark Ilyushin Il-2
Bar Lock Surveillance radar for SA-5.
Bat Tupolev Tu-2 and Tu-6
Beagle Ilyushin Il-28
Bear Tupolev Tu-20, Tu-95 and Tu-142
Beast Ilyushin Il-10
Bee Hind Gun laying radar for the tail guns of the Tu-95 'Bear'.
Big Bulge Radar carried by the 'Bear-D'.
Big Bulge Radar fitted to the Ka-25 'Hormone-B'.
Big Nose Radar of the Tu-28P 'Fiddler'
Bison Myasichew M-4
Blackjack Tupolev Tu-160
Blinder Tupolev Tu-22 / Tu-105
Blowlamp Ilyushin Il-54
Bob Ilyushin Il-4
Boot Tupolev Tu-91
Bosun Tupolev Tu-14 / Tu-89
Bounder Myasichew M-50
Box Tail Tail warning radar fitted to the Tu-95 and the Tu-22M 'Backfire', replacing 'Bee Hind'.
Brawny Ilyushin Il-40
Brewer Yakovlev Yak-28
Broussard Yakovlev Yak-28 (Renamed Brewer)
Buck Petlyakov Pe-2
Bull Tupolev Tu-4 and Tu-80
Butcher Tupolev Tu-82
Cab Lisunov Li-2
Camber Ilyushin Il-86
Camel Tupolev Tu-104
Camp Antonov An-8
Candid Ilyushin Il-76
Careless Tupolev Tu-154
Cart Tupolev Tu-70
Cat House Radar associated with ABM-1.
Cash Antonov An-28
Cat Antonov An-10
Charger Tupolev Tu-144
Charlie Submarine class.
Clam Ilyushin Il-18, renamed Coot
Clam Pipe Nose radar fitted to the Tu-95MS Bear-H
Clank Antonov An-30
Classic Ilyushin Il-62
Cleat Tupolev Tu-114
Cline Antonov An-32
Clobber Yakovlev Yak-42
Clod Antonov An-14
Clog Antonov An-28 (?)
Coach Ilysuhin Il-12
Coaler Antonov An-72
Cock Antonov An-22
Codling Yakovlev Yak-40
Coke Antonov An-24
Colt Antonov An-2
Condor Antonov An-124
Cooker Tupolev Tu-110
Cookpot Tupolev Tu-124
Coot Ilyushin Il-18 and Il-20
Cork Yakovlev Yak-16
Cossack Antonov An-225
Crate Ilyushin Il-14
Creek Yakovlev Yak-12
Crib Yakovlev Yak-6 and Yak-8
Crow Yakovlev Yak-10 and Yak-12
Crown Drum Nose radar of the Tu-95 'Bear-B'
Crusty Tupolev Tu-134
Cub Antonov An-10 and An-12
Cuff Beriev Be-30
Curl Antonov An-26
Delta submarine class
Dog House Medium range early-warning ground radar for ABM-1.
Down Beat Nose radar of the Tu-95 'Bear-G' and Tu-22M 'Backfire'. Leninets PN-AD.
Echo Submarine class.
Faceplate Mikoyan-Gurevich E-2A
Fagot Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15
Faithless Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-231
Falcon Mikoyan-gurevich MiG-15, renamed Fagot
Fang Lavochkin La-11
Fan Song Radar associated with the SA-2 'Guideline'
Fantail Lavockhin La-15
Fantan Nanchang Q-5
Fargo Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-9
Farmer Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19
Feather Yakovlev Yak-15 and Yak-17
Fencer Sukhoi Su-24
Fiddler Tupolev Tu-28
Fin Lavochkin La-7
Finback Shenyang F-8 II
Firebar Yakovlev Yak-28
Fire Can Radar used with 57mm and 85mm AAA.
Fishbed Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
Fishpot Sukhoi Su-9 and Su-11
Fitter Sukhoi Su-7, Su-17, Su-20 and Su-22
Flagon Sukhoi Su-15 and Su-21
Flanker Sukhoi Su-27
Flap Wheel Gun laying radar for 130mm AAA.
Flash Dance Radar of the MiG-31.
Flashlight Yakovlev Yak-25 and Yak-27
Flat Face Radar used with SA-3 and SA-5.
Flat Jack Radar radome of the Tu-126 'Moss'.
Flipper Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-152
Flogger Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 and MiG-27
Flora Yakovlev Yak-23
Forger Yakovlev Yak-38
Foxbat Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25
Fox Fire Radar of the MiG-25 Foxbat-A
Foxhound Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-31
Frank Yakovlev Yak-9
Fred Bell P-63 Kingcobra
Freehand Yakovlev Yak-36
Freestyle Yakovlev Yak-141
Fresco Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
Fritz Lavochkin La-9
Frog artillery rocket
Frogfoot Sukhoi Su-25
Frosty Tupolev Tu-10
Fulcrum Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29
Gadfly SA-11, SA-N-7
Gainful SA-6
Ganef SA-4
Galosh ABM-1
Gammon SA-5
Gaskin SA-9
Gauntlet SA-15, SA-N-9
Gazelle ABM-3
Gecko SA-8, SA-N-4
Giant SA-12B
Gimlet SA-16
Gladiator SA-12A
Goa SA-3, SA-N-1
Goblet SA-N-3
Golf submarine class
Gopher SA-13
Grail SA-7, SA-N-5
Gremlin SA-14, SA-N-8
Griffon SA-5 (renamed Gammon)
Grisha corvette class
Grisom SA-19, SA-N-11
Grumble SA-10, SA-N-6
Guideline SA-2, SA-N-2
Guild SA-1
Gun Dish Gun-laying radar for ZSU-23-4 and ZSU-52-2 AAA sets.
Halo Mil Mi-26
Hare Mil Mi-1
Harke Mil Mi-10
Harp Kamov Ka-20
Harp missile ?
Hat Kamov Ka-10
Havoc Mil Mi-28
Haze Mil Mi-14
Head Light Radar for SA-N-3 Goblet
Head Net Shipboard surveillance radar
Helix Kamov Ka-32, Ka-27, and Ka-29
Hen Kamov Ka-15
Hen House Long-range early-warning ground radar.
Hermit Mil Mi-34
High Fix Radar of the Su-17 'Fitter-C' and of the early MiG-21.
High Lark Radar of the MiG-23 'Flogger'.
High Lune Height Finding radar used with SA-N-2 Guideline.
Hind Mil Mi-24
Hip Mil Mi-8 and Mi-17
Hog Kamov Ka-18
Hokum Kamov Ka-50
Homer Mil Mi-12
Hoodlum Kamov Ka-26 and Ka-126
Hook Mil Mi-6
Hoop Kamov Ka-22
Hoplite Mil Mi-2
Hormone Kamov Ka-25
Horse Yakovlev Yak-24
Hot Brick IR jammer.
Hotel submarine class
Hound Mil Mi-4
Jay Bird Small radar set, used by the MiG-25U Foxbat-C trainer and the MiG-21MF.
Kangaroo AS-3
Kanin destroyer class
Kara cruiser class
Karen AS-10
Kashin destroyer class
Kazoo AS-18
Kedge AS-14
Kegler AS-12
Kelt AS-5
Kennel AS-1
Kent AS-15
Kerry AS-7
Kickback AS-16
Kildin (ship) class
Kilter AS-11
Kingfish AS-6
Kingbolt AS-13
Kipper AS-2
Kitchen AS-4
Koala AS-19
Kotlin SAM-carrying destroyer class
Kresta cruiser class
Krivak destroyer class
Krupny destroyer class
Krypton AS-17
Kuril carrier class
Kyle AS-9
Kynda cruiser class
Long Track Surveillance radar associated with the SA-4 and SA-6
Low Blow Radar associated with the SA-3
Madcap Antonov An-74
Madge Beriev Be-6
Maestro Yakovlev Yak-28
Magnet Yakovlev Yak-17
Magnum Yakovlev Yak-30
Maiden Sukhoi Su-11
Mail Beriev Be-12
Mainstay Ilyushin Il-76
Mallow Beriev Be-10
Mandrake Yakovlev Yak-25
Mangrove Yakovlev Yak-27
Mantis Yakovlev Tak-32
Mare Yakovlev Yak-14
Mark Yakovlev Yak-7U
Mascot Ilysuhin Il-28
Max Yakovlev Yak-18
May Ilyushin Il-38
Maya Aero L-29 Delfin
Mermaid Beriev Be-42
Midas Ilyushin Il-76
Midget Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15
Mink UT-2
Mist Tsybin Ts-2
Mole Beriev Be-8
Mongol Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
Moose Yakovlev Yak-11
Mop Amtrog GST (Consolidated PBY Catalina)
Moss Tupolev Tu-126
Mote Beriev Be-2 / MDR-2
Moujik Sukhoi Su-7
Mug Chetverikov Che-2 / MBR-2
Mule Polikarpov Po-2
Mystic Myasischew M-17 / M-55
Nanuchka Missile boat class
Odd Rods IFF set with three antennas of increasing length.
Osa Missile boat class
Papa Submarine class.
Pat Hand Radar associated with SA-4 and SA-6.
Peel Group Radar for SA-N-1 Goa.
Pop Group Radar for SA-N-4.
Puff Ball Big surveillance radar, carried by the Tu-16.
Saber SS-20
Sandal SS-4
Saddler SS-7
Sagger AT-3
Salish SSC-2A
Samlet SSC-2B
Sampson SS-N-21
Sandal SS-4
Sandbox SS-N-12
Sapwood SS-6
Sark SS-N-4
Sasin SS-8
Satan SS-18
Savage SS-13
Sawfly SS-N-6
Saxhorn AT-7
Scaleboard SS-12
Scalpel SS-24
Scamp SS-14 plus road trailer.
Scapegoat SS-14
Scan Odd The 'Izumrud' radar of the all-wheater MiG-19 and maybe the MiG-17P.
Scan Fix Early version of the Izumrud radar, fitted to the MiG-17P.
Scan Three Radar of the Yak-25.
Scarab SS-21
Scarp SS-9
Scorpion SS-N-24
Scrag SS-10
Scrooge SS-15
Scrubber SS-N-1
Scud SS-1
Scunner SS-1
Sego SS-11
Sepal SSC-1B
Serb SS-N-5
Shaddock SS-N-3, SSC-1A
Sheet Bend Radar associated with SSC-2B Samlet cruise missiles.
Shershen torpedo boat class.
Shilka ZSU-23-4 self-prolled AA gun platform
Shipwreck SS-N-19
Short Horn Navigation and bombing radar. Fitted to Tu-95 'Bear-H'
Short Horn Search radar of the Ka-25 'Hormone-A'
Shyster SS-3
Sibling SS-2
Sickle SS-25
Side Net Heigth finding radar for SA-5.
Silex SS-N-14
Sinner SS-16
Siren SS-N-7
Skean SS-5
Skiff SS-N-23
Skip Spin Radar set of the Yak-28P 'Firebar', Su-11 'Fishpot' and Su-15 'Flagon'.
Slim Net Missile-associated radar.
Slot Black Radar set of the MiG-29.
Snapper AT-1
Snark SS-N-4
Snipe SS-N-17
Songster AT-8
Spandrel AT-5
Spanker SS-17
Spider SS-23
Spigot AT-4
Spin Scan The R1L radar fitted to some MiG-21 versions.
Spiral AT-6
Spoon Rest Early-warning radar
Square Pair Target-tracking radar for SA-5.
Stallion SS-N-16
Starbright SS-N-7
Starfish SS-N-15
Stiletto SS-19
Stringray SS-N-18
Straight Flush Radar for SA-6.
Strela SS-N-1 (also Scrubber)
Sturgeon SS-N-20
Styx SS-7, SS-N-2, SSC-3
Sunburn SS-N-22
Swatter AT-2
Swift Rod ILS system carried by many USSR aircraft.
Tall King Ground radar.
Top Sail Surveillance radar associated with SA-N-3 Goblet.
Try Add Ground radar associated with the ABM-1 'Galosh'
Twin Scan Radar of the Su-21 'Flagon-E'
Typhoon submarine class ?
Ugra SUW-N-1
Victor submarine class
Whisky submarine class. 'Whisky Twin Cylinder' with two deck launchers for SS-N-3 cruise missiles, 'Whisky Long Bin' with four internal launchers.
Yankee submarine class
Yo-yo Radar for SA-1 Guild systems.
Zulu submarine class

8. Canada

8.1 Aircraft

The Canadian system uses a prefix C (possibly to avoid confusion with American codes) and a function letter, followed by a number. The number is unique, and applied to single aircraft type. The function letter may change if an aircraft is modified, e.g. the CE-144 is an electronic warfare version of the CC-144. The following list gives the basic designations:

CF-100 Avro Canada CF-100
CF-101 McDonnell F-101 Voodoo
CF-104 Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
CF-105 Avro CF-105 Arrow
CC-106 Yukon Canadair CL-44
CP-107 Canadair CL-28 Argus
CC-109 Metropolitan Convair 440
CC-109 Cosmopolitan Canadair CL-66
CSR-110 Grumman SA-16B Albatross
CH-112 Nomad Hiller OH-23G
CH-113 Labrador Boeing CH-46 Sea Knight
CT-114 Tutor Canadair Tutor
CC-115 Buffalo De Havilland Canada DHC-5
CF-116 Northrop F-5A Freedom Fighter
CH-118 Iroquois Bell UH-1
CP-121 Grummand S-2 Tracker
CH-124 Sea King Sikorsky SH-3
CC-130 Hercules Lockheed C-130
CT-133 Silver Star Lockheed T-33. Also CE-133.
CH-135 Bell 212
CH-136 Kiowa Bell OH-58
CC-137 Boeing 707
CC-138 Twin Otter De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter
CP-140 Aurora Lockheed P-3 Orion derivative
CP-140A Arcturus Lockheed P-3 Orion derivative
CC-142 De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8
CC-144 Challenger Canadair Challenger
CE-144 Challenger Canadair Challenger
CX-144 Challenger Canadair Challenger
CH-139 Jetranger Bell 206
CH-146 Griffon Bell 412
CH-147 Boeing Vertol CH-47 Chinook
CH-148 Petrel EHI EH101
CH-149 Chino EHI EH101
CC-150 Polaris Airbus A310
CF-188 McDonnell Douglas FA-18 Hornet

9. France

9.1 Aircraft

The French air force never had a special designation system. There was some standardisation in designation systems of aircraft, but this applied equally well to civilian aircraft. Most of the time it used an acronym for the name of the manufacturer, and a sequential number. The air force did append subscripts to indicate the function of an aircraft, for example 'C1' for single-seat fighters.

The numbering method used before WWII can be confusing. To the number of the basic design, which was often also used for the prototype, were appended digits to indicate variations in the design. Hence the Potez 54, 540, 541, 542, and 543 were all closely related designs.

9.1.1 Translations of French names

Aiglon Eaglet
Alcyon Kingfisher
Alize Tradewind
Alouette Lark
Aquilon Northwind
Coleoptere Beetle
Criquet Cricket
Cyclone Cyclone
Dauphin Dolphin
Ecureuil Squirrel
Entreprenant Enterprising
Epervier Sparrowhawk
Espadon Swordfish, Broadsword
Etendard Banner
Farfadet Hobgoblin, Elf
Flamant Flamingo
Fleuret Ferret, Foil
Fregate Frigate (bird)
Frelon Hornet
Fulgur Lightning
Gemeaux Twins
Gerfaut Gerfalcon
Goeland Gull
Griffon Griffon
Grognard Grumbler
Guerrier Warrior
Lama Lama
Milan Kite
Mirage Mirage
Mistral Mistral
Luciole Glowworm
Mystere Mystery
Narval Narwhal
Ouragan Hurricane
Pelican Pelican
Phalene Moth
Rafale Squall
Ramier Woodpigeon
Simoun Simoon
Taon Horsefly
Toucan Toucan
Triton Triton
Vanneau Vane
Vautour Vulture
Zephyr Zephyr

10. Israel

10.1 Aircraft

In Israel, most foreign types are given local names. When the name is listed between [], this indicates that the name was in practice (almost) never used.

Agur Crane Dornier Do 28
Aa-it Black Vulture Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
Akav Buzzard McDonnell Douglas F-15C/D Eagle
[Amit] Friend Modernised Fouga Magister
Anak Giant Boeing C-97 and KC-97
Ankor Sparrow Britten Norman BN-2 Islander
Anapha Heron Agusta-Bell 212
[Arak] Mythical development of the Mirage IIIC.
Ar-yeh Lion Proposal for upgraded Mirage/Nesher
Atalef Bat Grumman OV-1 Mohawk
Atalef Bat Aerospatiale Panther
Barak Lightning Lockheed-Martin F-16C
Barboor Swan Boeing RC-707
Barvaz Mallard Douglas RC-47 Dakota
Baz Falcon General Dynamics F-15A/B Eagle
Bazak Flash General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye
Bdolach Crystal IAI Phalcon
Brakeet Little lightning General Dynamics F-16D Fighting Falcon
Chasidah Stork Boeing EC-707
[Cheevayee] Osprey Piper PA-18 Super Cub
Choheet Quail Cessna 206
Daya Kite Grumman E-2C Hawkeye
Dolpheen Dolphin Eurocopter HH-65A Dauphin
Dror Sparrowhawk Dornier Do 27
Egrof Segaal Purple Fist General Dynamics/Ponoma AGM-78 Standard ARM
Hetz Arrow SAM
Karnaff Rhinoceros Lockheed Martin C-130, KC-130 Hercules
Kfir Lion Cub IAI Kfir
Kookiya Cuckoo Beeech RC-12D IMproved Guadrail V
Kurnass Sledgehammer McDonnell F-4E Phantom II
Lahatoot Acrobat Hughes 500MD Defender
Lavi Young Lion IAI Lavi
Mabat Observation Teledyne Ryan 124 Firebee
Meyromit High Flyer IAI Searcher
Na'mer Leopard Proposal for an export version of Kfir
Nesher Vulture IAI Nesher
Netz Falcon/Hawk Lockheed Martin F-16A/B Fighting Falcon
Orev Raven McDonnell RF-4 Phantom II
Pashosh (bird species) Socata Trinidad
Pe're Wild Donkey Douglas C-47
Pethen Cobra McDonnell Douglas AH-64A Apache
Ra-am Thunder Prototype of Kfir
Ra-am Thunder General Dynamics F-15I Eagle
[Raz] Mystere Dassault Mystere IV
R'em Unicorn Boeing 707
Sa'ar Tempest Modernized Dassault Super Mystere B.2
Sakeen Knife Avia S.199 (play on "Messerschmitt")
Saknayee Pelican Boeing KC-707
Sambad "SMB.2" Dassault Super Mystere B.2
Seyfan Nightjar Bell 206 JetRanger
Seyfaneet Nightjar Bell 206L LongRanger
Shachaf Seagull IAI SeaScan (version of Westwind)
Shachak Sky(bolt) Dassault Mirage IIIBJ/CJ
Shadameet Plover Northrop MQM-74 Chukar III
Shafrir Blinking light Rafael Shafrir AAM
Shavit Comet Sattelite launcher
Shen'hav Ivory Boeing EC-707
Sho'et Rampage Raytheon MIM-23 Hawk
[Snoonit] Snipe Aerospatiale CM 170 Magister
[Sufa] Hurricane Dassault Ouragan
Tarnegal Turkey Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw
Tavas Peacock Command post version of Boeing 707
Telem Hillock Teledyne Ryan 147 Firebee
Topaz Topaz Boeing RC-707
Tsefa Viper Bell AH-1 Cobra
Tsi'rah Hornet Aerospatiale SA 321K Super Frelon
Tsufit Thrush Beech RU-21 Ute
Tsukit Merlin Improved Fouga CM 170 Magister
Yahalom Diamond Raytheon MIM-104 Patriot
Yahalom Diamond Matra R530
Yanshuf Eagle Owl Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk
Yanshuf Eagle Owl Lockheed EC-130 Hercules
Yas'ur Albatross Sikorsky CH-53 Stallion
Yona Pigeon Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw
Zahavan Oriole IAI Scout
Zamir Nigthingale Beechcraft B80 Queen Air
Zarzir Hummingbird Aerospataile SA 313/318 Alouette II
Ziklon Hurricane Proposal for an upgraded Sud-Ouest Vautour

Much of this was contributed by Ruud Deurenberg.

11. Brazil

11.1 Aircraft

The Brazilian system, used by the Forca Aerea Brasileira and the Force Aeronaval da Marinha do Brasil, uses a number to identify aircraft. The number is preceded by one or more function letters:

A attack C transport
F fighter H helicopter
L scout P patrol
T trainer R reconnaissance
U utility V VIP transport

Different version of the same aircraft can have different function letters, but they have the same number.

A-1 AMX INternational AMX
TA-1 AMX INternational AMX
HS-1 Bell UH-1 Iroquois
SH-3 Sikorsky AS-61 Sea King
VH-4 Bell 20B Jetranger III
F-5 Northrop F-5B/E/F Freedom Fighter/Tiger II
IH-6 Bell 206B Jetranger II
U-7 Piper Pa-34 Seneca
T-8 Microleve MXL
VU-9 Embraer EMB-121 Xingu
AH-11 Westland Super Lynx Mk.21
UH-12 Esquilo Eurocopter AS 350B Ecurueil
UH-13 Esquilo Eurocopter AS 355F Ecurueil
UH-13 Aerospatiale AS 332M Cougar
UH-15 Eurocopter AS 332M Super Puma
TZ-13 Blanik Let L-13
P-15 Lockheed P-2E Neptune
Z-15 Libelle Glasflugel Model 201B
P-16E Grumman S-2E Tracker
P-16H Grumman S-2H Turbo Tracker
Z-16 Quero Quero TPE KW 1b2
U-19 Ipanema Embraer EM-210R Ipanema
Z-20 Scleicher ASW-20
T-23 Uirapuru Aerotec A-122A
T-24 Fouga Magister
T-25 Neiva T-25 Universal
AT-26 Xavante Embraer EMB-326GB Xavante
RT-26 Xavante Embraer EMB-326G Xavante
AT-27 Tucano Embraer EMB-312 Tucano
T-27 Tucano Embraer EMB-312 Tucano
A-29 Super Tucano Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano
AT-29 Super Tucano Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano
TA-29 Super Tucano Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano
CH-33 Puma Eurocopter SA 330 Puma
CH-34 Super Puma Aerospatiale AS 332M Super Puma
C-35 Learjet model 35A
R-35 Learjet model 35A
VU-35 Learjet model 35A
C-42 Neiva Regente
L-42 Neiva Regente
U-42 Neiva Regente
UH-50 Escuilo Aerospatiale AS 350B Ecurueil
CH-55 Aerospatiale AS 355M Ecurueil
VH-55 Aerospatiale AS 355M Ecurueil
C-91 Avro Hawker Siddeley HS.748 Andover
EC-93 Hawker Siddeley HS.125 Series 3B/RC
EU-93 British Aerospace BAe.125 Series 403B
VC-93 British Aerospace BAe.125 Series 3B/RC
VU-93 British Aerospace BAe.125
XU-93 British Aerospace BAe.125
C-95 Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante
EC-95 Embraer EMB-110A/P1 Bandeirante
SC-95 Embraer EMB-110P1K Bandeirusca
R-95 Embraer EMB-110B Bandeirante
P-95 Embraer EMB-111 Bandeirulha
VC-96 Boeing 737-200 Series 2N3
VC-97 Brasilia Embraer EMB-120R Brasilia
C-98 Caravan Cessna 208A Caravan
F-103 Dassault Mirage IIIEBR/DBR
C-115 Buffalo de Havilland Canada DHC-5A Buffalo
C-130 Hercules Lockheed C-130E/H Hercules
KC-130 Hercules Lockheed KC-130E/H Hercules
SC-130 Hercules Lockheed RC-130E/H Hercules
KC-137 Boeing 707 Series 320B

Much of this was contributed by Ruud Deurenberg.

12. Nicknames

Aardvark General Dynamics F-111
Because of its long nose.
Able Dog Douglas AD Skyraider
For AD.
Aerobee Aerojet General X-8
Airborne Without A Clue AWACS
All Three Dead Douglas A3D Skywarrier
There was virtually no escape possibility for the three-man crew in case of a crash.
Aluminium Overcast Convair B-36 Peacemaker
Aluminium Overcast Lockheed C-5 Galaxy
Aluminium Overcast Douglas C-124 Globemaster
Often used for large aircraft.
Ambar ("Barn") Beriev MBR-2
For MBR.
Angel Lockheed U-2
Because it flies so high. Also, 'Angel' is a height unit.
Anton Messerschmitt Bf 109A
German phonetic alphabet: A-Anton.
Anushka Antonov An-2
Anushka Polikarpov Po-2
Ass-Ender Curtiss XP-55 Ascender
This was an experimental fighter with a pusher engine and canards. The official name "Ascender" is just a less obvious rendering.
Awful Terrible Six North American AT-6 Texan
A trainer which wasn't too easy to fly.
Baltimore Whore Martin B-26 Marauder
A play on its small wings: It had 'no visible means of support'.
Bamboo Bomber Cessna UC-78 Bobcat
Banjo McDonnell F2H Banshee
Bantam Bomber Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
A lightweight attack aircraft.
Barge Douglas SBD Dauntless
Bat Plane Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk
Beast Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
Because of its nasty flying characteristics.
Beast Brewster SB2A Buccaneer
Bee Tee Vultee BT-13 Valiant
Belslow Shorts Belfast
Bent-Wing Bird Vought F4U Corsair
Had an inverse gull-wing.
Beule (Boil) Messerschmitt Bf 109G
This model of the Bf 109 had two large 'boils' on the engine cowling, covering the feeds of the MG 131 cowl guns.
Blackfish Fairey Swordfish
If built by Blackburn.
Black Shark Kamov Ka-50
Blechesel Junkers J I
Tin Donkey. One of the first all-metal combat aircraft.
Bloody Paraliser Handley Page 0/400
Largest British bomber of WWI.
Biff Bristol F.2B
Short for 'Bristol Fighter'.
Big Bird McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
Big Stick Convair B-36 Peacemaker
President Theodore Roosevelt's famous advice for foreign politics: 'Speak softly, but carry a big stick.' The B-36 was the main bomber of SAC. Also, its fuselage is long and cylindrical.
Billy's Bomber North American B-25 Mitchell
Named in honour of Billy Mitchell.
Blackbird Lockheed SR-71
Because of the black (or very dark blue) paint.
Black Jet Lockheed F-117
Because of the black paint, but also a 'black' (secret) development program.
Bleed-Air Blimp Lockheed C-130 Hercules
Bob Hopes V-2
Boing Antonov An-30
Boeing. A raised cockpit similar to that of the 747.
Bone Rockwell B-1 Lancer
Boomerang Northrop B-2 Spirit
A flying wing design.
Bratskaya Mogila Tupolev TB-3
Collective grave.
Brisfit Bristol F2B
Short for "Bristol Fighter".
Britschik Bell P-39 Airacobra
"Little Shaver"
Bruno Messerschmitt Bf 109B
German phonetic alphabet: B-Bruno
Bucon Hispano HA 1112K
Budget Bomber Northrop B-2 Spirit
Because of its high cost.
Buff Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
Big, Ugly Fat F*****.
Buff Sikorsky H-53 Stallion
Big, ugly Friendly (Fellow)
Bug Smasher Beech C-45 Expeditor
Bullshit Bomber Cessna O-2 in psy-war configuration
Bumble Bee McDonnell XF-85 Goblin
Because of its small size, egg-shaped fuselage, and small flying surfaces.
Buzz Bomb V-1
Refers to the noise of its pulse jet engine.
Cadillac Northrop M2
This was a lifting body prototype with 'tailfins' just like an old car.
Cadillac Boeing B-52H Stratofortress
The B-52H with its TF33 turbofan engine was quieter than earlier models.
Caesar Messerschmitt Bf 109C
German phonetic alphabet: C-Caesar
Canuck Curtiss JN-4D
Catfish Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk
Cee One-Oh-Boom Consolidated C-109 Liberator
Centipede Tupolev Tu-142 'Bear-F'
The first batch of Tu-142s had twelve-wheel main gear bogies for operations from dirt strips. Later batches reverted to four-wheel bogies.
Chaika (Gull) Beriev Be-12 'Mail'
Gull wing.
Chaika (Gull) Polikarpov I-153
Gull wing.
Cheburashka Antonov An-72
Cheburashka Antonov An-74
A cartoon character with large ears. Refers to the engine installation.
Chemodan Mikoyan MiG-23
Luggage trunk, because of its rectangular lines.
Chickenhawk Cessna T-41 Mescalero
Chicken Leg Aerospatiale Gazelle
Shape of its profile.
Chipmunk Boeing RC-135C
This model has large "cheek" bulges for its radars.
Clunk Douglas SBD Dauntless
Coconutknocker Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
It was assumed that because of its poor bombing accuracy, most bombs hit (coconut?) trees. Also 'Monkeyknocker'.
Connie Lockheed Constellation
Convertor Cessna T-37
Converted fuel into noise...
Cradle Fairchild PT-19
Cranberry Martin B-57 Canberra
Crane Sykorsky CH-54 Tarhe
A flying crane helicopter.
Crapaud de Havilland Vampire
Nickname in French service.
Crash Hawk Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk
Because of a series of crashes in its early career, due to a failing stabilator.
Crouze Vought F-8 Crusader
Nickname of the F-8 in French service.
Crowd Killer Fairchild C-87 Packet
Crowd Killer Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
Dagger Convair F-102 Delta Dagger
Dakelton Douglas DC-3
After the SAAF retired its Shackletons, a number of Dakotas were used in the maritime patrol role.
Dart Convair F-106 Delta Dart
Delta Queen Convair B-58 Hustler
Large delta-wing bomber.
Deuce Convair F-102 Delta Dagger
Deuce Sikorsky CH-37C Mojave
Dinosaur Boeing X-20 Dyna-Soar
Dogship Grumman A-6 Intruder
Dollar Nineteen Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
Doodlebug V-1
Dora Messerschmitt Bf 109D
German phonetic alphabet: D-Dora
Dorito MDD A-12
Double-Breasted Cub Cessna UC-78 Bobcat
Double Ugly McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II
Double Ugly Grumman EA-6B Prowler
Even uglier than the basic A-6, and with twice the crew.
Dowager Ducchess Douglas C-47 Dakota
Dragmaster Gloster Javelin
Dragon Lady Lockheed U-2
Dreamboat Boeing B-29 Superfortress
Dreifinger Junkers Ju 88
"Three fingers". Sleek fuselage and two long engine nacelles.
Droop Snoot Lockheed P-38 Lightning version
Version of the P-38 with a 'glass' nose, wich bulged downwards. Used as bombardment lead aircraft.
Drut Douglas F3D Skyknight
Duck Cessna O-2
Egg Hughes OH-6 Cayuse
Shape of its fuselage.
Electric Jet General Dynamics F-16
It has fly-by-wire controls.
Elephant Joyeux Sikorsky H-19
Happy Elephant.
Emil Messerschmitt Bf 109E
Ensign Eliminator Vought F4U Corsair
Etagere NC.1071
"Elevator". A rather ugly and clumsy twin-engined, twin-tail aircraft.
Faithfull Annie Avro Anson
Fat Albert Lockheed C-130 Hercules
Fat Albert Lockheed C-5 Galaxy
Fertile Myrtle Grumman AF-2W Guardian
The W version looked 'pregnant' because of its radar radome.
Fifi Grumman F3F
Fliegende Auge Focke-Wulf Fw 189
Flying Eye. The tactical reconaissance aircraft of the Luftwaffe. Maybe also because of its 'insect eye' cockpit glazing.
Fliegender Bleistift Dornier Do 17
Flying Pencil. Because of the small cross-section of its fuselage.
Fliegendes Stachelschwein Short Sunderland
Flying Porcupine. Alledgedly because of its heavy defensive armament.
Flying Banana Vertol CH-21 Workhorse
Tandem-rotor helicopter.
Flying Barn Door Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
Because it very much looked like one... A very angular design.
Flying Bathtub Northrop M2F
Experimental flying body.
Flying Bedstead Rolls-Royce TMR
Experimental VTOL, just an open frame with jet engines and a seat.
Flying Carrot Westland Lysander
The shape of its fuselage.
Flying Chainsaw Piaggio P.166 Albtross
Because of the noise it makes.
Flying Cigar Mitsubishi G4M 'Betty'
Because of the shape of the fuselage and its inflammability.
Flying Coffin Airspeed Horsa
Wooden construction.
Flying Coffin Lockheed PV-1 Ventura
A number of accidents early in its career.
Flying Dump Truck Douglas AD Skyraider
Flying Edsel General Dynamics F-111
After a not very successful car made by Ford. The early career of the F-111 was inauspicious.
Flying Eggbeater Sikorsky R-4 Hoverfly
Early helicopter.
Flying Gas Station Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker
Standard USAF tanker aircraft for many years.
Flying Panhandle Handley Page Hampden
Had a very deep front fuselage and a slender tailboom.
Flying Pencil Dornier Do 17
Because of its sleek lines.
Flying Prostitute Northrop T-38 Talon
Flying Prostitute Martin B-26 Marauder
A play on its small wings: It had 'no visible means of support'.
Flying Potato Martin-Marietta X-24A
Experimental lifting-body aircraft in its first configuration...
Flying Flatiron Martin-Marietta X-24B
... and in its later one, with a flat lower fuselage.
Flying Shithouse Kaman HH-43 Huskie
This helicopter had a box-like fuselage.
Flying Suitcase Handley Page Hampden
Had a narrow, very deep front fuselage.
Flying Speed Brake Lockheed Constellation
Flying Washboard Ford Trimotor
Corrugated metal construction.
FOD Vacuum Northrop F-89 Scorpion
FOD = Foreign object damage. It seems that the F-89 was prone to suck objects on the runway into its jet intakes.
Ford Douglas F4D Skyray
Fork-tailed Devil Lockheed P-38 Lightning
The type was called 'Gabelschwanzteufel' by the Germans, referring to its twin-tail configuration.
FRED Lockheed C-5 Galaxy
Fantastic Ridiculous Economic Disaster.
Fritz Messerschmitt Bf 109F
Frog Martin P5M Mariner
Frustrated Palm Tree Sikorsky R-4 Hoverfly
Early helicopter.
Gabelschwanzteufel Lockheed P-38 Lightning
Fork-tailed devil.
Gator Boeing T-43
Gator Vought F8U Crusader
Geometric Giant Vickers Wellington
Because of the geodetic construction, designed by Barnes Wallis.
Goat Grumman HU-16E Albatross
Go Get Him Fido AIM-120 AMRAAM
Active radar-homing missile.
Ghost Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk
'Stealth' attack aircraft.
Ginnie Vickers Virginia
Gipsy Rose Lee Curtiss P-40L Warhawk
The P-40L was a 'stripped', lightweight version, with reduced armour. G.R.L. was a striptease dancer.
Gliding Electric Show Grumman EA-6B Prowler
An ECM aircraft loaded with enormous amount of electronics.
GLOB Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker
Ground Loving Old Bastard.
Gooney Bird Douglas C-47 Dakota
After a hypothetical species of bird, claimed to fly backwards so that it can see where it came from.
Gorbatyi Ilyushin Il-2
Grach Suchoi Su-25
Grand Old Lady Douglas C-47 Dakota
Ground Gripper De Havilland Trident
A bit underpowered, especially during take-off.
Ground Loving Whore Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
Guppy Grumman AF-2W Guardian
Gustav Messerschmitt Bf 109G
Gutless Cutlass Vought F7U Cutlass
Dismissed by a senior US Navy official as 'The F7U was dangerous, period.'
Habu Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
After a snake.
Halibag Handley Page Halifax
Heinneman's Hot Rod Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
Designed by Heinemann.
Helldiver Curtiss F8C
Used as dive bomber.
Herk Lockheed C-130 Hercules
Hog Republic F-84 Thunderjet
Hog Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II
Hog Lockheed C-130 Hercules
Hog Bell UH-1 Iroquois
Hog Nose Boeing RC-135M
Hoodoo Plane Lockheed P-38 Lightning
From a newspaper article on the crash of the prototype.
Hook Boeing CH-47 Chinook
Hookey Tooky Kaman HU2K Seasprite
Hoover Lockheed S-3 Viking
Because of the noise of its TF34 engines.
Hudoy Messerschmitt Bf 109
"Lean", Russian name for the Bf 109.
Huey Bell UH-1 Iroquois
Huey Cobra Bell AH-1 Cobra
Derivative of the UH-1.
HUM Tacit Blue
Highly Unstable Mother
Hummer Cessna T-37
Hummer Grumman E-2 Hawkeye
Hun North American F-100 Super Sabre
Imp Aermacchi MB.326 Impala
Iron Annie Junkers Ju 52
Iron Butterfly Republic F-105 Thunderchief
Ironworks Grumman
Because of the enormous structural strength of Grumman's products.
Ishak Polikarpov I-16
Jenny Curtiss JN
Jolly Green Giant Sikorksy HH-3
Rescue helicopter.
Jug Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
Shorthand for 'Juggernaut'. Also referring to the shape of the fuselage.
Juggernaut Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
An unstoppable vehicle. (Actually a carriage that in ceremonies ritually crushed some of the followers of a religion.)
Jump Jet BAe/MDD AV-8 Harrier
VTOL aircraft.
Kaasjager North American F-86K Sabre
Cheese fighter, nickname of the aircraft in Dutch service. Because of the letter K, and the association of cheese with the Netherlands.
Katy Payen Pa 49
Katyusha Tupolev SB-2
Kanonenvogel Junkers Ju 87G
Cannon bird. Armed with two 37mm anti-tank cannon.
Kit Antonov An-8
Kobry Bell P-39 Airacobra
Kraft Ei Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet
Power egg. Small rocket-powered fighter.
Krokodil Mikoyan MiG-27
Krokodil Mikoyan MiG-23
Because the landing gear has "crocodile legs".
Kurfuerst Messerschmitt Bf 109K
German phonetic alphabet: K-Kurfuerst
Kukuruznik Antonov An-2
Little Hayseed. Because of its use in agriculture.
Lanc Avro Lancaster
Lapotnik Junkers Ju 87 Stuka
'Booter', because of it fixed landing gear. Also transliterated as "Lapetznhik". "Lapti" are birch shoes, as worn by Russian peasants.
Lawn Dart General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
Lawn Dart Rockwell B-1 Lancer
Lawn Dart Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk
'Lawn dart' is generally used for crash-prone aircraft.
Lead Sled McDonnell F3H Demon
Lead Sled Republic F-84 Thunderjet
Lead Sled Republic F-105 Thunderchief
Lead Sled Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
Lead Sled Boeing RC-135U
'Lead Sled' refers to an unmanoeuvrable aircraft, possibly with a poor climb performance.
Letauschii gastronom Mikoyan MiG-25
Flying liquor store. A MiG-25 carried a lot of alcohol as deicing fluid, and ground crews drank it...
Lieutenant Eater Republic F-84 Thunderjet
Difficult to fly for a unexperienced ppilot.
Linda Lovelace Lockheed C-5
Little Bird Hughes OH-6, MH-6, AH-6
Little Hummer General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
Little Hummer Douglas A-26 Invader
Lizzie Westland Lysander
Loach Hughes OH-6 Cayuse
Derived from the project name LOH, Light Observation Helicopter.
Magnesium Overcast Convair B-36 Peacemaker
Variation on 'Aluminium Overcast.'
Malenkii Tu Tupolev Tu-124
Little Tu.
Man-Eater LTV A-7 Corsair II
Mattel Messerschmitt Hughes TH-55 Cayuse
Maytag Messerschmitt Ryan PT-22 Recruit
Meatbox Gloster Meteor
Mezek Avia S-199
Mule. This Czech version of the Bf 109 was powered by a not really suitable Junkers Jumo engine, and had poor handling qualities.
MiG Master Vought F8U Crusader
Mighty Fin Panavia Tornado
Because of the Tornado's enormous tailfin, of course.
Mighty Iron Hardware Republic F-105 Thunderchief
Mighty Mite Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
Monkeyknocker Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
It was assumed that because of its poor bombing accuracy, the only victims were innocent monkeys. Also 'Coconutknocker'.
Mos Neata I.A.R. 39
Mosca Polikarpov I-16
Mossie de Havilland Mosquito
Myasnik Ilyushin Il-28
Butcher. Equivalent to "widow maker".
Nighthawk Lockheed F-117
Ninak De Havilland D.H.9A
North American Safety Jet North American T-2 Buckeye
Ol'Dumbo Curtiss C-46 Commando
Old Metuselah Douglas C-47 Dakota
Old Shaky Douglas C-124 Globemaster
Old Smokey McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II
The J79 engine had bad smoke trails.
Olive on a toothpick Hughes OH-6 Cayuse
Layout of egg-shaped fuselage and slender tail boom.
One-Oh-Wonder McDonnell F-101 Voodoo
Overcast North American B-70 Valkyrie
Panzerknacker Junkers Ju 87G
Anti-tank version of the Ju 87.
Pave Pig Sikorsky MH-3
Nickname given to the MH-3 when it was being replaced by MH-53J Pave Low and the MH-60G Pave Hawk.
Peacemaker Convair B-36
Pea Shooter Boeing P-26
Peshka Petlyakov Pe-2.
Chess pawn. Similar in Russian pronunciation to Pe-2.
Peter Dash Flash North American P-51 Mustang
Phrog Boeing Vertol CH-46E
Pig Vickers Varsity
Pinball Bell RP-63 Kingcobra
A manned aerial target version of the RP-63, with a reinforced skin. When it was hit (with special, frangible bullets) lights flashed...
Placid Plodder Douglas C-47 Dakota
Plastic Bug McDonnell Douglas F-18 Hornet
Polecat Grumman X-29
Porker Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II
Pregnant Beast Grumman TBF Avenger
Puff, the Magic Dragon Douglas AC-47
Pylly Walteri Brewster B-239 Buffalo
Bustling Walter. Nickname in Finland.
Queen Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
Q-bird Grumman EA-6B Prowler
The letter Q is used by the USN to identify electronic warfare squadrons.
Queer Grumman EA-6B Prowler
Radial Interceptor Beech T-34 Mentor
Rama Focke-Wulf Fw 190
Russian for 'frame'. Because of its angular shape.
Because it could intercept a radial from a navigation beacon, and little else.
Rhapsody in Glue Cessna UC-78 Bobcat
Rhino McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II
Rodan McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
Sabre Dog North American F-86D Sabre
Scarier BAe/MDD AV-8 Harrier
Scooter Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
Scrapper Grumman AF-2S Guardian
Seven Balls Two Convair XF-92
Shagbat Supermarine Walrus
Shar BAe Sea Harrier
Shithook Boeing CH-47 Chinook
Silber Messerschmitt Me 262
Silver Bullet Convair XP-81
Silver Dollar North American F-100 Super Sabre
Silver Sow Boeing C-135
Six Convair F-106 Delta Dart
Six Douglas DC-6
Six Shooter Convair F-106 Delta Dart
This was the codename for the installation of the six-barrel 20mm Vulcan cannon in the F-106. It was later applied to the converted aircraft as well.
Skooter Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
Skunk Works Lockheed's Burbank plant
After a 'factory' from a comic strip, and because its first location was in a smelly place.
Skycrane Sykorsky CH-54 Tarhe
A crane helicopter.
Skyhog Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
SLAT Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II
Slow, Low Aerial Target.
Sled Lockheed SR-71
Slepoy Dzhek Tupolev Tu-22M
Blind Jack. Refers to the poor view from the cockpit.
Slick Bell UH-1 Iroquois
Slick Chick North American RF-100A
Unarmed, high-speed photo-reconaissance version of the F-100.
Slow But Deadly Douglas SBD Dauntless
Slow Navy Bomber Beech SNB Kansan
Sluf LTV A-7 Corsair II
Short, little ugly fellah.
Snake Bell AH-1 Cobra
Snake Lockheed P2V Neptune
Son of a Bitch 2nd Class Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
Spad Douglas A-1 Skyraider
Spam Can North American P-51 Mustang
Because of a structure which was a bit too light and weak to resist the stress of combat. Too many were lost when flown outside design limits.
Sparkvark Grumman EF-111 Raven
An electronic warfare version of the 'Aardvark'.
Speedy Three Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless
Because it was very, very slow...
Spit Supermarine Spitfire
Spooky Douglas AC-47
Often used as callsign.
Squash Bomber Republic F-105 Thunderchief
Squirt Saro SR.A/1
Flying boat jet fighter.
Staggerwing Beech 17
Biplane with notable backstagger, i.e. the upper wing was set a bit behind the lower wing.
Stanley Steamer Northrop F-89 Scorpion
Star Lizard Lockheed C-141 Starlifter
Steam Chicken Supermarine Walrus
Sterile Arrow Grumman EA-6B Prowler
'Sterile' because it was an unarmed version of the A-6.
Stoof Grumman S-2 Tracker
The original designation was S2F.
Stoof with a Roof Grumman E-1 Tracer
A derivative of the S-2 "Stoof" with a large radar dome on top. The name seems to have stuck to the E-2 Hawkeye as well.
Strat Boeing 377 Stratocruiser
Stratobladder Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker
Strike Pig Boeing T-43
Strike Pig Douglas F3D Skyknight
Stringbag Fairey Swordfish
Stuka Junkers Ju-87
'Sturzkampfflugzeug', a generic German term for dive-bomber.
Super Bee Hughes OH-6 Cayuse
Superbolt Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
The version with 'bubble' cockpit.
Super Hog Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
A development (sort of) of the F-84 'Hog'.
Super Hoover Lockheed S-3 Viking
Because of the noise of its TF34 engines.
Super Jolly Green Giant Sikorksy HH-53
Rescue helicopter that replaced the HH-3 "Jolly Green Giant".
Super Shitter Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion
Swinger General Dynamics F-111
Refers to its variable geometry wing.
Switchblade General Dynamics F-111
Refers to its variable geometry wing.
Swoose Goose Vultee XP-54
Tadpole Grumman A-6 Intruder
Because it looks like one: blunt front fuselage, slender tail.
Taivaan Helmi Brewster B-239 Buffalo
"Sky Pearl." Finnish.
Tank Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker
Tante Ju Junkers Ju 52/3m
Tausendfussler Arado Ar 232
Centipede. Because of the low multi-wheel gear that it used for (un)loading.
T-bird Lockheed T-33
T-bolt Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
Tennis Court McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
Because of its generous upper surface, and its enormous RCS (radar cross section).
Thud Republic F-105 Thunderchief
Thunder Piglet Fairchild Republic T-46A
The latest product of Republic, which traditionally gave aircraft names starting with 'Thunder'.
Thunderscreech Republic XF-84H
A Thunderstreak (F-84F) derivative with an extremely noisy turboprop engine.
Tin Goose Ford Trimotor
One of the first all-metal transport aircraft.
Tinker Toy Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
Tin Mossie Vickers 432
Looked like the de Havilland Mosquito, but was of all-metal construction.
Torbeau Bristol Beaufighter TF.X
This version of the Beaufighter could carry a torpedo.
Tripehound Sopwith Triplane
Triple Threat Republic F-105 Thunderchief
It could bomb you, it could shoot you, and it could fall on you...
Tsetse De Havilland Mosquito FB Mk.XVIII
A Mosquito with a larger cannon.
T-tailed Mountain Magnet Lockheed C-141 Starlifter
Tub Convair TF-102 Delta Dagger
Turkey Grumman F-14 Tomcat
Turkey Grumman TBF Avenger
Tweet Cessna T-37
Refers to whistling noise of its engines.
Tweety Bird Cessna T-37
Refers to whistling noise of its engines.
Ubiytsa Yakovlev Yak-3U
Killer. Popular interpretation of the version letter of this later version of the Yak-3.
Ultra Hog Republic F-105 Thunderchief
The F-84 was the Hog, the F-84F the Super Hog.
Useless 78 Cessna UC-78 Bobcat
Useless Deuce Lockheed U-2
Velcro Hawk Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk
Because of the large number of add-ons.
Vercse Yakovlev Yak-9P
"Hawk". Name of the Yak-9P in Hungarian service.
Vibrator Vultee BT-13 Valiant
Vibrator Vought SB2U Vindicator
Viper General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
By reference to the spacefighters of the SF-series "Battlestar Galactica."
Vomit Comet Douglas DC-3
Voting Member F-16 pilot
Because the computers can override his commands, if they are outside the design envelope.
War Hoover Lockheed S-3 Viking
Because of the noise of its TF34 engines.
Warthog Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II
It is ugly and a 'mud-mover', i.e. a ground support aircraft.
Weenie Wagon Douglas C-133
Because of the shape of its fuselage.
Whale Douglas F3D Skynight
Whale Douglas A3D Skywarrior
Whispering Death Bristol Beaufighter
Because of the typical sound of its sleeve-valve radial engines, less noisy than poppet-valve engines.
Whistling Death Vought F4U Corsair
Because of the whistling sound caused by its wing leading edge radiators. The name is attributed to the Japanese, but might as well be a propaganda effort.
Whistling Shitcan BAe/MDD AV-8 Harrier
Whistling Shitcan Douglas A3D Skywarrior
White Rocket Northrop T-38 Talon
Why Bother? Blackburn Botha
The seriously underpowered Botha was useless, and could be dangerous.
Widow-Maker Martin B-26 Marauder
Because of a series of accidents in its early career. Pilots were not used to its high wing loading.
Willie the Whale Tacit Blue
Because of its inverted bath-tub fuselage shape and dorsal air intake.
Willy Fudd Grumman W2F
Wimpey Vickers Wellington
After the comic strip figure J. Wellington Wimpey.
Wind Indicator Vought SB2U Vindicator
Wobblin' Goblin Lockheed F-117
Wocka-Wocka Boeing CH-47 Chinook
Noise of the propeller blades.
Wooden Wonder de Havilland Mosquito
Because of its wooden construction and its high performance.
World's Largest Dog Whistle Cessna T-37
Refers to whistling noise of its engines.
Yastreb Polikarpov I-16
Yastrebok Polikarpov I-16,
"Little Hawk." Also for other fighters.
Yellow Peril Stearman N2S / PT-17 Kaydet
Yellow was a normal color for US training aircraft during WWII.