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LoganTheBogan
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:49 am

Can someone help explain what MSN is and how it works?

Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:49 am

Hi guys
I am pretty big Airbus fan but I don't dislike Boeing. I have recently started following the A350 production thread and see people refereing to aircraft as MSN. e.g. MSN 065.
What is this and how does it work?
Bonus points for explaining where to find out which aircraft gets which MSN!


Thanks :D
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
 
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XAM2175
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Re: Can someone help explain what MSN is and how it works?

Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:37 am

It's an acronym for Manufacturer's Serial Number.

My understanding is that Airbus allocate them to all aircraft ordered within a family (so there is an A320 with MSN 001, an A330 with MSN 001, and so on), but do not re-use or reallocate them if that aircraft is subsequently not built.

Boeing's system is slightly different as the "Serial Number" is comprised of two components, the Constructor's Number that is unique for each and every Boeing aircraft, and the Line Number that is similar to the Airbus MSN system.
 
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nighthawk
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2001 2:33 am

Re: Can someone help explain what MSN is and how it works?

Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:18 pm

In any manufacturing process, its essential that you can uniquely identify each item produced, and show a paper trail of every component that was used in producing it. This applies to everything, from the computer or phone you might be using, right up to aircraft.

The primary reason for doing this is for traceability. Say a supplier contacts the aircraft manufacturer to warn them that there is a defect in all of their products made between June and July of last year, the aircraft manufacturer then needs to know exactly which aircraft produced contain affected components, so they can advise the current aircraft operator to replace the faulty parts before they fail.

XAM2175 has already mentioned how Airbus and Boeing generate their serial numbers - they are free to use any method they wish, as long as they are unique within the company for each product produced.

To see a list of them, simply use one of the many online fleet listing websites, such as http://www.planelogger.com. If you view the registration details of an aircraft, the MSN will be shown. Additionally, if you select Aircraft, and view the production lists for a given model, they will be listed by MSN, as shown here for the Boeing 737:

Boeing 737 Production List - PlaneLogger.com
 
LH707330
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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 pm

Re: Can someone help explain what MSN is and how it works?

Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:36 am

XAM2175 wrote:
It's an acronym for Manufacturer's Serial Number.

My understanding is that Airbus allocate them to all aircraft ordered within a family (so there is an A320 with MSN 001, an A330 with MSN 001, and so on), but do not re-use or reallocate them if that aircraft is subsequently not built.

Boeing's system is slightly different as the "Serial Number" is comprised of two components, the Constructor's Number that is unique for each and every Boeing aircraft, and the Line Number that is similar to the Airbus MSN system.

A330 MSN001 is actually an A340 :P They shared a line and construction numbers. I think the first 330 was l/n 12.
 
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XAM2175
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Re: Can someone help explain what MSN is and how it works?

Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:45 am

LH707330 wrote:
XAM2175 wrote:
Airbus allocate them to all aircraft ordered within a family

They shared a line and construction numbers.


Yeah I should have made that a bit clearer... but I will admit I just took a guess at whether the 330 or 340 had taken the first slot :p
 
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Channex757
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Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:07 am

Re: Can someone help explain what MSN is and how it works?

Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:56 pm

The MSN also acts as a virtual aircraft. Parts and structures get allocated to that MSN, and if the order gets cancelled then the long lead items can be traced to that MSN for re-allocation. That's one reason why the numbers don't get re-used if the aircraft does not progress to build.

Some items by their very nature can't be re-used such as bespoke fixtures or special order. Having the MSN stay unique to an order whether cancelled or not helps with the track and trace function, and even some legal functions should a cancellation need to go to litigation for compensation. Similarly it helps with bookkeeping functions.

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