OB1504
Topic Author
Posts: 3212
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 5:10 am

AA Reusing Nose Numbers

Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:19 pm

I recall reading several years ago that one of the reasons why AA uses unique alphanumeric nose numbers for some aircraft types (3AA, 5DJ, 7LW, etc.) was because their system couldn't handle reusing nose numbers or four-character identifiers. How much of that is still true, if it ever was?

I noticed that with the delivery of N908AA last week, AA is reusing ship number 908, which was formerly N908AW, an LUS 757.



(also, the 900 series has to be the most confusing range at AA, consisting of LAA and LUS A321s, LUS 757s, and LUS E190s in non-contiguous blocks)
 
mandargb
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2001 8:00 am

Re: AA Reusing Nose Numbers

Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:01 pm

Aren't they called tail numbers ?
 
alasizon
Posts: 1091
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:57 pm

Re: AA Reusing Nose Numbers

Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:24 am

mandargb wrote:
Aren't they called tail numbers ?


Tail numbers are the actual registration numbers, the nose number is the internal ID, typically painted on the nose and/or landing gear doors.

OB1504 wrote:
I recall reading several years ago that one of the reasons why AA uses unique alphanumeric nose numbers for some aircraft types (3AA, 5DJ, 7LW, etc.) was because their system couldn't handle reusing nose numbers or four-character identifiers. How much of that is still true, if it ever was?


At least in the case of FOS, as long as the previous aircraft data is wiped, you can re-use a nose number. Likewise, the same tail number can have multiple nose numbers without any issue (happened with some of the Skywest CR2s around the merger) other than that the cycles in FOS don't match up with reality. As far as I know, the Mainline limitation was with a Maintenance piece of software but I don't know any of the details beyond that.
Manager on Duty & Tower Planner
 
MO11
Posts: 312
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:07 pm

Re: AA Reusing Nose Numbers

Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:50 am

alasizon wrote:
mandargb wrote:
Aren't they called tail numbers ?


Tail numbers are the actual registration numbers, the nose number is the internal ID, typically painted on the nose and/or landing gear doors.

OB1504 wrote:
I recall reading several years ago that one of the reasons why AA uses unique alphanumeric nose numbers for some aircraft types (3AA, 5DJ, 7LW, etc.) was because their system couldn't handle reusing nose numbers or four-character identifiers. How much of that is still true, if it ever was?


At least in the case of FOS, as long as the previous aircraft data is wiped, you can re-use a nose number. Likewise, the same tail number can have multiple nose numbers without any issue (happened with some of the Skywest CR2s around the merger) other than that the cycles in FOS don't match up with reality. As far as I know, the Mainline limitation was with a Maintenance piece of software but I don't know any of the details beyond that.


Remember that when US Airways went to SABRE for dispatch (long before the merger), each US Airways airplane (and Express) was issued a three letter nose "number". But yes, the (non) reuse of numbers did have something to do with maintenance records; since the merger with US Airways, that seems to have become a non issue.

In his example of 908, that nose number was "permanently" assigned to a 727-100 until the merger.
 
User avatar
Horstroad
Posts: 421
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:19 pm

Re: AA Reusing Nose Numbers

Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:21 am

alasizon wrote:

Tail numbers are the actual registration numbers, the nose number is the internal ID, typically painted on the nose and/or landing gear doors.

Why do you need a separate internal ID, when the registration already is a unique ID?
 
OB1504
Topic Author
Posts: 3212
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 5:10 am

Re: AA Reusing Nose Numbers

Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:39 am

Thanks for the replies, everyone!

Horstroad wrote:
alasizon wrote:

Tail numbers are the actual registration numbers, the nose number is the internal ID, typically painted on the nose and/or landing gear doors.

Why do you need a separate internal ID, when the registration already is a unique ID?


It's probably easier to refer to aircraft by a shorter three or four character identifier than by the full registration number. Virtually every major airline in the United States does this. For some airlines like Spirit, the number directly correlates with the registration number (e.g. N601NK is ship 601), but AA is notable among American carriers in that there is often no correlation between the registration and the nose number thanks to their unique alphanumeric identifiers (e.g. N717AN is ship 7LA). Internally, the full registration number is rarely used.
 
Wacker1000
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:36 pm

Re: AA Reusing Nose Numbers

Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:22 pm

Horstroad wrote:
alasizon wrote:

Tail numbers are the actual registration numbers, the nose number is the internal ID, typically painted on the nose and/or landing gear doors.

Why do you need a separate internal ID, when the registration already is a unique ID?


It probably becomes impossible to keep certain fleets within a block of three digit nose numbers which were derived from the registration number as your fleet size approaches 999 aircraft.
 
MO11
Posts: 312
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:07 pm

Re: AA Reusing Nose Numbers

Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:35 pm

One of purposes of the nose number was to create a group. This helps ramp personnel quickly identify what model aircraft it is. United went further by grouping into subfleets, so a four numeric nose number is used.

When Northwest and Republic merged, the RC aircraft weren't reregistered, so the nose numbers completely diverged from the registration.
 
alasizon
Posts: 1091
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:57 pm

Re: AA Reusing Nose Numbers

Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:12 pm

MO11 wrote:
One of purposes of the nose number was to create a group. This helps ramp personnel quickly identify what model aircraft it is. United went further by grouping into subfleets, so a four numeric nose number is used.


Exactly. As an example, I know everything that starts with a 3 is a 737-800. Everything that starts with a CY is a Mesa operated NextGen CR9. It helps especially when you have certain stations (i.e. DFW) where the gates can see a massive variation in equipment type all within the same day.
Manager on Duty & Tower Planner
 
wn676
Posts: 1523
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 5:33 am

Re: AA Reusing Nose Numbers

Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:24 pm

MO11 wrote:
One of purposes of the nose number was to create a group. This helps ramp personnel quickly identify what model aircraft it is. United went further by grouping into subfleets, so a four numeric nose number is used.

When Northwest and Republic merged, the RC aircraft weren't reregistered, so the nose numbers completely diverged from the registration.


US Airways did some subfleet segregation with their numbering as well, though with 3 characters instead of 4. 100-series A320/21s and 700-series A319s were CFM-powered, while 600-series A320s, 500-series 321s, and 800-series A319s were IAE-powered. I'm wondering if at some point there will be a realignment of the nose numbers at AA, particularly the Airbuses to an alphanumeric system as they are all over the place at the moment. With the letters that are usually skipped, a designation scheme like the one used by the 737s (number-letter-letter) can accommodate 484 aircraft; more than enough for one type.
Tiny, unreadable text leaves ample room for interpretation.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 767Fan, Armadillo1, fr8mech, jbflyguy84, StereoTechque, StudiodeKadent, VIflyer and 41 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos