Airplane nicknames

Ok guys, I just read a post in another thread from JHEM, and he brought up a nickname that I had suprisingly never heard but gave me a good giggle. The Piaggio being called “Pasta Rocket” :smiley:

It got me thinking about some of the other funny nicknames given to airplanes. Some are probably off color a bit, but lets get a list of nicknames…

Jetstream 31/41 “Junkstream”
Embraer Regional Jet family “Jungle Jet”
Shorts 360 “Irish Concorde”
IAI Westwind “Jew Canoe”
DC-9 “diesel 9”


MD80: Mad Dog

I always liked the names for the B-26, Widowmaker, Flying Coffin, Flying Prostitute. The prostitute name relates to the opinion that the plane had no visible means of support. Guess due to the area of the wing.

Also, when I was in the Air Force, we were amused at the old timer’s name for the B 52,
“Buf” or Big Ugly F#&@.

B-52 = BUFF (Big Ugly Fat F*cker)
SR-71 = HABU
F-105 = THUD

727 = Three-Holer
747 = Whale
Citation = Slowtation
Skyvan = Flying Lunchbox

Braniff’s 747 was nicknamed Big Orange

Interesting item about the F-111’s nickname. Unlike most Air Force aircraft, it didn’t have an official name until it was retired.

According to the National Museum of the Air Force:

The versatile “swing wing” F-111, unofficially named the “Aardvark” until its retirement ceremony on July 27, 1996, when the name was made official, entered the USAF inventory in 1967.

In Hawaii in the 70’s, Navy housing was on final for HNL…we called the Braniff 747 “The Braniff Carrot”. When you saw the “Carrot” fly over, it was about 4 pm…

The A-3 Skywarrior also earned the nickname “Whale”, due to what Wikipedia notes as: “its’ ponderous size, and less than slender profile.”

Carrier controllers invariably called it the “F------ Whale” due to the endless special attention the aircraft needed during approaches to the carrier.

Back in the day, darn near any civilian aircraft departing Tan Son Nhut airbase was called a “Freedom Bird”

Douglas A-1 = SPAD (An aircraft renowned for the fact that regardless of what you hung on it could still takeoff and fly away!)

There are many of us who believe that, with the exception of MEDEVAC drivers, SPAD drivers were the finest pilots to ever grab a joystick.

I love to call the Cessna 172 the “Skychicken” over radio instead of “Skyhawk”. It usually gets a laugh out of ATC.

A few more of my ancient neurons have fired:

CH-47 Chinook = (What else?) Shithook
AC-47 Spooky = Puff, the Magic Dragon
Airbus A320 = Scarebus
Beech Bonanza = The Doctor Killer (Also a name hung on the Lake Amphib. Ironically, the three guys I knew who had Lakes all died in them but none were Doctors.)
Tu144 = Concordski
Metroliner = San-Antonio Sewerpipe
Twin Otter = Twotter
Ercoupe = Scarecoupe
There are some for Pipers that aren’t fit for this family oriented website! :wink:

Also known as the “Double Ugly”.
In recognition of its record of downing large numbers of Soviet-built MiGs, it was called the “World’s Leading Distributor of MiG Parts”. :mrgreen:

Very interesting about the officiality of the Aardvark name. Every book I remember as a kid always listed it as the Aardvark, and I’m pretty sure even some of the flying units had patches that eluded to an ant eater or aardvark.

I never knew the A-1 was called a Spad either! I knew Sandy was their callsign, but never heard the aircraft referred to as that. Yeah I can imagine those guys were both heros and probably had a little extra material stitched into the crotch of their flight suits to accomodate the extra junk it took to fly that low, that slow and right in the heart of it all!

When it absolutely and positively had to be delivered up close and personal, they had the “Right Stuff”, and tons of it as can be seen in the above photo. In fact, there was a well documented event in 1965 when a USN pilot dropped a toilet on the enemy in VN.

We called them the Skyraider or SPAD in equal measure and loved their ability to apply munitions accurately under any conditions, as well as their ability to loiter for very long periods. Not to detract from the performance of any of the drivers, USN, Marines or USAF, those of us on the ground always found the Marines to be the most responsive and attentive to our needs.

The only times we heard them called “Sandy” was as a callsign when they were escorting USAF pararescue crews.

Any straight winged Citation: “Slowtation”

Metroliner: “San Antonio Lawn Dart”

Ercoupe- Earpcoupe
Sundowner-Slow Downer

Cessna Skymaster = Mixmaster

Piper Tomahawk = Traumahawk

337= SkyDisaster

Blackhawk = Crashhawk

Airbus - Scarebus
Piper Saratoga - Scaratoga
Tomahawk - Traumahawk/TraumaRock
Cessna Skycatcher - Skyscratcher