model numbers for tracking


i just learned that Learjet 40XR’s are tracked differently then the standard Learjet 40’s (Flightaware id LR40 versus LJ40).

does flightaware have an index available? another example would be the Dassault a/c. they are FA50, F2th, F900, etc. it is less intuitive than the Cessna index (C550, C560, C56x, etc).


Using the search feature available at the top of every page in the forum, I found my posting about contractions. Take a look there.

The contractions handbook mentioned contains both encoding and decoding of call signs, aircraft codes, IATA/FAA airline codes, and other interesting items.

It’s always a good idea when joining a new forum, especially this one, to browse through the postings to get an idea of what’s on the forum. Many of your questions will be answered by doing this.


thanks … did some searching, but wasn’t able to get to what i needed. i’ll check the link you provided.


the FAA nomeclature *wasn’t *what i had in mind … i was hoping for specific information … ideally a list that we can use for tracking …
FA50 = Dassault Aviation Falcon 50
FA5X = Dassaut Aviation Falcon 50EX
those are not FAA mandate naming conventions


FlightAware gets its data straight from the FAA. The FAA gets its aircraft data from the person filing the flight plan.

When you see something like FA5X, which is not listed in the current contractions handbook, you are seeing what the pilot filed. I’ve seen instances where the flight indicated, for example, a FA5X or FA5 when, based on the other flights of the same N-number, they meant FA50. In other words (and I hate to burst your bubble) not all pilots are gods who never make a mistake when filing a flight plan.


so the codes that uses to group aircraft,
GLF5 for gulfstream V derrivatives,
GLF4 for IV, IVSP, 400, 450, 350
CL30 for the Bombardier Challenger 300
GLEX for the Global Express family
etc, etc …

those are the FAA codes, not an identifier ordered by flightaware ?
and they are pilot dependent?
and pilots aren’t gods?


F/A doesn’t use any codes of their own. As Dave pointed out, the screen shows whatever was received in the FAA feed and that, ultimately, is what the pilots filed the ARCTYP as. Sometimes the pilots get it wrong or hit a wrong key. Shit happens, life goes on! :slight_smile:


FlightAware, as I said, gets its data from the FAA’s database. This data are pilot dependent.

As an example, take a look at N154C’s flight on 28 Apr 06. It used the code of “GLF.” All of the other flights used “GLF2.”

One way you can tell if a pilot used a non-standard aircraft code is to look at the flight information box. For the referenced flight, it shows only the aircraft code: (GLF/A). If it had been a code that is in the FAA database, then the aircraft type would have preceeded the aircraft code: Gulfstream American Gulfstream 2 (twin-jet) (GLF2/Q).

Pilots, unlike computer geeks, are not gods, unless they are also computer geeks, in which case they are only god 2nd class because of their pilotness.

Edit: RobK, you must have been replying when I was writing my reply.


ah ha
i wish i had a lightbulb emoticon.

damiross: how were you able to find your example so quickly?


I entered GLF2 in the aircraft type search box and browsed the flights until I found my example.

Tip: Because this link doesn’t show on the left side of FlightAware screens, you should bookmark the basic link and add it to your links toolbar.

The aircraft type search box allows a wildcard for 4 letter aircraft codes. Using the asterik as the last character will find all variations of the code.

  • GLF* will find all Gulfstreams (GLF2, GLF3, etc.)

  • DC8* will find all DC-8s (DC8Q, DC86, etc.)

  • DC3* will find DC-3 and DC-3T

This does not work with 2- and 3-letter codes. It also finds only aircraft that are currently active.


much appreciated


As damiross explained, there are too many typos and casual pilots/controllers out there to try to extract model-specific information out of the aircraf type code. We’ve seen aircraft alternate between G5 and GLF5, LJ60 and LR60, and PA28 and P28R depending on the pilot/controller combination.

In one of the threads here (which I can’t recall at the moment), I posted the breakdown of LearJet codes used system-wide. Perhaps someone can dig it up for us.


Easy as pie- Look 'bout halfway through THIS THREAD.


**mduell **and jreeves
thanks to you too. this is great stuff.
despite my initial ignorance, this is exactly what i had i mind.

what did you query to get your summary?