Secret registration meanings

Old Dec 10, 19, 2:55 am
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Secret registration meanings

Stumbled across this yesterday, I'd always wondered where the registration codes came from, obviously more thought in the process than I gave credit for.



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Old Dec 10, 19, 3:05 am
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I seem to recall there was an A320 with a G-BUSH registration that was used as some sort of publicity stunt when a certain former POTUS was over on a visit?
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Old Dec 10, 19, 3:54 am
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Oops ... deleted
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Old Dec 10, 19, 4:09 am
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I'm calling the Monarch origin of G-ZBK* for the B789s as rubbish, because the 6 787s that Monarch ordered in 2006 were for 787-8s, not -9s.

I'll buy the "ZB looks like 78" story though, since they did something similar with the G-ZZZ* B777s.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 4:41 am
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Anyone know where G-DBC* comes from on the ex BMI A319s?
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Old Dec 10, 19, 4:52 am
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G-YMMV Used to train in service consistency 😀
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Old Dec 10, 19, 5:22 am
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You should see the Virgin Atlantic ones! The planes name often matches it's registration. For example:

G-VWAG has been named "Miss England"
G-VNYC is "Uptown Girl"

There's G-VSPY (guess that ones name!), G-VUFO and so on.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 5:37 am
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Originally Posted by skipness1E View Post
Anyone know where G-DBC* comes from on the ex BMI A319s?
Donington/Derby Castle?
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Old Dec 10, 19, 5:41 am
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Now that I've seen G-ZZZ as underlined 777, all capital Zs look like underlined 7s to me!

Why is the OP an image of text? Tried to copy G-ZZZ from there and couldn't
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Old Dec 10, 19, 5:57 am
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Originally Posted by bobbytables View Post
Why is the OP an image of text?
Possibly because it's a screenshot from a 2017 Boarding Area blog post?

Last edited by IMH; Dec 10, 19 at 6:04 am Reason: conciseness
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Old Dec 10, 19, 6:04 am
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Originally Posted by skipness1E View Post
Anyone know where G-DBC* comes from on the ex BMI A319s?
From the last time we did this, the suggestion of "[Michael] David Bishop Chairman" was proposed...
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Old Dec 10, 19, 10:30 am
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And there's G-XWB* for the first A350-1000 deliveries. That one seems pretty obvious.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 10:49 am
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Missed the most different one! G-RAES was named for the Royal Aeronautical Society.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by ShuttleRunner View Post
Missed the most different one! G-RAES was named for the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Mainly because G-VIII was taken already

G-VIII
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Old Dec 10, 19, 11:30 am
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Having worked in the aircraft registration department of the UK CAA 1988-1990, I can answer some of this. The information for the out-of-sequence registrations is correct. However, there is some erroneous information in the original post. The G-BNL* and G-BNW* sequences were batches of in-sequence registrations requested by BA as they gave a unique set of last two letters, eg LA, LB, LC etc, by which the airline easily identifies the aircraft within its fleet. So, at the time there were no blocks of aircraft with those last two letters. "Brand New Large Aircraft" is someone trying to make things fit after the fact.

In-sequence registrations started with G-AAAA (well, actually with G-EAAA, but that's another story) and with the exception of G-BSST for the prototype Concorde were issued in strict sequence. In later decades, airlines (not just BA) could request batches of registrations for their fleets and reserve them in advance, bearing in mind new fleets are usually delivered over a number of years. When out-of-sequence registrations became available in the late 1970s on payment of a fee, this changed things slightly as the marks could now be more personalised. A feature of the UK register is that registration marks, once used, cannot be re-used so remain unique. (G-BJCB was an exception, but this was an admin error.) Many foreign registers allow re-use of marks including the USA and Germany.

G-BUSH mentioned above was part of the first batch of Airbus A320s delivered to BA (originally ordered by BCal) - the G-BUS* sequence being obvious.

The initial BA B757 fleet was in the G-BIK* sequence, except G-BIKE, which was already on a private aircraft.

There is no 'PI' in the G-EUP* sequence as a mark of respect to those lost in the Staines Air Disaster on G-ARPI.

G-BOAC was the first BA Concorde followed by G-BOAA to G-BOAG. When the sequential marks overtook this batch, G-BOAH was issued to a Piper PA28 - on which I made my first solo flight

Lord King had a Beech King Air which was initially registered G-LKOW (Lord King of Wartnaby) but it was felt that shareholders wouldn't like to see their money spent on a 'vanity' registration. So, although the money was already spent - and the fee was just GBP180 or so at the time - it was re-registered as G-BLLC.

That's about all the trivia I can think of right now. I'll get my anorak...

Last edited by robertf999; Dec 10, 19 at 11:33 am Reason: Info added.
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