Small plane identifying numbers length

The Type I design, after a brief contest, was given to the Bristol Aeroplane Company , building on submissions they had made during the war for a " ton bomber ". This evolved into the creation of the Bristol Brabazon. The Type II process was complicated by the proposition of Vickers that a move to the newly developed turboprop power should be made. The specification was, therefore, split in two, with the conventional piston design going to the eventual de Havilland Dove and Airspeed Ambassador.

The revolutionary VC. The Type IV for the jet-powered aircraft went to de Havilland and became, in , the world's first jet airliner, the Comet. It featured an aerodynamically clean design with four de Havilland Ghost turbojet engines buried in the wings, a pressurised fuselage, and large, square windows. For the era, it offered a relatively quiet, comfortable passenger cabin and showed signs of being a commercial success at its debut.

However, a year after entering commercial service, the Comets began suffering problems, with three of them breaking up during mid-flight in well-publicised accidents. This was later found to be due to catastrophic metal fatigue , not well understood at the time, in the airframes. The Comet was withdrawn from service and extensively tested to discover the cause. Rival manufacturers, meanwhile, heeded the lessons learned from the Comet while developing their own aircraft. Although sales never fully recovered, the improved Comet 2 and the prototype Comet 3 culminated in the redesigned Comet 4 series which debuted in and had a productive career of over 30 years.

This disaster, coupled with the fact that the UK's domestic market was much smaller than the US's, meant that by the s, it was increasingly clear that the UK had lost the airliner market to the US, and later designs like the BAC , Vickers VC10 , and Hawker Siddeley Trident although successful would be unable to win a substantial part of it back again.

Another committee was formed to consider supersonic designs, STAC, and worked with Bristol to create the Bristol design for a passenger transatlantic airliner. However, this was going to be so expensive to produce that the effort was later merged with similar efforts in France to create the Concorde supersonic airliner. The United States, conversely, gained a huge advantage in design and production in the airline industry in the years leading up to the war, but many of the developments were put off until after the war as the manufacturing efforts were placed on the war effort.

The advancements that the United States made in this industry were in large part due to the cooperation of the airlines discussing what they desired with the airliner manufacturers. Soon after the war, though, Douglas made a large advancement with the DC-4 ; although this could not cross the Atlantic at every point, it was able to make a nonstop flight from New York to the United Kingdom.

Due to the war going on, the first batch of these planes went to the U. Army and Air Forces, and was named the C Skymaster. Some of these used in the war were later converted for the airline industry, along with the passenger and cargo versions that were placed on the market once the war ended. Douglas later developed a version of this plane that was pressurized and five feet longer; this redesigned plane became the DC-6 ; these DC-6s were grounded for six months to rectify a few safety issues that were causing in-flight fires. Soon after the DC-4, Lockheed developed the distinctive triple-tail Constellation.

An aviation breakthrough, it was the first commercially successful pressurized airliner, allowing it to fly higher than other airliners. Drafted by the military in World War II, it experienced a similar late entry into the civilian airline industry. Safety concerns grounded it for six months soon after it entered service while problems were investigated and repaired. In , the Boeing Stratocruiser entered the industry with a completely different design from Douglas and Lockheed aircraft.

Based on the C Stratofreighter military transport, it had a double deck and pressurized fuselage. Luxury and a passenger capacity distinguished it from its rivals. While Cs were supplied to the military, only 55 were produced for civil aviation. The American companies had done a great job of advancing the status of transcontinental travel, but the aging fleet of DC-3s had to be addressed. Convair decided that they were going to address this market, and began producing the Convair , which was a person fully pressurized plane. Including two that were equipped with jet-assisted take-off units, of these planes flew.

Convair later developed the Convair , which was slightly larger and could accommodate between 44 and 52 passengers, and of this model were produced. Finally, Convair created a Convair , which had small modifications, including much better soundproofing than the previous models.

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Convair experienced competition from the Martin and Martin , but in general was able to control this market, as the had safety concerns and was unpressurized, and the only sold around units. The United States was dominant in this industry for several reasons, including a large domestic market for these planes. The market also worked in the United States' favor as the American companies began to build pressurized airliners.

During the postwar years, engines became much larger and more powerful, and safety features such as deicing, navigation, and weather information were added to the planes. Lastly, the planes produced in the United States were more comfortable and had superior flight decks than those produced in Europe.

In the postwar years, France developed a few significant airliners, some of these being planes that could land on water; part of the reason the French companies were so focused on these flying boats is that in , the French Air Ministry requested transatlantic flying boats that could hold at least 40 passengers. Only one model from this request was ever put into service. However, two of these planes crashed, and the third plane was soon removed because of safety concerns.

USASC-USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Military Aircraft Serial Numbers--1908 to Present

This was a double-decker transport airliner that ended up being used for both people and cargo. This four-engined plane could be used to hold large amounts of cargo or 97 passengers. After a long silence, France then created the Caravelle , the world's first short- to midrange jet airliner. Subsequent French efforts were part of the Airbus pan-European initiative. These planes were in desperate need of replacement, and in , the Ilyushin Il made its first flight.

The Il was very similar in design to American Convair , except was unpressurized. In , the Ilyushin Il made its first flight, and this version was equipped with much more powerful engines. The main contribution that the Soviets made in regards to airliners was the Antonov An This plane is a biplane, unlike most of the other airliners, and sold more units than any other transport plane.

The largest airliners are wide-body jets, also called twin-aisle aircraft because they generally have two separate aisles running from the front to the back of the passenger cabin. These aircraft are usually used for long-haul flights between airline hubs and major cities with many passengers. A smaller, more common class of airliners is the narrow-body or single-aisle aircraft. These smaller airliners are generally used for medium-haul flights with fewer passengers than their wide-body counterparts.

These airliners are the non- mainline counterparts to the larger aircraft operated by the major carriers, legacy carriers, and flag carriers, and are used to feed traffic into the large airline hubs or focus cities.

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These particular routes may need the size of a smaller aircraft to meet the frequency needs and service levels customers expect in the marketed product offered by larger airlines and their modern narrow- and wide-body aircraft. Therefore, these short-haul airliners are usually equipped with lavatories , stand-up cabins, pressurization , overhead storage bins, and reclining seats, and have a flight attendant to look after the in-flight needs of the passengers during point-to-point transit routes.

Because these aircraft are frequently operated by smaller airlines that are contracted to provide "feed" passengers from smaller cities to hub airports and reverse for a "major" or "flag" carrier, regional airliners may be painted in the liveries of the major airline for which they provide this "feeder" service, so the regional airlines may offer and market a seamless transition between the larger airline to smaller airline. The lightest light aircraft of short-haul regional feeder airliner type aircraft that carry 19 or fewer passenger seats are called commuter aircraft, commuterliners, feederliners, and air taxis , depending on their size, engines, how they are marketed, region of the world, and seating configurations.

Depending on local and national regulations, a commuter aircraft may not qualify as an airliner and may not be subject to the regulations applied to larger aircraft. Members of this class of aircraft normally lack such amenities as lavatories and galleys , and typically do not carry a flight attendant as an aircrew member. The Cessna Caravan and Pilatus PC are single-engined turboprops, sometimes used as small airliners, although many countries stipulate a minimum requirement of two engines for aircraft to be used as airliners.

Twin piston-engined aircraft made by Cessna , Piper , Britten-Norman , and Beechcraft are also in use as short-haul, short-range, commuter-type aircraft. Until the beginning of the Jet Age , piston engines were common on propliners such as the Douglas DC Nearly all modern airliners are now powered by turbine engines, either turbofans or turboprops.


Gas turbine engines operate efficiently at much higher altitudes, are more reliable than piston engines, and produce less vibration and noise. The use of a common fuel type — kerosene-based jet fuel — is another advantage. Prior to the Jet Age, the same or very similar engines commonly were used in civilian airliners and military aircraft.

In recent years, divergence has occurred, so that is of the same engine on military type and civilian type aircraft is unusual. Those military aircraft which do share engine technology with airliners are typically transports or tanker types.

Cabin and Comfort

Some variants of airliners have been developed for carrying freight or for luxury corporate use. Modern jetliners are usually low-wing designs with two engines mounted underneath the swept wings turboprop aircraft are slow enough to use straight wings. The Boeing and Airbus A are the only airliners in production which are too heavy more than tons maximum takeoff weight for just two engines. Smaller airliners sometimes have their engines mounted on either side of the rear fuselage. Numerous advantages and disadvantages exist due to this arrangement. This factor becomes more important as aircraft weight increases, and no in-production airliners have both a maximum takeoff weight more than 50 tons and engines mounted on the fuselage.

The Antonov An is the only in-production jetliner with high-mounted wings usually seen in military transport aircraft , which reduces the risk of damage from unpaved runways. Except for a few experimental or military designs, all aircraft built to date have had all of their weight lifted off the ground by airflow across the wings. In terms of aerodynamics , the fuselage has been a mere burden. NASA and Boeing are currently developing a blended wing body design in which the entire airframe, from wingtip to wingtip, contributes lift.

This promises a significant gain in fuel efficiency. The narrow-body and wide-body airliner market is dominated by Airbus and Boeing, and the regional airliner market is mostly split between ATR Aircraft , Bombardier Aerospace , and Embraer. In , there were 29, airliners in service: 26, passenger transports and 2, freighters, while 2, others were stored.

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  • Narrowbody are dominant with 16,, followed by 5, Widebodies, 3, Turboprops, 3, Regional jets and Others. By the end of , there were 1, parked or in storage jetliners out of 29, in service 6. The most important driver of orders is airline profitability , itself driven mainly by world GDP growth but also supply and demand balance and oil prices , while new programmes by Airbus and Boeing help to stimulate aircraft demand. For —, Airbus forecasts 39, new airliners overs seats and large freighters, as traffic should grow at 4. It is the second month of storage contraction after eight of expansion and the largest in four years, while new aircraft deliveries fell slightly to from due to supply-chain issues and in-service issues grounding others.

    The seats in more expensive classes are wider, more comfortable, and have more amenities such as "lie flat" seats for more comfortable sleeping on long flights. Generally, the more expensive the class, the better the beverage and meal service. Domestic flights generally have a two-class configuration, usually first or business class and coach class, although many airlines instead offer all-economy seating. International flights generally have either a two-class configuration or a three-class configuration, depending on the airline, route and aircraft type.

    Cabins of any class are provided with lavatory facilities, reading lights and gaspers. Larger airliners may have a segregated rest compartment reserved for crew use during breaks. The types of seats that are provided and how much legroom is given to each passenger are decisions made by the individual airlines, not the aircraft manufacturers.

    Seats are mounted in "tracks" on the floor of the cabin and can be moved back and forth by the maintenance staff or removed altogether. Naturally the airline tries to maximize the number of seats available in every aircraft to carry the largest possible and therefore most profitable number of passengers. Passengers seated in an exit row the row of seats adjacent to an emergency exit usually have substantially more legroom than those seated in the remainder of the cabin, while the seats directly in front of the exit row may have less legroom and may not even recline for evacuation safety reasons.

    However, passengers seated in an exit row may be required to assist cabin crew during an emergency evacuation of the aircraft opening the emergency exit and assisting fellow passengers to the exit. As a precaution, many airlines prohibit young people under the age of 15 from being seated in the exit row. The seats are designed to withstand strong forces so as not to break or come loose from their floor tracks during turbulence or accidents. The backs of seats are often equipped with a fold-down tray for eating, writing, or as a place to set up a portable computer, or a music or video player. Seats without another row of seats in front of them have a tray that is either folded into the armrest or that clips into brackets on the underside of the armrests. However, seats in premium cabins generally have trays in the armrests or clip-on trays, regardless of whether there is another row of seats in front of them.

    Seatbacks now often feature small colour LCD screens for videos, television and video games. Controls for this display as well as an outlet to plug in audio headsets are normally found in the armrest of each seat. The overhead bins, also known as overhead lockers or pivot bins, are used for stowing carry-on baggage and other items. While the airliner manufacturer will normally specify a standard version of the product to supply, airlines can choose to have bins of differing size, shape, or color installed. Over time, overhead bins evolved out of what were originally overhead shelves that were used for little more than coat and briefcase storage.

    As concerns about falling debris during turbulence or in accidents increased, enclosed bins became [ when? Bins have increased in size to accommodate the larger carry-on baggage passengers can bring onto the aircraft. Newer bin designs have included a handrail, useful when moving through the cabin. These typically contain reading lights, air vents, and a flight attendant call light.

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    • On most narrowbody aircraft and some Airbus As and As , the flight attendant call button and the buttons to control the reading lights are located directly on the PSU, while on most widebody aircraft, the flight attendant call button and the reading light control buttons are usually part of the in-flight entertainment system.

      The units frequently have small "Fasten Seat Belt" and "No Smoking" illuminated signage and may also contain a speaker for the cabin public address system. On some newer aircraft, a "Turn off electronic devices" sign is used instead of the "No Smoking" sign, as smoking isn't permitted on board the aircraft anyway. The PSU will also normally contain the drop-down oxygen masks which are activated if there is a sudden drop in cabin pressure. These are supplied with oxygen by means of a chemical oxygen generator.

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      By using a chemical reaction rather than a connection to an oxygen tank, these devices supply breathing oxygen for long enough for the airliner to descend to thicker, more breathable air. Oxygen generators do generate considerable heat in the process. Because of this, the oxygen generators are thermally shielded and are only allowed in commercial airliners when properly installed — they are not permitted to be loaded as freight on passenger-carrying flights. ValuJet Flight crashed on May 11, , as a result of improperly loaded chemical oxygen generators.

      Airliners developed since the s have had pressurized cabins or, more accurately, pressurized hulls including baggage holds to enable them to carry passengers safely at high altitudes where low oxygen levels and air pressure would otherwise cause sickness or death. High altitude flight enabled airliners to fly above most weather systems that cause turbulent or dangerous flying conditions, and also to fly faster and further as there is less drag due to the lower air density.

      Pressurization is applied using compressed air, in most cases bled from the engines, and is managed by an environmental control system which draws in clean air, and vents stale air out through a valve. Pressurization presents design and construction challenges to maintain the structural integrity and sealing of the cabin and hull and to prevent rapid decompression.

      Some of the consequences include small round windows, doors that open inwards and are larger than the door hole, and an emergency oxygen system. A side effect is that passengers experience some discomfort as the cabin pressure changes during ascent and descent to the majority of airports, which are at low altitudes.

      The air bled from the engines is hot and requires cooling by air conditioning units. It is also extremely dry at cruising altitude, and this causes sore eyes, dry skin and mucosa on long flights. Another problem of the air coming from the ventilation unto which the oil lubrication system of the engines is hooked up is that fumes from components in the synthetic oils can sometimes travel along, causing passengers, pilots and crew to be intoxicated.

      The illness it causes is called aerotoxic syndrome. Categories : Disambiguation pages. Hidden categories: Disambiguation pages with short description All article disambiguation pages All disambiguation pages. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.