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U.S. Military Aircraft Designations

Designation, Image/Footnote Official, Popular Name(s) Manufacturer 1st Flight or Appearance Role(s)/Notes

picture/more info AD (A-1) Able Dog, Skyraider, Spad, Sandy, Queer Spad (AD-5Q) Douglas 1946 USN/USMC/USAF torpedo/dive bomber, COIN, attack, ECM; redes. from BT2D; redes. to A-1 in 1962
picture/more info A2D Skyshark Douglas 1950 USN attack; contra-rotating propellers
picture/more info A3D (A-3) Skywarrior, All Three Dead, Whale, Whistling Shitcan Douglas 1952 USN strategic bomber, trainer; redes. to A-3 in 1962
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A4D (A-4) Skyhawk, The Scooter, Heinemann's Hot Rod, Bantam Bomber, Tinker Toy, Mighty Mite Douglas 1954 USN/USMC attack bomber, trainer; proposed Army FAC, tactical recon.; redes. to A-4 in 1962
picture/more info AE (L-4) Cub Piper 1942 USN/USMC ambulance L-4; redes. HE
picture/more info AF Guardian, Fertile Myrtle (-2W), Guppy (-2W), Scrapper (-2S) Grumman 1949 USN hunter (AF-2W)/killer (AF-2S), ASW, strike; redes. from TB3F
picture/more info A2F (A-6) Intruder, Dogship, Sterile Arrow, Iron Tadpole, Queer (-1Q), Q-Bird (-1Q) Grumman 1960 USN/USMC all-weather attack bomber; redes. to A-6 in 1962
picture/more info AH Phantom II McDonnell 1954 USN/USMC multirole attack fighter; redes. to F4H in 1955, then to F-4 in 1962
picture/more info AJ (A-2) Savage North American 1948 USN strategic attack bomber, photo reconnaissance; redes. to A-2 in 1962
picture/more info A2J North American 1950 USN strategic attack bomber; contra-rotating propellors; development AJ
picture/more info A3J (A-5) Vigilante North American 1958 USN strategic attack bomber, later recon., tanker, ECM; redes. to A-5 (RA-5) in 1962
picture/more info AM Mauler, Able Mabel Martin 1946 USN attack bomber; redes. production BTM
AU Corsair Vought 1952 USMC low-altitude air support fighter F4U
picture/more info A2U Cutlass Vought 1954 USN proposed attack F7U
picture/more info A-1 Triad Curtiss 1911 USN patrol land/hydroplane pusher biplane; first aircraft purchased for USN; redes. to AH-1 in 1914
picture/more info A-1 Cox-Klemin 1923 ambulance plane
A-1 Fleetwings 1940 powered aerial target
picture/more info A-1 (AD) Skyraider, Spad, Flying Dump Truck, Sandy, Super Spad, MiG-Killer Douglas 1962 USN/USMC/USAF torpedo/dive bomber, COIN, attack, ECM; redes. from AD
A-2 Curtiss 1912 USN patrol pusher-prop. biplane amphibian; redes. to E-1 in 1914
picture/more info A-2 Fokker 1923 ambulance; modified T-2
picture/more info A-2 Radioplane 1940 unmanned aerial target; redes. to OQ-2 in 1941
picture/more info A-2 Douglas 1926 attack; converted O-2
picture/more info A-2 (AJ) Savage North American 1962 USN strategic attack bomber, photo recon.; redes. AJ
A-3 Curtiss 1913 USN patrol pusher-prop. land/hydroplane; redes. to AH-3 in 1914
picture/more info A-3 Falcon Curtiss 1927 attack, trainer Curtiss O-1
A-3 (N2C) Fledgling Curtiss 1940 aerial target-modified N2C
picture/more info A-3 (A3D) Skywarrior, All Three Dead, Whale, Whistling Shitcan Douglas 1962 USN strategic bomber; redes. A3D
A-4 Curtiss 1913 USN patrol land/hydroplane; redes. to AH-2 in 1914
picture/more info A-4 Falcon Curtiss 1928 reengined A-3
picture/more info A-4 Douglas 1940 aerial target BT-2
picture/more info A-4 (A4D) Skyhawk, The Scooter, Heinemann's Hot Rod, Bantam Bomber, Mighty Mite, Tinker Toy Douglas 1962 USN/USMC attack bomber, trainer, DACT; redes. A4D
picture/more info A-4M Skyhawk II, Mongoose McDonnell Douglas 1970 USMC modified A-4 - reengined, new canopy, greater weapons capacity
A-5 Falcon Curtiss 1931 proposed attack O-16
picture/more info A-5 Boeing 1941 proposed P-12 aerial target
picture/more info A-5 (A3J) Vigilante North American 1962 USN strategic attack bomber, later recon., tanker, ECM; redes. A3J
A-6 Falcon Curtiss 1931 proposed attack O-18
picture/more info A-6 Milirole Douglas 1940 proposed O-38 aerial target
picture/more info A-6 (A2F) Intruder, Dogship, Iron Tadpole Grumman 1962 USN/USMC all-weather attack bomber - redes. A2F
A-6F Intruder II Grumman 1987 interdictor-modified A-6; program cancelled
picture/more info A-7 Fokker (Atlantic) 1930 attack
picture/more info A-7 Airacobra Bell 1941 aerial target P-39
picture/more info A-7 Corsair II, SLUF (Short Little Ugly Fucker/Fella), Little Hummer, Man-Eater LTV (Vought) 1965 USN tactical attack, trainer, tanker; USAF attack, CAS; adaptation of F-8 (F8U)
picture/more info A-7F Strikefighter, A-7 Plus Vought 1987 CAS/BAI-modified A-7; program cancelled
picture/more info A-8 Shrike Curtiss 1931 attack
A-8 Culver 1942 powered aerial target
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A-8 Harrier (A), Harrier II (B), Jump Jet, Scarier, Whistling Shitcan McDD/BAe 1970 USMC temporary designation for AV-8A/B STOVL attack aircraft
picture/more info A-9 Lockheed 1931 proposed attack P-24
picture/more info A-9 Goose Grumman 1948 observation amphibian; redes. OA-9
picture/more info A-9 Northrop 1972 CAS; (losing) competitor to A-10 Warthog
picture/more info A-10 (S2C) Shrike Curtiss 1932 reengined A-8
picture/more info A-10 (PBY) Catalina Consolidated Vultee 1948 observation amphibian; redes. OA-10 (PBY)
picture/more info A-10 Thunderbolt II, Warthog, Hog, SBD (Silent But Deadly), Thud II, SLAT (Slow Low Aerial Target), Porker, Devil's Cross Fairchild Republic 1972 anti-armour CAS
picture/more info A-11 Consolidated 1933 attack P-25
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A-11 Lockheed 1962 prototype YF-12; non-standard designation
picture/more info A-12 Shrike Curtiss 1933 production/reengined A-10
picture/more info A-12 (J2F) Duck Grumman 1948 observation amphibian; redes. OA-12
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A-12 Lockheed 1962 prototype YF-12; non-standard designation
picture/more info A-12 Avenger 2, Dorito General Dynamics/McDD 1990 USN/USAF (F-111 replacement?) flying wing advanced tactical attack (ATA); cancelled
picture/more info A-13 Northrop 1933 attack; converted civilian Gamma mailplane
picture/more info A-14 Curtiss 1935 attack bomber
A-15 Martin 1934 proposed attack bomber B-10
picture/more info A-16 Northrop 1936 reengined/modified A-13, prototype A-17
picture/more info A-16 (JR2F) Albatross Grumman 1947 USAF SAR amphibian JR2F; redes. to U-16 in 1962
A-16 Fighting Falcon General Dynamics 1987 proposed CAS F-16; non-standard designation
picture/more info A-17 (FT) Nomad Northrop 1935 attack; modified/reengined A-16
picture/more info A-18 Shrike II Curtiss 1937 attack; production/reengined A-14
picture/more info A-19 Vultee 1939 attack
picture/more info A-20 (BD) Havoc, Flying Pike Douglas 1939 fighter, bomber, recon.
picture/more info A-21 Stearman 1940 attack bomber
picture/more info A-22 Martin 1939 attack bomber; exported to UK as "Maryland"
picture/more info A-23 Martin 1940 attack bomber; reengined/modified A-22; exported to UK as "Baltimore"
picture/more info A-24 (SBD) Banshee, Dauntless, Barge, Clunk, Speedy Three Douglas 1942 USAAF dive bomber SBD
picture/more info A-25 (SB2C) Helldiver Curtiss 1940 USAAF dive bomber SB2C
picture/more info A-26 Invader, Little Hummer Douglas 1942 attack bomber, recon.; redes. to B-26 in 1948
picture/more info A-27 North American 1940 attack AT-6; initially for export only
picture/more info A-28 (PBO) Hudson Lockheed 1942 recon. bomber, utility
picture/more info A-29 (PBO) Hudson Lockheed 1942 modified A-28
picture/more info A-30 Martin 1942 Lend-Lease Act; modified A-23
picture/more info A-31 Vengeance Vultee 1941 dive bomber; reacquired Lend-Lease aircraft
picture/more info A-32 Brewster 1943 attack dive bomber
picture/more info A-33 Nomad Northrop 1942 modified A-17 design
picture/more info A-34 (SB2A) Buccaneer Brewster 1942 exported SB2A (as "Bermuda")
picture/more info A-35 Vengeance Vultee 1941 modified A-31
picture/more info A-36 Apache, Invader North American 1942 dive bomber, attack; modified P-51 Mustang
A-37 Hughes 1942 proposed twin-engine attack
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A-37 Dragonfly, Super Tweet Cessna 1966 COIN, light attack T-37; incorrectly redes. from AT-37
picture/more info A-38 Grizzly, Destroyer Beech 1942 twin-tailed fighter (bomber killer), attack
A-39 Kaiser-Fleetwings 1942 proposed twin engine attack
A-40 (SB3C) Curtiss 1942 cancelled USAAF dive bomber development SB3C
picture/more info A-41 Vultee (Convair) 1942 initially dive bomber, later ground attack
picture/more info A-42 Mixmaster Douglas 1948 high-speed twin contrarotating pusher-prop attack bomber; redes. to B-42 in 1948
picture/more info A-43 Blackhawk Curtiss 1944 quadjet attack; modified/redes. to P-87 (F-87) in 1948
picture/more info A-44 Convair 1944 cancelled trijet forward-swept wing bomber; redes. to B-53 in 1948
picture/more info A-45 Martin 1945 trijet (2 pod-mounted under nose, one aft under tail) low-level attack bomber with variable-incidence wings; redes. to B-51 in 1948
A-51 Martin 1945 production model A-45
AB-1 Curtiss 1914 USN flying boat - redes. from C-1
AB-2 Curtiss 1914 USN flying boat - redes. from C-2
AB-3 Curtiss 1914 USN/USMC flying boat - redes. from C-3
AB-4 Curtiss 1914 USN flying boat - redes. from C-4
AB-5 Curtiss 1914 USN flying boat - redes. from C-5
AB-6 Burgess 1914 USN flying boat - redes. from D-1
picture/more info AB-7 Burgess 1914 USN flying boat - redes. from D-2
picture/more info AC-1 (CV-2) Caribou De Havilland Canada 1959 Army STOL utility transport civilian DHC-4; redes. to CV-2 (1960) then C-7 (1967)
picture/more info AC-2 (CV-7) Buffalo De Havilland Canada 1964 Army civilian DHC-5 evaluation; redes. to CV-7 (1965) then C-8 (1967)
picture/more info AC-47 Puff the Magic Dragon, Puff, Spooky, Gunship I, Dragonship Douglas 1961 air/ground weapons platform (gunship) C-47
AC-54 Skymaster Douglas 1950 AACS C-54
picture/more info AC-119G Shadow, Gunship III Fairchild 1967 armed interdictor C-119
picture/more info AC-119K Stinger, Gunship III Fairchild 1967 jet-boosted, improved AC-119G
AC-123 Provider Fairchild c.1970 sensor recon., bomb canister dispensor C-123
picture/more info AC-130A Gunship II Lockheed 1967 gunship-modified C-130A
picture/more info AC-130E Spectre Lockheed 1972 modified AC-130A
picture/more info AC-130A Spectre II Lockheed 1974 modified AC-130E - updated sensors/weapons
picture/more info ACH-47A Go-Go-Bird, Chinook Boeing Vertol 1965 experimental fire-suppression/gunship H-47
picture/more info AF-1E (FJ-4B) Fury North American 1962 USN carrier-based attack fighter F-1 - redes. from FJ-4B
picture/more info AF-9J (F9F-8B) Cougar Grumman 1962 USN carrier-based attack fighter F-9 - redes. from F9F-8B
AG-1 Christopher 1945 assault glider
AG-2 Timm 1945 assault glider
picture/more info AH-1 Triad Curtiss 1914 USN patrol land/hydroplane pusher biplane; first aircraft purchased for USN; redes. from A-1
picture/more info AH-1 HueyCobra, Cobra, Snake Bell 1965 USMC/Army close-support attack helicopter H-1
picture/more info AH-1J SeaCobra Bell 1970 twin-engined USMC AH-1 TOW-equipped Cobra
picture/more info AH-1W SuperCobra Bell 1983 USMC AH-1T with better weapon load, better engine
AH-2 Curtiss 1914 USN hydroplane - redes. from A-4
AH-3 Curtiss 1914 USN hydroplane - redes. from A-3
AH-4 Wright 1914 USN hydroplane - redes. from B-1
AH-5 Wright 1914 USN hydroplane - redes. from B-2
AH-6 Wright 1914 USN hydroplane - redes. from B-3
picture/more info AH-6F Defender, Little Bird, Olive on a Toothpick, Super Bee McDonnell Douglas 1988 Army/USN armed H-6/civilian MD500MD/530; actual des. of the OH-8
picture/more info AH-7 Burgess (Curtiss) 1915 USN hydroplane
AH-8 Curtiss 1916 USN hydroplane
AH-9 Curtiss 1915 USN hydroplane
AH-10 Curtiss 1917 USN hydroplane
AH-11 Curtiss 1916 USN hydroplane
AH-12 Curtiss 1915 USN hydroplane
AH-13 Curtiss 1916 USN hydroplane
AH-14 Curtiss 1916 USN hydroplane
AH-15 Curtiss 1919 USN hydroplane
AH-16 Curtiss 1918 USN hydroplane
AH-17 Curtiss 1920 USN hydroplane
AH-18 Curtiss 1922 USN hydroplane
picture/more info AH-56 Cheyenne Lockheed 1967 Army cancelled heavily armed attack escort, all-weather pusher-prop. H-56
picture/more info AH-58D Warrior, KiowaWarrior Bell 1988 Army armed/modified OH-58D; unoffical des. for OH-58D
picture/more info AH-63 KingCobra Bell 1975 Army modified AH-1, competitor AH-64
picture/more info AH-64 Apache McDonnell Douglas (Hughes) 1975 Army anti-armor attack H-64
AH-64 Sea Apache McDonnell Douglas 1980 proposed shipborne operations AH-64
picture/more info AH-64D Longbow Apache McDonnell Douglas 1997 modified AH-64 - mast-mounted radar, better armament capabilities
picture/more info AL-1 Airborne Laser Boeing 1998 civilian 747-400F derivative with onboard LASER for destroying ICBMs
AO-1 Fokker (Atlantic) 1924 Artillery Observation
picture/more info AO-1 (OV-1) Mohawk Grumman 1960 Army STOL photo recon., observation; redes. to OV-1 in 1962
AO-2 Goodyear 1960 Army observation evaluation civilian Model 466 Inflatoplane
AO-3 Goodyear 1960 Army evaluation civilian Model 368 Inflatoplane
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AP-2E/H (P2V-5/7) Neptune Lockheed 1962 USN SIGINT/EW-, gunship-modified P-2 (P2V-5/7)
AS Aeromarine 1922 scout, observation flying boat
picture/more info AT-1 (HN) Huff-Daland 1925 advanced trainer - redes. from TW-5
picture/more info AT-2 Huff-Daland 1925 modified AT-1
picture/more info AT-3 Boeing 1925 advanced trainer PW-9
picture/more info AT-4 Hawk Curtiss 1927 advanced trainer P-1
AT-5 Hawk Curtiss 1927 reengined AT-4
picture/more info AT-6 (SNJ-3 -6) Texan, Awful Terrible Six North American 1940 basic trainer - redes. from BC-1 - redes. to T-6 in 1948
picture/more info AT-7 Navigator Beech 1943 advanced trainer C-45/civilian Beech 18
AT-8 Bobcat Cessna 1940 advanced trainer
picture/more info AT-9 Jeep Curtiss 1940 advanced trainer
AT-10 Wichita Beech 1941 advanced trainer
picture/more info AT-11 Kansas, Kansan Beech 1941 modified AT-7
picture/more info AT-12 Guardsman Republic 1941 advanced trainer P-35
AT-13 Gunner Fairchild 1941 bomber trainer
AT-14 Gunner Fairchild 1941 reengined AT-13
AT-15 Crewmaker Boeing 1941 plywood bombing trainer
AT-16 Noorduyn 1942 Canadian-built Lend-Lease AT-6
picture/more info AT-17 Bobcat, Bamboo Bomber Cessna 1942 impressed advanced trainer - modified AT-8
picture/more info AT-18 Hudson Lockheed 1943 advanced trainer A-28/29
picture/more info AT-19 Reliant Vultee 1942 Stinson design; exported to UK as C-81
AT-20 Avro Anson Federal 1943 Canadian advanced trainer
picture/more info AT-21 Gunner Fairchild 1943 air gunnery trainer AT-14
picture/more info AT-22 Liberator Consolidated 1942 flight engineering trainer B-24
picture/more info AT-23 Marauder Martin 1944 advanced trainer B-26; redes. to TB-26 in 1948
picture/more info AT-24 Mitchell North American 1945 advanced trainer B-25; redes. to TB-25 in 1948
AT-28 Nomad Fairchild 1963 attack - modified T-28D with turboprops
picture/more info AT-29 Flying Classroom Convair 1947 advanced trainer civilian Model 240/C-131; redes. to T-29 in 1948
picture/more info AT-33 T-Bird Lockheed 1950 CAS-modified T-33
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AT-37 Tweety Bird, Tweet Cessna 1963 COIN - modified T-37C; incorrectly redes. to A-37 in 1966
picture/more info AT-38 Talon, White Mosquito, White Rocket Northrop 1960? bombing practice, FLIT T-38
picture/more info AT-46 Eaglet, Thunder Piglet Fairchild 1983 attack T-46
picture/more info AU-23 Peacemaker Fairchild-Hiller 1971 STOL attack utility - COIN, FAC, liaison, photographic recon., transport
picture/more info AU-24 Stallion Helio-GAC 1971 attack utility - competitor AU-23
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AV-6B Harrier McDonnell Douglas/British Aerospace 1971 probable correct designation in "V" series for AV-8 (see note)
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AV-8A Harrier, Jump Jet, Scarier, Whistling Shitcan McDonnell Douglas/British Aerospace 1971 USMC STOVL multirole CAS attack fighter V-8 (semi-correct)/A-8 (incorrect)
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AV-8B Harrier II, Super Harrier, Jump Jet, Scarier, Whistling Shitcan McDonnell Douglas/British Aerospace 1979 USMC modified AV-8A with LERX, new wing, new canopy, improved weapons capabilities
AV-16 British Aerospace 1973 proposed advanced version AV-8A offered to USN/USMC, RAF/RN
AX-1 Curtiss 1914 USN/USMC amphibian; redes. from E-1
AZ-1 Marvelette Mississippi State University 1959? Army all-fiberglass STOL, BLC, wing camber research aircraft; developed as V-11 in 1969
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