Re: ETOPS Posted on Fuselage??

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         25 Jul 94 21:47:32 
References:   1
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>at IAD ... It seemed that every UA twin had ETOPS and what I'm
>assuming is the ETOPS distance rating (ie, 6532, 4700, etc.) under
>it.  Is this a not-so-subtle reminder to cockpit crew ... ?

I'm pretty sure all ETOPS aircraft are *required* to have "ETOPS"
stenciled on the nose to alert ground crews to the special maintenance
requirements of the aircraft.

The numbers you saw are simply fleet numbers.  You'll see them on the
nose of all United aircraft.  Because of the location, they're also
referred to as a "nose number," not to be confused with the "tail
number" which is the aircraft registration, generally stencilled near
the base of the tail.  Other airlines with large fleets often do some-
thing similar -- Delta, for example, has a fleet number at the top of
the tail.

Delta and American fleet numbers essentially use a simple mapping of
the registration, from which you can tell type and rough sequence,
e.g., N102DA is FN 102, Delta's 2nd 767.

While United's FN isn't the range, it does encode considerably more
information about the aircraft.  The last two digits are the last two
digits of the registration, like Delta and American.  The first two
encode not only type but special characteristics of the aircraft,
including sub-type, interior configuration, engine type, MGTOW, etc.
The 6000 series, for example, includes all the 767s:

    60xx	767-222(ER)
    61xx	767-222 domestic, two cabin
    62xx	767-222 domestic, three cabin (for JFK-LAX)
    63xx	(was -322(ER) with only 14 F class seats)
    64xx	767-322(ER)

Thus, my favorite -- the City of Chicago (first 767 in service) -- is
6006 because it's a 767-222(ER) and is registered N606UA.

Northwest, and probably others, similarly encode a bunch of stuff in
their fleet numbers.  Southwest doesn't bother with fleet numbers,
even though they have at least six significant variations within their
seemingly uniform sea of 737s.

Karl Swartz	|INet
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