designations from Boeing

From:         Tobias Henry Lutterodt <luterodt@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>
Date:         07 Jan 94 02:44:57 PST
Followups:    1
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

Can anyone explain the Boeing designation system?

I refer specifically to the designation 757-236 which ordinarily I would
associate with British Airways.  However, a number of British airlines have
taken 757s with this designation.  I'm fairly sure that these were not
orders that BA cancelled at the last minute, too.

The fact that the aircraft may be "configured" similarly also doesn't wash.
Why would these airlines not get their own code?  Speaking of configuration,
Malaysia Airlines (probably Boeing's biggest customer in 1993) has taken
delivery of about eight 747-4H6s, some with GE engines and some with Pratt.
Same airline, same type, same designation, different configuration.

Any good ideas?

Incidentally, does 8A as in 757-28A stand for Air 2000 or ILFC?  This is
another one which has me confused.

Thanks...

Tobias Lutterodt