What’s In The Code?

Time for a bit of aviation trivia.

What do you see when you look at this picture?

Picture from World Airline News

You might say the obvious description like the wings or the color. Perhaps you noticed some more minor details like the shape of the windows or an antenna.

Did you happen to notice the small code towards the back of the aircraft? That’s the aircraft’s registration code. The license plate. Every civilian aircraft in the world has one & it is issued by the relevant national civil aviation authorities. The code is unique to the specific aircraft. It will always begin with a prefix which is specific to the country the aircraft is registered in. Some countries have one letter like France has F or the United States has N & others have more like South Africa has ZS or Bahrain has A9C.

Here is a list of countries & their registration code prefixes.

Most countries require that this code is painted clearly on the aircraft & specific fonts are required as well.

Because these codes are so unique, if you know an aircraft’s registration, you can find out a lot about that aircraft. Through search engines like Google, you can find the age, operator & history of that particular aircraft. With websites like Flightradar24, you can find its current location & flight details.

Isn’t it cool how a few letters can provide so much information? Did you know about aircraft registration codes? Let me know.

Follow the DanVenture Travels Facebook page for other travel related content & use #DanVentureTravels on Instagram so I can follow your adventures.

Keep traveling, keep safe.

DanVenture Travels


14 thoughts on “What’s In The Code?

Add yours

  1. Hi Dan Just like all your posts, very interesting. My favourite aeroplane, a little Cherokee 161, which i had many a fun weekend piloting in the Western Cape was registered: ZS-JXJ. Your Grandfather’s Sunderland, a military aircraft, was: J RB with the the SAAF insignia appearing between the J and R.
    Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 2 people

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