airplane tail numbers

Get the Facts on Airplane Tail Numbers

Not everybody is cut out for the world of aviation. In fact, it takes a certain type of individual, the type that harbors a bit of a maverick streak, to want to navigate the clouds on their own. Make no mistake about it, pilots, whether hobbyists or professionals are very much a different breed. Even just obtaining a pilot’s license is fairly difficult–you will need to complete many hours of training and instruction before passing the Federal Aviation Administration’s exam. Once you have your license, there are also a number of continuing education courses that you will need to complete. To be blunt, any responsible pilot should know their airplane inside and out. If you are just beginning your journey as an aviator or airplane owner, you may still have a few things to learn. For instance, do you know the meaning behind airplane tail numbers and what they signify? Well, read on to learn a bit more about this topic, as well as how you can get a tail number of your own.

Tail numbers, which are also commonly referred to as “N-numbers,” serve to demonstrate that an aircraft is registered with the FAA. An N-number is used as a means to identify an aircraft, and it must be displayed prominently on the plane’s exterior (commonly on the tail, as the name would imply). These numbers have been around, in some shape or form, for more than 100 years. At the 1919 International Air Navigation Convention, it was decided that different countries would use different letters to identify their aircraft. While the U.S. was issued the letter “N,” other countries received their own initials, such as “D” for Germany, and “G” for Great Britain. N-numbers have evolved a bit since then, and now they typically take the form of the letter “N,” followed by three to five numerical digits, and sometimes bookended with two additional letters. 

How Airplane Tail Numbers are Obtained

When you purchase an aircraft, it is a requirement that you register it with the FAA. As a part of the registration process, you will be issued an N-number. You do have the option to customize your tail number within the set parameters provided by the FAA. Maybe there is a date that is important to you, or you would like to include your initials in your N-number? You can request this by providing up to ten different choices (in case your first choice is taken) to the FAA in a letter accompanying your registration application. 

You can register your plane by completing Form AC 8050-1 – Aircraft Registration Application on our website. We offer an easy-to-fill web form that can save you time and a trip to the post office. We also have a host of other forms for all of your other FAA paperwork needs.

airplane tail numbers

Get Your N-Number Today

If you need to register your new aircraft, work with us. We can help you get the FAA documentation you need the easy way. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact us by phone or email today.