Brazilian Military Aircraft Designations

Copyright © 2001-2008 Andreas Parsch

1 Brazilian Aircraft Designation Systems

2 Designation Listing

3 Sources

1 Brazilian Aircraft Designation Systems

Força Aerea Brasileira (Brazilian Air Force)

In 1950, the Força Aerea Brasileira (FAB) started to assign USAF-style designations to all its aircraft. I.e., one or more type letters designating the primary mission of the aircraft are followed by a model number. The following type letters are defined:

Aircraft with a U.S. military designation usually (but not always!) keep this designation in Brazilian service. The other types receive a new designation, including the appropriate type letter(s), and model number. The number is not assigned sequentially (neither by type letter nor overall), but is usually chosen to be unique, and - if possible - related to the manufacturer's designation of the aircraft.

When a type is modified or built for a different mission than originally designed, either the new mission letter is prefixed to the designation (e.g. C-93, EC-93), or the mission letter is replaced (e.g. C-95, P-95). In any case, the model number does not change. If there is more than one version of an aircraft type, alphabetical series letters are used (e.g. R-99A, R-99B).

Força Aeronaval da Marinha do Brasil (Brazilian Naval Air Arm) - Current System

Currently, the Marinha uses essentially the same aircraft designation system as the FAB. As far as I know the type letters are the same, except for

which is used instead of "T" for trainers.

Força Aeronaval da Marinha do Brasil (Brazilian Naval Air Arm) - Old System

Beginning in the 1930's and continuing through World War II, the Brazilian Navy used an aircraft designation system, which was very similar to the old (pre-1962) U.S. Navy system. A type letter (describing the aircraft's purpose or mission) was followed by a sequential model number (one sequence per manufacturer and type letter), and by a manufacturer code. Other than in the U.S. Navy system, the model number "1" was not omitted. Another difference was in the use of suffix numbers to designate variants. In the Brazilian system, the first version used no suffix, the second version used suffix 1 (without dash), etc. The system was also briefly used in the 1950's for the Navy's helicopters. At that time, however, handling of model and suffix numbers was following U.S. Navy practice.

The following type letters existed (the letters in light gray were never used, and must be regarded as unconfirmed):

Note: The letter "D" is replaced by "M" in some sources.

The manufacturers' codes included:

Exército Brasileiro (Brazilian Army)

The Exército uses a very simple designation system for its helicopters. A role prefix is followed by a sequential number (one sequence per prefix). The following prefixes are in use:

2 Designation Listing

The list shows all assigned designations in numerical sequence. Also included are aircraft, which were/are operated under their original U.S. military designations (the majority are World War II types). These are shown in blue.

Força Aerea Brasileira (Air Force)

Designation Manufacturer Model; Remarks
A-1 AMX International AMX; variants include A-1 (AMX) and A-1B (AMX-T)
VC-1 Airbus A319-133X(CJ); designated VC-1A
H-1 Bell UH-1 Iroquois; variants include SH-1D, UH-1D and UH-1H
TZ-3 Fournier RF.5
U-3 Pilatus P.3; originally designated L-3 and O-3
H-4 Bell Model 206B JetRanger III; variants include VH-4 and OH-4 (originally LH-4)
L-4 Piper L-4 Cub
F-5 Northrop F-5B Freedom Fighter; F-5E/F Tiger II
H-5 Fairchild-Hiller FH-1100
O-6 Neiva Model 56B/D Paulistinha; originally designated L-6/L-6A
T-6 North American AT-6B/C/D, T-6D/G Texan
L-7 Neiva N.582 Campeiro
T-7 Beechcraft Model 18 (USAAF AT-7)
TF-7 Gloster Meteor T.Mk.7; originally redesignated T-7
U-7 Embraer EMB-810C; license-built Piper PA-34 Seneca; U-7A variant had STOL modifications
C-8 Beechcraft Queen Air B80; originally designated U-8; variants include C-8 and EU-8
F-8 Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8
L-8 Neiva N.591 Regente; original deignation for L-42
T-8 Microleve MXL (T-8A), MXL-2 (T-8B)
U-9 Embraer EMB-121 Xingu; variants include VU-9 and EC-9
CA-10 Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina (originally designated PA-10); variants include CA-10 (PBY-5) and CA-10A (PBY-5A), later redesignated as C-10 and C-10A
T-11 Beechcraft Model 18 (USAAF AT-11 Kansan)
H-13 Bell Model 47
TZ-13 Let L-13 Blanik
T-15 Vultee BT-15 Valiant
P-15 Lockheed P-2E Neptune
Z-15 Glasflügel Model 201B Libelle
P-16 Grumman S-2 Tracker; variants include P-16A, P-16E (S-2E), P-16H (Turbo Tracker) and UP-16
S-16 Grumman HU-16A Albatross; originally designated A-16, U-16 and M-16
Z-16 IPE KW-1b2 Quero Quero
B-17 Boeing SB-17G Flying Fortress
T-17 Aerotec A-132 Tangará (originally designated T-23B Uirapuru II)
B-18 Douglas B-18 Bolo
H-19 Sikorsky UH-19D
L-19 Cessna Model 180/305; variants include L-19 (180B), L-19A (305A) and L-19E (305E)
T-19 Fairchild PT-19
U-19 Embraer EMB-201R Ipanema
B-20 Douglas A-20 Havoc; various models, including A-20K
Z-20 Schleicher ASW-20
T-21 Fokker S.11-4
T-22 Fokker S.12-2
T-23 Aerotec A-122A Uirapuru
TZ-23 Let L-23 Super Blanik
T-24 Aérospatiale (Fouga/Potez) CM.170-2 Magister
B-25 North American B-25B/C/D/J Mitchell; a few later converted to CB-25
T-25 Neiva N.621 Universal
B-26 Douglas B-26B/C Invader
C-26 Piper Aztec 250
T-26 Embraer EMB-326 Xavante; variants include AT-26 (EMB-326GB) and RT-26 (EMB-326G)
T-27 Embraer EMB-312 Tucano; variants include T-27 and AT-27
A-28 Lockheed A-28A Hudson; variants include A-28A and C-28
T-28 North American T-28A Trojan
A-29 Embraer ALX; derivative of EMB-314 Super Tucano; variants include A-29 and AT-29
A-31 Vultee A-31 Vengeance
CH-33 Eurocopter (Aérospatiale) SA-330L Puma
T-33 Lockheed T-33; variants include T-33 (T-33A) and TF-33A (AT-33A)
B-34 Lockheed PV-1 Ventura / PV-2 Harpoon; variants include B-34 (PV-1) and B-34A (PV-2)
H-34 Eurocopter (Aérospatiale) AS-332M Super Puma/Cougar; variants include CH-34 (AS-332M) and VH-34 (AS-332M1); naval version is UH-14
A-35 Vultee A-35B Vengeance
C-35 Learjet Learjet 35A; variants include C-35, R-35A and VU-35A
UC-35 Beechcraft A-35 Bonanza
T-37 Cessna T-37C
U-37 Cessna Model 185
P-36 Curtiss P-36A Hawk
P-40 Curtiss P-40E/K/M/N
UC-40 Lockheed Model 12A
C-41 Morane-Saulnier MS.760A Paris
U-42 Neiva N.591/592 Regente; variants include U-42 (N.591; originally designated C-42) and L-42 (Model N.592; originally designated L-20)
UC-43 Beechcraft Model 17
C-45 Beechcraft Model 18; later redesignated as U-45
C-46 Curtiss C-46A Commando
C-47 Douglas DC-3/C-47 Skytrain
P-47 Republic P-47B/D Thunderbolt
UH-50 Helibrás HB-350B Esquilo; license-built Aérospatiale AS-350B Ecureuil; naval version is UH-12
C-54 Douglas DC-4/C-54G Skymaster
C-55 Beechcraft Baron C55
H-55 Helibrás HB-355F Esquilo; license-built Aérospatiale AS-355F Ecureuil; variants include CH-55 and VH-55; naval version is UH-13
VU-55 Learjet Learjet 55
C-60 Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar; also C-66; some later redesignated as VC-60
C-61 Fairchild UC-61A
C-64 Noorduyn UC-64A Norseman
C-66 Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar (see also C-60); became VC-66
VC-66 Lockheed Model 10A Electra
F-80 Lockheed F-80C Shooting Star
C-82 Fairchild C-82A Packet
C-87 Convair Liberator Transport
VC-90 Vickers Viscount
C-91 Hawker Siddeley HS.748 Srs.2A Andover
VC-92 BAC One-Eleven 423ET
C-93 BAe (Hawker Siddeley) BAe.125 (HS.125); variants include EC-93 (HS.125 Srs.3B/RA), VC-93 (BAe.125 Srs.3B/RA), EU-93 (BAe.125 Srs.403B), VU-93 (BAe.125 Srs.403B) and XU-93
C-95 Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante; variants include C-95 (EMB-110), C-95A (EMB-110K1), C-95B (EMB-110P1K), C-95C (EMB-110P1A), EC-95 (EMB-110A/P1), SC-95B (EMB-110P1K Bandeirusca), P-95A/B (EMB-111A Bandeirulha), R-95 (EMB-110B)
VC-96 Boeing Model 737-2N3
VC-97 Embraer EMB-120R Brasilia
C-98 Cessna Model 208A Caravan
R-99 Embraer EMB-145; variants include R-99A (EMB-145SA), R-99B (EMB-145RS) and C-99A (EMB-145ER)
F-103 Dassault Mirage IIIBR; variants include F-103D (IIIDBR) and F-103E (IIIEBR)
C-105 CASA/EADS Model 295
C-115 DeHavilland Canada DHC-5A Buffalo
C-118 Douglas DC-6B
C-119 Fairchild C-119G Flying Boxcar
C-130 Lockheed Model 382 Hercules; variants include C-130E (L.382-16B, L.382C-5D, L.382C-8D), SC-130E (L.382C-47D), C-130H (L.382C-45D) and KC-130H (L.382C-47D)
KC-137 Boeing Model 707-320B
F-2000 Dassault Mirage 2000; variants include F-2000B (Mirage 2000B) and F-2000C (Mirage 2000C)

Força Aeronaval da Marinha do Brasil (Navy)

Designation Manufacturer Model; Remarks
AF-1 McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk; variants include AF-1 (A-4KU) and AF-1A (TA-4KU)
IH-1 Bell Model 47; variants include IH-1 (47G) and IH-1A (47D1)
UH-1 Westland-Sikorsky WS-51 Widgeon (originally designated HUW)
HU-1 Fairchild-Hiller FH-1100
UH-2 Westland Wasp; variants include UH-2 (originally designated SH-2) and UH-2A
IH-2 Hughes Model 269; variants include IH-2 (269A; originally designated HTH-1), IH-2A (269A1) and IH-2B (269B)
SH-3 Sikorsky AS-61/SH-3D/SH-3H Sea King; variants include SH-3A and SH-3B; SH-3 designation was originally allocated to UH-5
HU-3 Bell Model 47J
UH-5 Westland Whirlwind III; originally designated SH-3
H-6 Bell Model 206B JetRanger III; variants include HU-6, IH-6 (originally HI-6), IH-6A (originally HI-6A) and IH-6B
AH-11 Westland Lynx Mk.21; variants include SAH-11 (Mk.21) and AH-11A (Mk.21A Super Lynx)
UH-12 Helibrás HB-350B Esquilo; license-built Aérospatiale AS-350B Ecureuil; FAB version is UH-50
UH-13 Helibrás HB-355F2 Esquilo; license-built Aérospatiale AS-355F-2 Ecureuil; FAB version is CH/VH-55
UH-14 Eurocopter (Aérospatiale) AS-332F Super Puma/Cougar; FAB version is CH-34
H-34 Sikorsky SH-34J

Exército Brasileiro (Army)

Designation Manufacturer Model; Remarks
HA-1 Helibrás HB-350L1 Fennec; license-built Aérospatiale AS-350L Fennec
HM-1 Helibrás HB-565 Pantera; license-built Eurocopter (Aérospatiale) AS-565 Panther
HM-2 Sikorsky S-70A Blackhawk
HM-3 Eurocopter AS-532M1 Cougar

Força Aeronaval da Marinha do Brasil (Navy) - Old Designations

Designation Manufacturer Model; Remarks
C1B Boeing Model 256 (F4B-4)
D1Be Beechcraft D-17A
D1C Consolidated NY-2
D1L Luscombe Phantom
D2FW Focke-Wulf FW-58B Weihe; also license-built in Brazil as D2AvN
D1W Waco CSO
D2W Waco CJC
D3W Waco CPF-5
E1F Fairey Gordon
HTH Hughes Model 269A; later redesignated as IH-2
HUW Westland-Sikorsky WS-51 Widgeon; later redesignated as UH-1
HU2W Westland-Sikorsky WS-55 Whirldwind I
I1A Avro Model 504K; possibly only a "paper designation"
I2A Avro Model 504N/O
I1AvN Focke-Wulf FW-44J Stieglitz; license-built in Brazil by Fábrica do Galeão
I1H DeHavilland DH-60T Moth Trainer
I2H DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth; variants include I2H (DH-82) and I2H1 (DH-82A)
I3H DeHavilland DH-83 Fox Moth
O1V Vought O2U-2A Corsair
O2V Vought V-66B
P1M Martin PM
P1S Savoia-Marchetti S-55A
V1NA North American NA-46

3 Sources

[1] John M. Andrade: "Latin American Military Aviation", 1982
[2] Portal Militar Brasileira
[3] Frank Noort: Scramble on the Web
[4] Lotnictwo morskie Brazylii

Comments and corrections to: Andreas Parsch

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Last Updated: 2 July 2008