General Abbreviations

From Scramble - The Aviation Magazine

Jump to: navigation, search


In this article you will find abbreviations which are used throughout the aviation and aircraft spotters world, and as such commonly used on this Website (including the Message Board) and Scramble magazine. They do not include those confined to a single aircraft manufacturer or air force (like unit designations).

Contents

A

AbbreviationFull
AMCM Airborne Mine Countermeasures
ATHS Automatic Target Handoff System
ASUW Anti Surface Warfare
AA Air-to-Air
AAA Anti-Aircraft Artillery.
AAC Army Air Corps
AAF Auxiliary Air Force.
AAF Army Airfield.
AAH Advanced Attack Helicopter
AAM Air-to-Air Missile.
AATH Automatic approach to hover.
AB Aktiebolag (Swedish company constitution).
ACARS Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System
ACE Actuator control electronics.
ACF Air Combat Fighter. Eventually evolved into F-16 Fighting Falcon.
ACN Aircraft classification number (ICAO system for aircraft pavements).
Act Active (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
ADC Air data computer.
Add Addition (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
ADF Medium-frequency automatic direction-finding (equipment).
ADG Accessory-drive generator.
ADI Attitude/director indicator.
AESA Active Electronically Scanned Array (radar).
AFCS Automatic flight control system.
AFE Alternative Fighter Engine
AFRP Aramid fibre-reinforced plastics.
AHRS Attitude/heading reference system.
AIDS Airborne integrated data system.
AIP Aeronautical Information Publication
AIS Advanced instrumentation subsystem.
Alt Altitude
ANVIS Aviator's night vision system.
AO Aktsionernoye Obshchestvo (Co Ltd; Russian company constitution).
AOA Angle of Attack
AOOT Aktsionernoye Obshchestvo Oktrytogo Tipa (Russian company constitution).
AOP Aircraft on Pier
APR Auxiliary power reserve.
Apt Airport
APU Auxiliary Power Unit
Arr Arrival
ARINC Aeronautical Radio Inc, US company whose electronic box sizes (racking sizes) are the international standard.
ASE (1) Automatic stabilisation equipment;

(2) Aircraft survivability equipment.

ASEA Active Electronically Scanned Array (radar)
ASI Airspeed indicator.
ASTOVL Advanced STOVL.
ASW Anti-Submarine Warfare.
ATA Actual Time of Arrival
ATC Air Traffic Control
ATD Actual Time of Departure
ATDS Airborne tactical data system.
ATGM Air-To-Ground Missile.
ATHS Airborne target handover (US, handoff) system.
ATIS Automatic Terminal Information Service (recorded voice message that provides weather and airport services information)
ATPCS Automatic take-off power control system.
ATR Airline Transport Radio ARINC 404 black box racking standards.
a/c Aircraft
a/w All white (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)

B

AbbreviationFull
b/a Base attack (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
b/u Broken up (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
BDR Battle Damage Repair
BDRT Battle Damage Repair Training
BLC Boundary-layer control.
BOW Basic operating weight.
BPR Bypass ratio.
BTU Non-SI energy unit (British Thermal Unit) = 0.9478 J.
BWB Blended wing/body.

C

AbbreviationFull
CAA Civil Aviation Authority (UK).
COIN Counter Insurgency.
COTS commercial off-the-shelf
CAAC Civil Aviation Authority of China
CAD/CAM Computer-assisted design/computer-assisted manufacture.
CV Carrier Variant (e.g. the F-35C or US Navy pennant nomenclature for aircraft carriers (e.g. CV-60).
CRL Common Rail Launcher
CAHI Central Aero and Hydrodynamics Institute of the Russian Federation; also transliterated as TsAGI.
CAS (1) Calibrated airspeed, ASI calibrated to allow for air compressibility according to ISA S/L;

(2) close air support.

Can
Canx
Cancelled
Cat Category. Meanings include runway visibility and decision height minima for ILS.
CBU Cluster Bomb Unit
CCD Charge Coupled Device
CCV Control-configured vehicle.
CEP Circular Error Probable (a circle, centered about the mean, whose boundary is expected to include 50% of the population within it)
CFRP Carbon fibre-reinforced plastics.
CG Center of Gravity
CMDS Countermeasures Dispenser System
CofA Certificate of Airworthiness; awarded to each individual aircraft.
corr Correction (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation
CPL Commercial Pilot's Licence
CRR Crew reasons
C-SAR Combat Search and Rescue
CSAS Command and stability augmentation system (part of AFCS).
CSD Constant-speed drive (output shaft speed held steady, no matter how input may vary). Used to enable an alternator to generate AC at a fixed frequency.
CTOL Conventional take-off and landing.
CVR Cockpit voice recorder.
cvtd Converted (to) (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
c/n Construction number
c/s Call sign
color scheme

D

AbbreviationFull
DADC Digital air data computer.
DADS Digital air data system.
DA/FD Digital autopilot/flight director.
dam Damaged (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (US) (briefly ARPA before February 1996).
dbr Damaged beyond (economical) repair
d/d Delivery date
DECU Digital engine (or electronic) control unit.
del Delivery/delivered
dep Departure/departed
der Derelict (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
DERA Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (UK). Divided, 2001, as QinetiQ and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.
DF Direction-finder, or direction-finding.
DGAC Direction Generale a l'Aviation Civile. French certification authority.
DIRCM Directional Infrared Countermeasure, e.g. the Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-24 Nemesis
Div Diversion/diverted
DLT Delayed
DME Distance Measuring Equipment (ground navigational aid that can provide display of distance to selected ground navigational radio transmitter)
DoD Department of Defence
DSI Divertless Supersonic Intakes

E

AbbreviationFull
ETOPS Extended Twin Operations
EHF Extremely High Frequency
EDECU Enhanced Digital Engine Control Unit
ECS Environmental Conditioning System
EAA Experimental Aircraft Association (divided into local branches called Chapters).
EIS Entry Into Service (date)
ETA Estimated Time of Arrival (more or less the civil equivalant of Time Over Target)
EAS Equivalent airspeed, RAS minus correction for compressibility.
EASA European Aviation Safety Agency.
ECM Electronic Counter Measures.
ECP Engineering Change Proposal
EEZ Economic exclusion (or exclusive-economic) zone.
EFIS Electronic flight instrument(ation) system, in which large multifunction CRT displays replace traditional instruments.
EGPWS Enhanced ground proximity warning system
EGT Exhaust gas temperature.
EICAS Engine indication (and) crew alerting system.
elint electronics intelligence.
ELT Emergency locator transmitter, to help rescuers home on to a disabled or crashed aircraft.
EMD Engineering and manufacturing development.
EMP Electromagnetic pulse of nuclear or electronic origin.
EMS Emergency Medical Service
EO Electro-optical.
EPNL Effective perceived noise level.
EPNdB Effective perceived noise decibel, SI unit of EPNL.
EPU Emergency power unit (part of aircraft, not used for propulsion).
ESM Electronic Support Measures.
ETA Estimated Time of Arrival (updated STA)
ETD Estimated Time of Departure (updated STD)

F

AbbreviationFull
FAA Federal Aviation Administration.
FCR Fire Control Radar
FSAT Full Scale Aerial Target.
FAAPC FAA Production Certificate.
FAATC FAA Type Certificate.
FADEC Full-authority digital engine (or electronic) control.
FAI Federation Aeronautique Internationale.
FAR Federal Aviation Regulations
FAR Pt 23 Defines the airworthiness of private and air taxi aeroplanes of 5,670 kg (12,500 lb) MTOW and below.
FAR Pt 25 Defines the airworthiness of public transport aeroplanes exceeding 5,670 kg (12,500 lb) MTOW.
FBL Fly-by-light.
FBO Fixed Based Operator
FBW Fly-by-wire.
fcf Functional Check Flight.
FCS Flight control system.
fcs Full colour scheme (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
FDR Flight data recorder.
FDS Flight director system.
FL Flight Level. Notional altitude for air traffic control purposes which assumes ISA
FLIR Forward Looking Infra Red.
f/f First flight
FMCS Flight management computer system.
FMS (1) Foreign military sales (US DoD)

(2) Flight management system.

FOD Foreign-object damage.
FPA Focal Plain Array
FRADU Fleet Requirements and Air Direction Unit (UK).
FSD Full-scale development.
FSED Full-scale engineering development.
FTT Flight Test Tapes
FY Fiscal year; in US government affairs, runs from 1 October to 30 September (FY02 began 1 October 2001)

in Japan, from 1 April (FY13 or FY01 began 1 April 2001).

f/n First noted (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
f/v First visit (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)

G

AbbreviationFull
g Acceleration due to mean Earth gravity, that is of a body in free-fall; or acceleration due to rapid change of direction of flight path.
GA General Aviation
GCC Gulf Co-operation Council (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, ­Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar).
GCAS Ground Collision Avoidance System
GFRP Glass fibre-reinforced plastics.
GmbH Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftpflicht (or Haftung) (German company constitution).
GPS Global Positioning System, US military/civil satellite-based precision navaid.
GPU Ground power unit (not part of aircraft).
GPWS Ground-proximity warning system.
GS Glideslope.
GUP (1) Gosudarstvennoye Unitarnoye Predpriyatie (Russian State Unitary Enterprise).

(2) ground-adjustable pitch

Gvmt Government

H

AbbreviationFull
HDU Hose Drum Unit
HALE High Altitude Long Endurance
HF High Frequency
HMCS Helmet Mounted Cueing System
HOCAC Hands on cyclic and collective.
HOTAS Hands on throttle and stick.
HP High pressure (HPC, compressor; HPT, turbine).
hp Horsepower, non-SI unit of power.
HSI Horizontal situation indicator.
HTS AN/ASQ-213A HARM targeting system. Used to target AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missiles.
HUD Head-up display (bright numbers and symbols projected on pilot's aiming sight glass and focused on infinity so that pilot can simultaneously read display and look ahead). The term is increasingly rendered in the USA as heads up, which is incorrect.
head-down display On the cockpit instrument panel (as distinct from a HUD).
head-level display Immediately below HUD.
h/o Handed over

I

AbbreviationFull
IAS Indicated airspeed, airspeed indicator reading corrected for instrument error.
IPP Integrated Power Package (developed by Honeywell for the F-35)
IATA International Air Transport Association.
IR Infra Red, part of the electromagnetic spectrum covering the range from roughly 300 GHz (1 mm) to 400 THz (750 nm). See Electromagnetic spectrum
IRST Infra Red Search and Track
ICAO International Civil Aviation Organisation.
IDG Integrated-drive generator.
IFF Identification friend or foe.
IFR Instrument Flight Rules
IGE In ground effect: helicopter performance with theoretical flat horizontal surface just below it (for example mountain).
IHE Insensitive High Explosive
ILS Instrument Landing System
IMS Integrated multiplex system.
INAS Integrated nav/attack system.
Inc Incorporated (company constitution).
INS Inertial navigation system.
IOC Initial Operational Capability.
IRS Inertial reference system.
ISA International Standard Atmosphere (1013.25 mb, 1,225 g/m3 and 15?C at mean sea level; lapse rate 1.98?C per 1,000 ft up to -56.5?C at 36,090 ft).
ISAR Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar
ISTAR Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance
i/a Instructional airframe (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
i/s In service

J

AbbreviationFull
JMSDF Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
JASDF Japan Air Self-Defense Force
J Joule, SI unit of energy.
JAA Joint Aviation Authorities
JAR Joint Aviation Requirements, agreed by all major EC countries (JAR 25 equivalent to FAR Pt 25).
JAR-VLA JAR classification for Very Light Aircraft (MTOW limit of 750 kg; 1,653 lb).
JCAB Japan Civil Airworthiness Board.
JHMCS Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Sight
JMPS Joint Mission Planning System.
JTIDS Joint Tactical Information Distribution System.

K

AbbreviationFull
KK Kabushiki Kaisha (Japanese company constitution).
km/h Kilometres per hour.
kt
kts
Knots

L

AbbreviationFull
LAMPS Light airborne multipurpose system.
LORAN LOng RAnge Navigation system. Terrestrial radio navigation system using low frequency radio transmitters in multiple deployment (multilateration) to determine the location and speed of the receiver.
LAPES Low-altitude parachute extraction system.
lb
lbs
pounds (weight)
LBA Luftfahrtbundesamt (German civil aviation authority).
LCD Liquid crystal display, used for showing instrument information.
LCN Load classification number, measure of `flotation' of aircraft landing gear linking aircraft weight, weight distribution, tyre numbers, pressures and disposition.
LDGP Low Drag General Purpose
LGB Laser Guided Bomb.
LINS Laser inertial navigation system.
LOC Localiser. Element giving steering guidance in ILS.
LP Low pressure (LPC, compressor; LPT, turbine).
LRIP Low-rate initial production.
LRMTS Laser Ranger and Marked Target Seeker
LRU Line-replaceable unit.
Ltd Limited (company constitution).
LV Low volume (crop-spraying intensity).
LWF Light Weight Fighter. Eventually evolved into F-16 Fighting Falcon.
lsd Leased to (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
lsf Leased from (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
l/n Last noted (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
l/n Line number

M

AbbreviationFull
MAW Missile Approach Warning
MGB Main Gear Box
MAWS Missile Approach Warning System
MALE Medium Altitude Long Endurance
MALD Multifunction Advanced Data Link (developed for the F-35)
MDAP Mutual Defense Assistance Program
MEDEVAC Medical Evacuation
MFD Multifunction (electronic) display.
MIDS Multifunction information distribution system.
MKR Marker beacon receiver.
MLA Microlight Aircraft
MLS Microwave landing system.
mlt Multi(ple colours) (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
MLU Mid-Life Update.
MLW Maximum landing weight.
MMC Modular Mission Computer (used in F-16)
MoD Ministry of Defence.
MoU Memorandum of Understanding.
mph Miles per hour.
MSIP Multiple Stage Improvement Program
MSN Manufacturers Serial Number
MTBF Mean time between failures.
MTBO Mean time between overhaul.
MTBR Mean time between removals.
MTOGW Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight.
MTOW Maximum Take-Off Weight (minus taxi/run-up fuel).
MYP Multiyear procurement (US).
MZFW Maximum zero-fuel weight.

N

AbbreviationFull
N Newton, SI unit of force, = 0.22480455 lb force.
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration (US).
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NBAA National Business Aircraft Association (US).
NCTR Non-Cooperative Target Recognition, a high resolution radar mode to identify targets (whereas IFF is an example of Cooperative Target Recognition) .
NDT Non-destructive testing.
NV Naamloze Vennootschap (Belgian/Netherlands company constitution).
NVG Night Vision Goggles.
NVS Noise vibration suppression.
nb no badge (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
nc numero costruzione (Italian equivalent of the c/n).
nil nill, no damage (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
nm nautical mile, 1.852 km, 1.15078 miles.
nmk no markings (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
nn not noted (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
ntu not taken up (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
NVG Night Vision Goggles
n/t no titles (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)

O

AbbreviationFull
OAO Otkrytolye Aktsionernoye Obshchestvo (JSC; Russian company constitution).
OAT Outside air temperature.
OBIGGS Onboard inert gas generating system.
OBOGS Onboard oxygen generating system.
OCU Operational Capability Update
OCU Operational Conversion Unit
OEI One engine inoperative.
OFP Operational Flight Program.
OGE Out of ground effect; helicopter hovering, far above nearest surface.
OKB Opytnyi Konstruktorskoye Byuro (Russian experimental design bureau)
OOO Obshchestvo Ogranichennoye Otvetstvennostyu (Russian company constitution).
OTU Operational Training Unit
OWE Operating weight empty. MTOW minus payload, usable fuel and oil and other consumables (thus, includes crew).
opb operated by (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
opf operated for (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
o/h Overhaul (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
o/l On loan (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
o/o on order

P

AbbreviationFull
PAL Permissive Action Link, a security device for nuclear weapons
PNVS Pilot Night Vision Sensor, fitted to AH-64 Apache
pax Passengers
PFA Popular Flying Association (UK).
PFCS Primary flight computer system.
PGM Precision Guided Munition.
plc Public limited company (company constitution).
PPL Private Pilots License
PPV Pre-production verification.
PT Pesawat Terbang (Indonesian company constitution).
Pty Proprietary (company constitution).
pres Preserved (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)

R

AbbreviationFull
RAI Registro Aeronautico Italiano (Italian civil aviation authority).
RAS Rectified airspeed, IAS corrected for position error.
RAT Ram air turbine.
RCS Radar cross section
Reg Registration (tailnumber, Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
rep Repaired (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
ret Returned (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
RFI Request(s) for Information.
RFP Request(s) for Proposals.
rgd Registered (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
RMI Radio magnetic indicator; combines compass and navaid bearings.
R/Nav Calculates position, distance and time from groups of airways beacons.
rpm Revolutions per minute.
RSA Reseau du Sport de l'Air.
RSS Relaxed Static Stability.
RVSM Reduced vertical separation minimum. Halved (1,000 ft) air traffic control separation between FL290 and FL410.
rwy Runway
r/o Roll-out (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
RWR Radar Warning Receivers

S

AbbreviationFull
SA Societe Anonyme (France, Romania), Sociedad Anonima (Brazil, Spain) or Spólka Akcyjna (Poland) (company constitution).
SOTAS Stand-Off-Target-Acquisition-System
STANAG NATO abbreviation for Standardization Agreement, which sets up processes, procedures, terms, and conditions for common military or technical procedures or equipment between the member countries of the alliance.
SDD System Development and Demonstration
SAR Search and Rescue
SAR Synthetic Aperture Radar
SAS Stability augmentation system.
SATURN Second generation Anti-jam Tactical UHF Radio for NATO
SCAS Stability and control augmentation system.
scr Scrapped (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
SFAR Special Federal Aviation Regulation(s).
SGT Self Guided Tour (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation).
sfc Specific fuel consumption.
shp Shaft horsepower, measure of power transmitted via rotating shaft.
SIF Selective identification facility.
SIFF Successor Identification Friend or Foe.
sigint Signals intelligence.
S/L Sea level.
SLEP Service Life Extension Program.
soc Struck off charge (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
s/n (1) Serial Number, short for MSN
(2) Serial Number, for registration (tail number), mostly on military aircraft
note: because of the difference between those two meanings, which will not always be apparent without proper clarification, the use of "s/n" or "Serial Number" is discouraged.
SpA Societa per Azioni (Italian company constitution).
Sp. z o.o Spolka z ograniczona odpowiedzialnoscia (Polish company constitution)
sq
sqn
Squadron
SRL Societa Reponsibilita Limitata (Italian company constitution).
SST Supersonic transport.
st Static thrust.
STA Scheduled Time of Arrival (as in a timetable)
std Stored (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
STC Supplementary Type Certificate.
STD Scheduled Time of Departure (as in a timetable)
STOL Short take-off and landing. (Several definitions, stipulating allowable horizontal distance to clear screen height of 35 or 50 ft or various SI measures.)
STOVL Short take-off, vertical landing.

T

AbbreviationFull
Tacan Tactical air navigation, UHF navaid giving bearing and distance to ground beacons; distance element (see DME) can be paired with civil VOR.
TANS Tactical air navigation system; Decca Navigator or Doppler-based computer, control and display unit.
TAS True airspeed, EAS corrected for density (often very large factor) appropriate to aircraft altitude.
TADS Target Acquisition Designation Sight, fitted to the AH-64 Apache
TBD To Be Determined
TBO Time between overhauls.
TCAS Traffic-alert and collision-avoidance system.
tdy Temporary duty (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
Tec
Tech
Technical reasons
Tercom Terrain-comparison (or contour-matching), navigation aid which compares relief of terrain with profile stored in memory.
TET Turbine Entry Temperature.
TFR Terrain Following Radar
T-O Take-off.
T-O noise EPNdB measure of aircraft taking off, at point directly under flight path 3.5 n miles from brakes-release.
toc Taken on charge (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
TOGW Take-off gross weight (not necessarily MTOW)
TERPROM Terrain Profile Matching. Uses stored digital elevation data combined with navigation system and radar altimeter inputs to compute the location of the aircraft or missile above the surface of the earth.
TRD Towed Radar Decoy
TWS Track While Scan
TUAV Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
TV Television

U

AbbreviationFull
UAI Universal Armament Interface
UAE United Arab Emirates
UV Ultra Violet, part of the electromagnetic spectrum around 1016 Hz, see Electromagnetic spectrum
UHCA Ultra-high capacity airliner
UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. See UAV classes for definitions.
UCAV Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle
ULV (1) Ultra Light Vehicle

(2) Ultra-low volume (crop-spraying intensity).

UOR Urgent Operational Requirement (British MoD)
upd Update (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
URP Mi-2 variant, pl: Uzbrojenie: Rakiety Przeciwpancerne - Arment: Antitank Rockets
URN Mi-2 variant, pl: Uzbrojenie: Rakiety Niekierowane - Arment: Unguided Rockets
u/s Unserviceable (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)

V

AbbreviationFull
VDU Video (or visual) display unit.
VERTREP Vertical Replenishment
VFR Visual Flight Rules
VIP Very Important Person
VMS Vehicle management system.
VOR VHF omnidirectional range (network of VHF radio beacons each providing to/from bearing).
VSI Vertical speed (climb/descent) indicator.
V/STOL Vertical/short take-off and landing.
VTOL Vertical take-off and landing.

W

AbbreviationFull
WCMD Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser
wfu Withdrawn from use (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)
wn Werk Nummer (German equivalent of the c/n).
w/o Written off (Scramble and/or spotters specific abbreviation)

Z

AbbreviationFull
ZAO Zakrytoe Aktsionernoye Obshchestvo (Russian company constitution).
ZFW Zero-fuel weight. MTOW minus usable fuel and other consumables, in most aircraft imposing severest stress on wing and defining limit on payload.

More information

Scramble links

External Links

Personal tools