-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Mon, 08 Nov 1999 20:46:48 -0800

At 23:42 11/8/1999 +0000, you wrote:
>>By the way.. what exactly does the J, F, S, FZ prefix standfor? I think F
>>stands for Final and S stands for Special, but I have no idea where the
>>the J and FZ fit into all of this. Since the J stats is slightly worse than
>>the F in 8th, I surmise its an older version of the Zaku, maybe an
>>intermediary between the MS-05 and the MS-06F which is the standard. Since
>>in 0080, the tech boys went on a German Frenzy (Kampfer, Jager, etc..) the
>>FZ may be German for something.
>This is similiar to the Letter designations for various models of Aircraft
>(The F-15 F for example) They don't mean anything in particular.

Well, actually, they do *mean* something, they just aren't an abbreviation
for something. For example, I worked on the F-106A and F-106B
fighter-interceptors when I was in the Air Force. The A model was a
single-seater and the B model was a tandem two-seater, with a Weapons
Control Officer (WCO) station behind and slightly above the pilot's
seat. When we converted half the fleet from rockets to Vulcans, the
designations remained the same -- the models were distinguished solely by
the number of seats, not the weapons load-out.

When a letter is used as a suffix -- what we call a shred-out -- it merely
serves to distinguish one model from another. In USAF usage, shred-outs
are added in strictly alphabetical order, so an "N" model would be the 14th
model in the series, but other military organizations (or their civilian
contractors) may use a different schema.

When the letter is used as a prefix, it distinguishes the TYPE of aircraft
and generally *does* stand for something: A for Attack, B for Bomber, C for
Cargo (transport), F for Fighter, P for Pursuit (obsolete), RC for
Reconnaissance, T for Trainer and X for Experimental. There are
exceptions, however. Refueling tankers are designated KC, for example --
maybe because RC was already taken, but despite a full 20 years in the
USAF, I still don't known what "K" means.


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