Neil Baumgardner (
Tue, 09 Nov 1999 00:16:45 -0500

-Z- wrote:

> 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,

Actually, R is for Reconnaissance. RC would be a cargo transport converted to
reconnaissance duties. There are/were other such conversions, such as the old
RB-57, RF-4, RA-5, etc.

> 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.

Nope, K would technically be for a dedicated-built tanker, but not too many have
been designed and built as tanker from the start. Any tankers that I can think of
took a transport design as a basis, such as the KC-10 or KC-97.

Neil Baumgardner

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