C-146 and C-147

tigercat2

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I was going to ask about the USAF C-146 Wolfhound (which violates the post 1962 DoD designation sequence), but in doing some research I found another new designation, C-147:

The U.S. Army Parachute Team, also known as the Golden Knights, welcomed a second C-147A aircraft on Oct. 16, highlighting efforts to improve safety, readiness and reduce operating costs for the Army’s official parachute demonstration team.

C-147A is the military designation for the DeHavilland DHC-8, 315 Series.


I know this has been asked before, but who decides if a new cargo plane will receive a pre - or post 1962 designation, ie C-46 is the new system and C-147 is in the old.

Thanks very much for any answers or info

Wes W.
 

TomS

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I was going to ask about the USAF C-146 Wolfhound (which violates the post 1962 DoD designation sequence), but in doing some research I found another new designation, C-147:

The U.S. Army Parachute Team, also known as the Golden Knights, welcomed a second C-147A aircraft on Oct. 16, highlighting efforts to improve safety, readiness and reduce operating costs for the Army’s official parachute demonstration team.

C-147A is the military designation for the DeHavilland DHC-8, 315 Series.


I know this has been asked before, but who decides if a new cargo plane will receive a pre - or post 1962 designation, ie C-46 is the new system and C-147 is in the old.

Thanks very much for any answers or info

Wes W.

I wonder if these got 100-series designations because there are still airworthy examples of the pre-1962 C-46 and C-47.

Edit: Ignore me: I'd totally forgotten about the more-or-less in-sequence KC-46.
 
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robunos

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Just a stupid guess, but I noticed that in the two cases you mention, C-147, and C-147, the ultimate end user is not the USAF.
That is, the C-146 is for SOCOM, and C-147 is for the US ARMY parachute team, whereas the in-sequence KC-46 is for the USAF.
My surmise is therefore that aircraft operated by USAF in support of other services get an 'old-style' designation, whereas aircraft operated 'by USAF for USAF' get a current sequence designation . . .

cheers,
Robin.
 

TomS

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That holds up. The other outliers include the C-143 and C-144, for the Coast Guard, and the C-145, also for SOCOM.
 

Vahe Demirjian

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I was going to ask about the USAF C-146 Wolfhound (which violates the post 1962 DoD designation sequence), but in doing some research I found another new designation, C-147:

The U.S. Army Parachute Team, also known as the Golden Knights, welcomed a second C-147A aircraft on Oct. 16, highlighting efforts to improve safety, readiness and reduce operating costs for the Army’s official parachute demonstration team.

C-147A is the military designation for the DeHavilland DHC-8, 315 Series.


I know this has been asked before, but who decides if a new cargo plane will receive a pre - or post 1962 designation, ie C-46 is the new system and C-147 is in the old.

Thanks very much for any answers or info

Wes W.

I wonder if these got 100-series designations because there are still airworthy examples of the pre-1962 C-46 and C-47.

Edit: Ignore me: I'd totally forgotten about the more-or-less in-sequence KC-46.
The C-46 Commando is still in limited civilian use. Both C-146 and C-147 are from the pre-1962 C-series designation sequence.

The Defense Department is in charge of deciding if a new cargo plane gets a pre- or post-1962 designation.
 

TomS

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I wonder if these got 100-series designations because there are still airworthy examples of the pre-1962 C-46 and C-47.

Edit: Ignore me: I'd totally forgotten about the more-or-less in-sequence KC-46.
The C-46 Commando is still in limited civilian use. Both C-146 and C-147 are from the pre-1962 C-series designation sequence.

The Defense Department is in charge of deciding if a new cargo plane gets a pre- or post-1962 designation.

But as I figured out, the fact that the old aircraft are still around in non-US service isn't sufficient to keep DOD from assigning the designation again. Thus, the KC-46 Pegasus.

Obviously DoD assigns the designations, or more precisely the USAF Nomenclature Office assigns them for all the services. The question is why the Nomenclature Office is assigning numbers in both new and old series.
 

Andreas Parsch

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Obviously DoD assigns the designations, or more precisely the USAF Nomenclature Office assigns them for all the services. The question is why the Nomenclature Office is assigning numbers in both new and old series.
There are two "modes" of number assignment.
#1 - The service, which requests a new designation, can propose a number. Then the Nomenclature Office can approve or reject the number. Apparently, they approve just about everything, as can be seen by the many out-of-sequence numbers assigned, especially in the last 10-20 years.
#2 - The service requests a designation, but leaves the number open. Then the Nomenclature Office assigns the number. In typical cases, this will be the next in sequence, but there are exceptions as well.

The C-series is a special case. The initial continuation of the "old" series, C-143A, was allocated in 2005. At that time, I was deeply involved in researching designations (incl. filing FOIA requests to get access to official documentation), and at one time I actually managed to receive a direct e-mail from an officer in the Nomenclature Office. I got some unofficial information snippets about the C-143 allocation, and it boiled down to significant confusion inside the office as to whether the nominal "next in line"; C-42, was actually available for allocation or not. In the end, they went the safe way and allocated C-143, one higher than the highest C-number anyone could find. I have, however, no further background information whatsoever, who decides nowadays whether a "high" or "low" number will be used for the next C-series.
 

tigercat2

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Thanks so much to you all for this info on this rather confusing designation scheme.


Wes W.
 

1635yankee

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A grade school kid could write a program allocating designation numbers. There is, I presume (or hope), some reason why many designation numbers look like they've been assigned by somebody rolling dice. I suspect, though, that the reason is non-existent.
 

tigercat2

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In addition to what seems to be dual paths for Cargo aircraft, there is a similar situation for helicopters. Most new helos are using the old pre-1962 system, while a few H-1, H-3, etc are on the post '62 system. It this correct?


Wes W.
 

hercules130

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Just a stupid guess, but I noticed that in the two cases you mention, C-147, and C-147, the ultimate end user is not the USAF.
That is, the C-146 is for SOCOM, and C-147 is for the US ARMY parachute team, whereas the in-sequence KC-46 is for the USAF.
My surmise is therefore that aircraft operated by USAF in support of other services get an 'old-style' designation, whereas aircraft operated 'by USAF for USAF' get a current sequence designation . . .

cheers,
Robin.
The USAF (AFSOC) operates the C-145 and C-146. Saying the ultimate user is not the USAF is akin to saying the ultimate user of the C-17 is the US ARMY or the AC-130's ultimate user is SOCOM. Not all missions flown by any of these machines are at the behest of one user. C-145/146 are in fact USAF programs.
 

riggerrob

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They are all light, twin-engined jet or turboprop transports originally designed for foreign civilians, but later modified for USAF military use.

C-12 King Air, light, twin turboprop personnel transport built by Beechcraft in USA
UV-18A/B Twin Otter, STOL, light, twin turboprop built by deHavilland, Bombardier or Viking in Canada
C-23 Shorts Sherpa STOL, light, twin-turboprop built by Short Brothers in Northern Ireland
C-143 Challenger business jet built by Canadair or Bombardier in Canada
C-145 Skytruck, STOL, light, twin turboprop made by PZL in Poland.
C-146 Wolfhound 328 twin jet transport built by Dornier in Germany
C-147 Dash 8 twin turboprop built by DeHavilland of Canada or Bombardier
 

Apophenia

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...
C-143 Challenger business jet built by Canadair or Bombardier in Canada
C-145 Skytruck, STOL, light, twin turboprop made by PZL in Poland.
C-146 Wolfhound 328 twin jet transport built by Dornier in Germany
C-147 Dash 8 twin turboprop built by DeHavilland of Canada or Bombardier

The renewed 'century' designations all follow the revised US designation style with 'A' prefixes for the first model. The C-146A is a turboprop, not a "twin jet" (that's the related 328JET).

VC-143A - Canadair CL-604 Challenger (CL-600-2B16, c/n 5427)
- Bombardier C-143 Medium Range Command and Control Aircraft (MRC2A)
-- Leased from TKC Aerospace (2005-2011), purchase option not taken up
-- USCG 02 ('102') reserved for Commandant USCG and Secretary of DHS
-- Intended to augment the USCG's C-37A C&C aircraft (Gulfstream V)

HC-144 - Ocean Sentry EADS (CASA) CN235 for the USCG

C-145A - PZL Mielec M28 Skytruck fitted with belly pack
-- Civil scheme, operated by 919th Special Operations Wing
-- 11 of 16 x C-145As were transferred to US allies in 2015

C-146A - Wolfhound, Fairchild Dornier 328 twin turboprop
-- Civil scheme, operated by 919th Special Operations Wing

C-147A - DeHavilland Canada DHC-8-315, US Army designation
- C-147A: Used by US Army Parachute Team, replacing C-31A
-- Same airframe as 'long' RO-6A Airborne Reconnaissance Low-Enhanced

On those 'spooky' Dash 8s, I wonder if the DOD ever considered re-using the designation from the LTV XC-142? It would have matched the RCAF's CT-142 'Gonzo' :D
 

fightingirish

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Sierra Nevada Corporation MC-145B Wily Coyote, based on the PZL Mielec M28 Skytruck
Links:
 

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Grey Havoc

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Don't give them ideas! Remember the concrete bombs that the USAF and other Western air forces were enamoured with back in the day?
 

Apophenia

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One Of U.S. Special Operation Command’s Shyest Spy Planes Has A New Name
-- https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zo...ion-commands-shyest-spy-planes-has-a-new-name

DoD's Nomenclature Office never ceases to puzzle. The SOCOM Dash 8 Tactical Airborne Multi-Sensor Platform (STAMP) has been named Foxhound (which is "at least a quasi-official name for the complete system"). I had previously seen 'Grizzly' used - presumably as an informal name or call sign for STAMP aircraft. But still no STAMP designation released?

The US Army has acknowledged RO-6A as designating the DHC-8-Q315s fitted with Airborne Reconnaissance Low - Enhanced (ARL-E) sensor arrays. Would STAMP simply be another RO-6A but fitted with a different sensor package? Or would STAMP be considered sufficiently different to warrant a new RO-6 sub-type designation?

The other US Army DHC-8-315 designation is C-147A for the Golden Knights' support aircraft (matching SOCOM's C-146A Wolfhound transports). But basing a SOCOM ISR aircraft designation based on C-147 wouldn't make a lot of sense - after all, the Dash 7 ARLs had their designations switched from role-modified transport (RC-7B) to role-modified observation (EO-5C).

Actually, that brings up another, minor point. On the Dash 7s, the basic mission prefixes shifted from a seemingly more accurate Reconnaissance to the rather more vague Electronics. Then, with the RO-6A, it flips back to Reconnaissance again. It seems rather muddled ...
 

TomS

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Seems potentially confusing to use the same name for two different aircraft in the US nomenclature scheme and in the ASCC (now AFIC?) scheme -- Foxhound already being used for the MiG-31 of course.
 
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