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Military Aircraft Serial/Tail Numbers

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eagleswings01

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Hi Everyone,

Is there a website that I can look up Military serial or tail numbers to learn more about that aircraft? I tried the standard FAA website and it didn't work.

As an example, the attached picture shows a Wyoming Air National Guard C-130 with a serial number of 21531. However, I can't find anything about it (such as the specific C-130 version, etc).

Any information would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,
Mike
 

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aprswatcher

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Mil aircraft serial/tail numbers

I had a site for the callsigns but the link is broken, but I can tell something about the C-130 in the pic.

The picture that you posted of the Wyoming Air National Guard is a C-130H-3, made in 1992.
The aircraft that Wyoming received are all sequentially numbered for their unit.
153rd Airlift Wing, 1531, 1532, 1533, etc. They also have 4 aircraft that are numbered 37311, 37312, 37313, and 37314, these are 1993 H-3's that they received from the 302nd Airlift Wing (731st Airlift Squadron) from Peterson AFB, Colorado.

The C-130H-3's are night vision capable, upgraded flight instruments, newer navigation equipment, low power color radar, more powerful engines T-56-15, better air conditioning/pressurization system,
a chemical flush toilet, and alot of other upgrades.

The 153rd AW uses the callsign "Teton xx" ie "Teton 31"

The 302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson received their aircraft right after Wyoming did from Lockheed.
The 302nd AW aircraft were built in '93, '94 and '96 also "H-3's"

I know this as I was a member of the 302nd for 16 years and I picked up my aircraft from Lockheed in Marietta, Georgia in 1995, tail number 94-7315.

The 302nd and 153rd do alot of flying together, maintenance activities together.
Both Units are "MAFFS" units (Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System) and help out with the forest fires during the summer. Both were in Texas this summer.

The 302nd uses the callsign "Sumit xx" ie "Sumit 15"

Hope this helps out.
73, Rex
 

eagleswings01

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Rex,

Wow - that was a very informative post! Thanks for all of that history which I really enjoyed reading. One thing I don't understand - how did you know it was made in 92? I can't see any year markings on it.

As a side note, I just read that the Wyoming ANG now has 12 of the C130's.

Thanks again for your great reply!
Mike
 

eagleswings01

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KF7RAY, CalebATC & ki4wbn,

Thanks so much for the great links! I have bookmarked them all and look forward to referencing those. I know I asked Rex the same question, but, CalebATC, how did you know it was a 92?

Thanks again everyone,
Mike

P.S.
I also found this website for serial numbers, but you have to know the year you are looking for (which didn't initially help me)
 
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SCPD

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The first digit of the tail number is the last digit of the year. I have no idea how you differentiate the decade. These things were made for like 50 years! :)
 

CalebATC

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The first digit of the tail number is the last digit of the year. I have no idea how you differentiate the decade. These things were made for like 50 years! :)
Were.... Still are being made!!!

Not sure. When the previous poster said 92, I just put in that. Not sure though. Most have a different style tail number, the year in smaller letters, and the rest in larger font. Good question though.... anyone have an idea that is more experienced in this military registration field?
 

eagleswings01

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Thanks Ed and Caleb. I remembered reading the first digit was the year, but right now it's a guessing game on the decade it was from!

I thought it was interesting that the C130 didn't have a full year on it as many of the military aircraft I see have the year in small numbers somewhere on the tail.

Mike
 

SCPD

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Well I did some bing-ing etc. and got more confused than informed.

My aircraft pictures of the day of the P-51's, C-119J's and F84F's were pretty much 1950's (and '40's) s/n's. :)
 
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eagleswings01

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My aircraft pictures of the day of the P-51's, C-119J's and F84F's were pretty much 1950's (and '40's) s/n's. :)
Do you have any of those images you'd like to share?! :wink: I started a thread for Aviation Photographs that I'd love to see more images on.

As a side note, my Dad has a lot of slides from the 60's - 80's of military aircraft that I am going to work on scanning in the new year. Lots of images of cold war aircraft including some Russian airplanes.

Take care,
Mike
 

eagleswings01

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Scramble isn't very up-to-date these days. This site is the best, hands down:

On Dutch Wings Database Online (USAF)
On Dutch Wings Database Online (USN)
Now THAT is cool! I put in...

Type: C-130
State: WY

And it returned a great database hit with all of the WANG C-130's! Thank you very much! :D

I'd still love to know how to determine the year (in this case it was a 92) when there doesn't appear to be any clear indicators.

Thanks again,
Mike
 

jsoergel

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Now THAT is cool! I put in...

Type: C-130
State: WY

And it returned a great database hit with all of the WANG C-130's! Thank you very much! :D

I'd still love to know how to determine the year (in this case it was a 92) when there doesn't appear to be any clear indicators.

Thanks again,
Mike
It just takes time, really. For instance, I can tell you that C-5A's are all 68-/69-/70- tails, just because I've dealt with them a lot. Most transports have five-digit tails, but many fighters are xx-(x)xxx and omit the third number (the first one after the dash).
 

CalebATC

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It just takes time, really. For instance, I can tell you that C-5A's are all 68-/69-/70- tails, just because I've dealt with them a lot. Most transports have five-digit tails, but many fighters are xx-(x)xxx and omit the third number (the first one after the dash).
That's true. You just get used to the consecutive numbers. (ex 89-1053, 89-1057) Not so much with the ANG units and USAFR units though.... they usually get hand-downs.

Navy BU numbers are the easiest.... just a few numbers and your set! No dashes or whatnot!
 
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