C-27B or not 27B, that is the question

What’s in, well not a name, not even a number, but in a single letter? $16 million according to a great story by Roxana Tiron in The Hill. That will be the cost of changing all the manuals if the US Air Force gets its way and redesignates Alenia’s C-27J the C-27B.

The C-27J Spartan won the US Army/Air Force Joint Cargo Aircraft competition. The Army is to get 54 aircraft, and the Air Force 24, but the USAF gets to designate every US military aircraft and is calling its JCA the C-27B. Why? Because the USAF used to operate the C-27A Spartan, its designation for the C-27J’s precursor, the Alenia G.222.

Now we all know B follows A, the same way F-35 follows, er, F-22…and F-117 follows…er…so the Air Force has to be right, yes?

“I’d like to be an F-27J, thank you.”

(And you want ample evidence the US Air Force is quite happy to bend its own designation rules when it suits, check out Andreas Parsch’s great site designation-systems.net)

4 Responses to C-27B or not 27B, that is the question

  1. L.J. Brooks 16 March, 2008 at 5:35 pm #

    Is that aircraft actually inverted? Or did someone just load the picture in upside down?

  2. The Woracle 16 March, 2008 at 7:15 pm #

    It’s inverted – there are several images on the web of the aircraft inverted during its flying display at the Avalon airshow in Australia (figures!)

  3. ELP 17 March, 2008 at 11:21 am #

    Is there a C-130I ? If not, the USAF should have a hard time using a C-130J.

  4. The Woracle 17 March, 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    I always understood the USAF didn’t use ‘I’ because it could be confused with ’1′, and that the uses of ‘I’ – F-15I, F-16I – were commercial designations. The C-27J was called that because it used C-130J engines and avionics.

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