What does it mean if an airplane uses the "super" designation after their call sign on the radio?

  • $\begingroup$ It's interesting that this was answered in a lot more detail months ago and yet this question and its answers got a lot more votes. - haha $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Aug 14, 2015 at 1:08
  • $\begingroup$ @reirab Hot Network Questions at work. $\endgroup$ Aug 14, 2015 at 1:29
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    $\begingroup$ @reirab It's also interesting that I searched for the question and didn't find the one that is referenced as its duplicate before asking. The word "duplicate" also gets applied pretty liberally on SE, but if someone lands on this question I agree that they'll get the most comprehensive answer by also reading that question and its answers. $\endgroup$
    – ryan1618
    Aug 14, 2015 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ @RyanBurnette Right, that's the point of 'duplicates' on SE. Unlike most other types of closed questions, questions that are closed as duplicates are useful in that they help people who are searching find the answer they're looking for, even when their search might not have found the original question, but it still leaves all of the information in one place, rather than fragmenting it. Having a question closed as a dupe isn't a bad thing at all, especially in cases like this where you actually did search and didn't find the answer. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Aug 14, 2015 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ @RyanBurnette I found the other question because I just happened to remember that this had been discussed (probably more than once) before, already knew the answer, and specifically knew to look for "wake turbulence." $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Aug 14, 2015 at 14:09

2 Answers 2


According to ICAO wake turbulence categories, it is a super-heavy aircraft capable of generating correspondingly super-strong wake vortices. Currently the only "super" aircraft are the Airbus A380 and Antonov An-225 (FAA).

  • $\begingroup$ Is there a reason the An-225 wouldn't be in the Super category for wake turbulence separation? $\endgroup$ Aug 13, 2015 at 3:36
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    $\begingroup$ Looks like according to the FAA it is; it wasn't originally, as Super was created after the A380 first flew. $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Aug 13, 2015 at 4:33
  • $\begingroup$ It's an indication not only of the type, but also the load. An empty aircraft with minimum fuel will generate less wake turbulence than the same type at max landing weight. $\endgroup$ Aug 13, 2015 at 10:08
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    $\begingroup$ @DouglasHeld it's true that a lighter aircraft will generate less wake turbulence, but only the maximum takeoff weight of the type is considered for the wake turbulence categories and callsigns. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Aug 13, 2015 at 14:26

The aircraft is either an A380, or AN225. Reference


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