On a lot of aircraft, the model number / aircraft name is clearly marked somewhere on the fuselage, e.g. "Airbus A320". Is there any rule or mandate, that all aircraft must bear the model number at some designated place on its body, to help others identify them?

  • $\begingroup$ Can you provide an example? $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ Example: A-320. Though I know the aircraft type, on many airlines I see the name "Airbus A-320" displayed towards the rear of the aircraft. $\endgroup$
    – Firee
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ As far as I know, that's more for advertising. The nosewheel doors often have the model for ground handler reference. Helps the marshaller be certain of where to stop it, the baggage guys what equipment to bring, I dunno? Stuff useful to rampers. $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 2:46

3 Answers 3


Every aircraft I have flown had a data plate mounted somewhere in the outside, showing the make, model, serial number, and the year of manufacture. You probably can't see it unless you're 3 feet away, but it's there.

The relevant regulation in the US is:

§ 45.11 Marking of products.

(a) Aircraft. A manufacturer of aircraft covered under § 21.182 of this chapter must mark each aircraft by attaching a fireproof identification plate that—

(1) Includes the information specified in § 45.13 using an approved method of fireproof marking;

(2) Must be secured in such a manner that it will not likely be defaced or removed during normal service, or lost or destroyed in an accident; and

(3) Except as provided in paragraphs (d) through (h) of this section, must be secured to the aircraft fuselage exterior so that it is legible to a person on the ground, and must be either adjacent to and aft of the rear-most entrance door or on the fuselage surface near the tail surfaces.


§ 45.13 Identification data.

(a) The identification required by § 45.11 (a) through (c) must include the following information:

(1) Builder's name.

(2) Model designation.

(3) Builder's serial number.

(4) Type certificate number, if any.

(5) Production certificate number, if any.

Here's an example from a Stinson 108:

Stinson 108 data plate

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ On airliners the data plate is often located inside near the entrance door. On most light GA aircraft it's affixed near the tail (the regs say "either adjacent to and aft of the rear-most entrance door or on the fuselage surface near the tail surfaces") $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 3:06
  • $\begingroup$ Could you provide a picture and a link to the relevant regulation (if any) $\endgroup$
    – Firee
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 7:44

No. It's easy enough to find photographs online of aircraft that don't have the model number written on them in an obvious way. If there were any regulatory requirement to have the model number painted on the plane for recognition purposes, it would have to be obviously visible or there'd be no point.

  • $\begingroup$ ok, so there is no international regulation/convention to paint the model number on the aircraft $\endgroup$
    – Firee
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 9:35

FAA AC-45-4 act is regulating that. Each airplane made after that year must have nameplate attach to the fuselage.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Av.SE. It would be helpful if you could include a link or other reference to this information; as the answer stands now, it amounts to "somebody on the internet claims..." which isn't a particularly useful answer. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Commented Apr 14, 2019 at 4:15
  • $\begingroup$ @RalphJ Huh? It's right there: Federal Aviation Administration Air Circular 45-4. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 14, 2019 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ I'd expect an ANSWER to actually link to the relevant section of the publication. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Commented Apr 14, 2019 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ @RalphJ OK, that's a fair point. But I doubt a new user would pick that up from what you originally wrote -- I certainly didn't! $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 14, 2019 at 20:45

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