When using the FAA's IACRA system, an online portal used for creating applications for the issuance of a rating, you often have to choose an aircraft type to meet qualifications or to set which aircraft you'll be using during a practical test. When selecting aircraft in IACRA the type designators are different from what I'm used to. For example, a Cessna 172 K model's type designator in my experience is C172K, but in IACRA it's CE-172K. The Beechcraft Sierra would normally be B24R, but it's something like BE-23-BE24R in IACRA.

Where is the FAA coming up with these type designators they're using in IACRA?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure if type identifier is the right word for CE-172K. Please help me improve the nomenclature if possible. $\endgroup$ – ryan1618 Jul 13 '16 at 0:16
  • $\begingroup$ Where do you see these "official" abbreviations used? $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jul 13 '16 at 2:13
  • $\begingroup$ I've seen them in IACRA. On type ratings. In other pilot's Airline Apps. Occasionally on flight plans. For example the Piper Cheyenne I is a PA-31-500T in one place then PAY1 in another. Just trying to find definitions for the identifiers and associated nomenclature. $\endgroup$ – ryan1618 Jul 13 '16 at 3:08
  • $\begingroup$ Did you use the word "official"? I looked at IACRA and I saw it there, not sure where it came from though. I'll do a little research and see if I can figure it out though. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jul 13 '16 at 3:28
  • $\begingroup$ It looks like the FAA calls it "model designation". It can be found in the type certificate data sheet (TCDS). There is a relationship between "type rating designation" and "model designation". Some designations can be found in this Excel file. $\endgroup$ – mins Jul 13 '16 at 6:20

Try this.

This is the FAA's Type Certification Data Base, which lists all type certificates issued by the FAA.

Note: this only covers certified aircraft and not experimental or homebuilts.


  • $\begingroup$ You answered before I rewrote the question, but this is a good resource. Thank you. $\endgroup$ – ryan1618 Jul 17 '16 at 14:02

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