Jump to content

Aircraft Type Abbreviations

The aircraft type abbreviation, or “type code”, you choose when connecting to the VATSIM network determines how other pilots see you. Choosing a correct code is essential to the experience of other VATSIM users and helps ATC serve you effectively. Pilot clients look at the type code you select when connecting to the network and attempt to display you using that code.  

Most type abbreviations consist of four characters, which can be letters and numbers. (Some can be as short as two characters; the maximum length is four.)  You can use the search below to find the correct abbreviation for your aircraft type.

FAA/VATSIM Flight Plans

When filing flight plans using VATSIM’s pre-file or through most pilot clients, you are filing a modified version of the FAA Flight Plan. This format has been mostly phased out in real life but is still used on the VATSIM network. In these formats, you’ll be asked to define the following information:

  1. If your aircraft is “heavy” (capable of takeoff weights in excess of 300,000 lbs.); and,
  2. Your “equipment suffix”, which tells ATC which navigation equipment you have.

Using the search below, you can determine whether your aircraft is “heavy”. To identify your equipment suffix, use our Equipment Type Suffix Selector tool or read more below. 

When entering type information into some VATSIM flight plans, use the following formats:


C172/A B350/G B738/L B753/Z H/B763/L
Cessna 172, no GPS. Beechcraft King Air 350, with GPS. Boeing 737-800 using GNSS (GPS). Boeing 757-300 using an FMS with limited RNAV capability. Heavy Boeing 767 with GNSS (GPS).

ICAO Flight Plans

VATSIM recently introduced the ICAO flight plan format on the MyVATSIM website. Using the new ICAO File a Flight Plan form, pilots can submit an ICAO-style flight plan. When filing an ICAO flight plan, you can use the “ICAO Wake Category” field from the search below. Equipment suffixes are not used in ICAO flight plans. For more information on VATSIM’s new ICAO Flight Plan format, read our forum topic on ICAO flight plans.

Aircraft Type Abbreviation Search

Use the search below to find an aircraft type and see corresponding flight planning information. You can search either by the type abbreviation (if you know it) or by manufacturer/model combination. 

This database incorporates FAA Order 7360.1, which lists FAA aircraft type information. The following information is available:

  • Designator: the type abbreviation or type code to use when connecting to the network.
  • Manufacturer: the aircraft manufacturer.
  • Model: the model name of the aircraft, including military designations.
  • Class: the class of the aircraft, identified as fixed-wing, gyrocopter, helicopter, and tiltrotor. Amphibians are denoted as “@Fixed-wing” and seaplanes as “$Fixed-wing”.
  • Engines: the number and type of engines is shown in the format “2T”, with the number representing how many engines and the letter the type of engines. The following abbreviations are used:
    •     E – Electric.
    •     P – Piston.
    •     T – Turboprop/turboshaft.
    •     J – Jet.
    •     R – Rocket.
  • FAA Weight Class: the FAA determination of the aircraft weight category. “Heavy” or “Super” aircraft should be marked as “Heavy Aircraft” (or use the “H/” prefix) when filing VATSIM flight plans. Prefixes are not required for other FAA weight classes.
  • ICAO WTC: the ICAO wake turbulence category for the aircraft; use this information when filing ICAO flight plans on VATSIM.