Individual aircraft are identified by a registration (civil) or serial number (military), sometimes also called the tail number. The use of these identifiers in articles related to WP:AVIATION has been subject to discussion and consensus and this guideline reflects that consensus and current practice.
Registration or serial numbers
Registration or serial numbers should only be mentioned in article text or image captions if the individual aircraft meets the following criteria:
- Aircraft involved in accidents.
- Prototypes and development aircraft.
- Aircraft with limited production (less than 20) when it would be clearer to detail the history of each aircraft relevant to the development of the type.
- Aircraft with unique special paint schemes.
- Aircraft that hold world records.
- Aircraft that are on public display.
- Aircraft that are notable enough for their own article.
- Aircraft related to the award of a country's highest military decoration.
Production lists detailing both individual and batches of aircraft registrations/serial numbers should not be included.
Airline fleet lists
Airline fleet lists should not include registrations, although aircraft in special paint schemes can be identified either in a Livery section or in the general text.
Construction or manufacturers serial numbers
Construction or manufacturers serial numbers should only be used to identify those aircraft already listed as notable enough to mention either the military serial or registration when the other identities are not available or do not clearly identify an aircraft.