AP Style Aircraft Names

Use a hyphen when changing from letters to figures; no hyphen is needed when adding a letter after figures. Some examples of aircraft are,

  • B-1
  • C-5A
  • FH-227
  • F-15 Eagle
  • F-16 Falcon
  • MiG-29
  • Tu-154
  • Il-96
  • Boeing 737-800
  • 747
  • 747B
  • Airbus A380
  • A380F is an exception (no hyphen)

This hyphenation principle is the one that is most frequently used by manufactures and users. You should apply this principle in all cases for consistency. For other elements of a name, use the form adopted by the manufacturer or user. If you are ever in doubt, the AP Stylebook advises writers to consult Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft.

No Quotes

Do not use quotation marks for aircraft with names. For example,

  • Air Force One.
  • the Spirit of St. Louis.

Avoid Promotional Names

Boeing 787, not Dreamliner.


The 747 aircraft’s plural form is 747s.


The 747B aircraft’s plural form is 747B’s (as noted in plurals, the apostrophe is used in forming the plural of a single letter.).


Use Arabic figures to establish the sequence of aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles. For example,

  • Apollo 11.

Do not use hyphens in these circumstances.



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