November 2004 -
Have you ever wondered why we refer to some airplanes by name while sticking to the numbers for others? For one thing, it's sometimes simpler. I mean, it's a lot easier to say "G-III" than "Grumman Gulfstream G-1159A," and "Turbo Arrow" instead of "PA-28RT-201," isn't it?
The real reason we call some models by their name or nickname is that when it's a good name, it fits. For instance, can you imagine a P-51 being referred to as the North American Nimrod, or a Cherokee named the Bill, after Mr. Piper? Would you go to a classical piano concert if the performer's name was Bubba?
No matter how much research a marketer or designer does on the psychology of a name and its esthetic value in the market, the flying/buying public holds an option on what it will be called. Customers, whether citizen or government, will either accept a name or substitute one that more closely fits the perception of the airplane.
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