Aircraft Registration Marking Resources

This item may be of interest to owners who are now, or will be, repainting their airplane....

Elsewhere we published an article based on information provided by Mike Magnani, N4094, about FAA registration marking requirements for aircraft over 30 years old.

Here are suggestions for the design or appearance of these registration marks, otherwise known as n-numbers or tail numbers.

Other than regulating their size, location, and legibility, the FAA does not specify the style (font) you must use for letters and numbers. See FAR Sec. 45.22 — Exhibition, antique, and other aircraft: Special rules. In other words, it's the owner's choice.

If you have not made a decision yet, one possibility is to use the same font that is specified for the United States Air Force. This font, named AmarilloUSAF, follows the current lettering specifications for USAF aircraft. You will notice that the Amarillo font is quite similar to the N-numbers used on, for example, the Piper J-3 Cub.

In addition to having all the characters in the original AmarilloUSAF, the Pro Version (below) also has variations of letters and numbers used on past USAF aircraft, making it ideal for creating historically accurate decals and lettering patterns. You can find this style of lettering on US military aircraft dating back to WWII, on both Navy and Army/Air Force planes and helicopters. It is currently downloadable from TLai Enterprises. A Single User License costs US$22.50.

AmarilloUSAF Pro (TrueType):

Or, if you'd rather not pay, there is a very nice alternative font named Bombardier, available as a free download from

Bombardier (TrueType):