Lima Victor register illustrated
|Thursday 30 August 2012||Text by Carlos Ay under Spotting & research|
While Argentine civil aviation dates back to the early 1910s, efforts to give it a degree of formality at the regulatory, technical and legal levels were initiated only in 1923. Even though the nation did not adhere to the International Air Regulation Convention signed in Paris on 13 October 1919, President Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear was the first to sign civil aviation regulations in 4 September 1925. According to Alvear’s temporary decree, all existing civil aircraft (as well as all those imported in the future) were to be considered under Argentine flag and their owners were required to register them with the Army Aeronautical Service (aircraft, airships and hot air balloons) or the Navy Aeronautical Service (hydroplanes and amphibious aircraft). Registration for those aircraft would use a national prefix (the letter “R”) followed by four letters identifying each individual registrations.
Aircraft registered with the Army were to use an “A” followed by a “C” if they were civil, a “G” if they belonged to the War Ministry (“Ministerio de Guerra”, hence the “G”) or an “M” if they belonged with the Navy Ministry (“Ministerio de Marina”, hence the “M”). Hydroplanes registered with the Navy were to use T, V, W, X and Z combinations in the third and fourth positions. The regulation was put into effect on 30 July 1926, but it was not very much adhered to until 1928. By that time, though, the four letter registration was be superseded by a correlative number starting in “1” and reaching “350” a decade later. Adhering to the Paris Convention, on 10 November 1937 the General Civil Aviation Directorate decided to discontinue the pre-existing system and to replace it with a new one employing a combination of five letters between LV-AAA and LV-ZZZ. In the following 70 years, registration space was segmented following the preferences and tastes of the incumbent authorities.
After experimenting with a number of complex registration allocation rules, approximately by the 1980s registrations started being allotted more or less sequentially and exploiting all and any empty slots available in the registration space. This notwithstanding, a number of registration ranges remains reserved for special cases: Gliders are allotted the LV-DAA to LV-EZZ range, albeit with LV-DMA to LV-DMZ reserved for demonstrators. Experimental and ultra-light aircraft operate with LV-X, LV-U or LV-UX prefixes, respectively, followed by a correlative number; while temporary Argentine manufacturer registrations were briefly allotted the LV-F prefix followed by their own correlative number. Aircraft imported from abroad, in turn, are allocated temporary registrations in the LV-PAA to LV-PZZ segment (these are the only registrations that can be used more than once, at least theoretically!). It is also worthy of mention that, even though the standard national registration prefix is LV, LQ is also used to identify aircraft in government use.
Gaceta Aeronáutica is pleased to launch this new special section to deal with a fascinating subject, and forthcoming reports are destined to provide an illustrated catalogue of Argentine civil-registered aircraft. Each issue will deal with a homogeneous block, indicating manufacturer, type and model, serial or construction number, last known owner and registration date plus (hopefully) one illustration of each aircraft in the block. Unlike other contents in the portal, this project hopes to become a popular community initiative where visitor, reader and contributor participation will be encouraged. To that purpose, we will activate our Facebook and Twitter platforms to interact with our readership while each report is edited (the hash tag #RegistroLV will also be used to mark our relevant tweets). We hope this active social engagement will contribute to increased data precision and assure that most (if not all) of the recorded aircraft get portrayed with an image representing their Argentine background.
Sources: Airliners; F. Halbritter: Aviones experimentales en Argentina (Boletín GIA, Argentina, 1982); F. Halbritter: Legislación de matrículas en la República Argentina (revista Aviación Latinoamericana, Argentina, 1983), and M. Magnusson and G. Pavlovcic: Registro Completo de Aeronaves Civiles de Argentina (Ediciones Argentinidad, Argentina, 2012).
This project was made feasible by the invaluable thrust provided by Baires Aviation Photography editors, who have been researching a wide range of sources to attain the largest coverage for this new Gaceta Aeronáutica section.