Heavy, Super, and Flight of _ callsigns. What do they mean?

Hey everyone!

I’ve seen some confusion with callsigns while flying around, and I’d thought I’d make this topic to clarify what these callsign suffixes mean.

Heavy: The heavy callsign is used for an aircraft with a MTOW (Max takeoff weight) of 300,000 lbs (136077.711 kilograms) and a high rate of wake turbulence.

Super: Super technically means “Super Heavy.” It is only used for the Airbus A380 and Antinov An-225.

Flight of 2-10: These callsigns are used when flying in a group. For example, the leader would use the callsign “Air Force 225 Flight of 2” and the second member would use “Air Force 225 Flight of 2.” and so on (including the number of members)

I hope this cleared up any confusion!



Why is this in support? Good topic though.


You would both use flight of 2 not just the second aircraft.


Great topic. Hopefully it helps out our friends in the Cessna 208 with the callsign Fedex 508 Super Flight of 8.


Thanks Man!
Really helped me, I had no idea what they ment until this post was up!

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The 757 does not operate with ‘heavy’ in its callsign, however, ATC treats it like a heavy.


Incorrect - the 757 does not use a heavy callsign, just ATC treat it as a heavy


Hahahahaha. Yes. I hate those pilots.


Corrected! Thanks for the heads up!


Good topic!

And on the flight of x, here’s a good tutorial from Mark:


Really annoying how many people use the “flight of XX” when not really a group :( good post!

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Pretty strong word mate.

Great topic! Will clear most confusion in TS1 pilots as @Kevin said.

For flight of, when ATC issues an instruction, is it for that particular leader aircraft or the whole squadron?

The whole squadron. If you ever see a true “flight of x” take off, they even take off at the same time.

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Slight correction: the weight is correct, but it isn’t gross weight. It refers to the MTOW (maximum take off weight) which means that it doesn’t matter how much the aircraft actually weighs – if it’s certified to take off with a weight at or above 300,000 lbs, it’s still under the heavy wake turbulence category.

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Aircraft which are capable of reaching these weights. An empty 747 might not weight that much, but since it is capable, it carries the heavy with it no matter when


thanks for the heads up! The website where I got this from probably made a typo or was wrong. Thanks!

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