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This page is for those of you who'd like to know just who is this guy who makes this Designation-Systems.Net site. Or you may ask why I'm going through the trouble of storing endless lists of military nomenclature on the web. If you're interested, read on ... if not, well, there's a "Back" button on every browser!

Me on a trip in London

München Introducing myself ...

My name is Andreas Parsch, I am 40 years old and currently living in the big-but-beautiful city of München (Munich) in Germany. I am married to Ute, the best possible wife on the planet, and have one kid, our son Christian.

I grew up in the small town of Forchheim in nothern Bavaria. My childhood could hardly have been better, so if I should ever get myself into real trouble, it's all my own fault! Even in pre-school days I was very intrigued by numbers, and I still vaguely remember my fascination when I discovered that you can actually count forever. Since that time, a strange attraction to numerical sequences is somehow hard-wired into my brain ...

My wife Ute My son Christian

With that in mind, it's easy to imagine that I actually did (and still do) like mathematics, and my education has been rather science-centered. I finished school with main courses in Mathematics and Physics, and went on to study at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, where I finished with a degree in Physics in 1992. In 1991, I also heard the term "Internet" for the first time, and used the university PCs to download freeware DOS programs from FTP servers around the globe. Almost at the time when I finished university, upper-grade students began to get what were called "Internet-Mail" accounts, which were routed into the old messaging system then in use - so always remember: there was an Internet before the Web! Anyway, my interest in computers and global data transfer was firmly in place ...

DAVID Systems Where's the bucks?

Job prospects for physicists were rather bleak after I finished university, and so I had to turn my computer-programming hobby into a profession. My current employer is DAVID Systems, a leading international company for Computer Aided Broadcasting (CAB) systems, which are used in a computer-based radio and video producing and broadcasting environment. I'm mostly programming back-end server applications, mainly because user interface design isn't one of my strengths - evidence for this is the rather spartan look of the whole Designation-Systems.Net site.

OK, but what about aircraft ... and designations??

In fact, until my 12th birthday, I couldn't have cared less about aircraft, but then I got a plastic model kit of an F-14A Tomcat. Not much later, I bought a large German reference book which included an overview of selected aircraft types of all countries and periods. The kit and the book must have flipped some switch. I built more than 200 aircraft models in the following years (not anymore, though), and my aircraft, spaceflight and related military library currently consists of 300+ volumes (from small brochures to second-hand copies of "Jane's"), using about 6 meters of real-estate on my bookshelves ... and still growing!

Me in an F-16 cockpit mockup Almost as soon as I realized that U.S. military aircraft used some consistent (well, sort-of) numbering system, I started to tabulate designations. Missing numbers in my sequences annoyed me from the beginning, since I always suspected to have missed some particularly interesting plane. Over the years, I found more than one book which included essentially complete aircraft designation listings, so I considered my curiosity in this particular area satisfied. For missiles and other equipment, it was a different story ... no printed listings anywhere.

After I entered the World Wide Web for the first time in 1996, I was simply stunned about the amount of information available - and 1996 was nothing compared to now. I was 100% sure that I wouldn't need to maintain my own designation lists any longer, because sometime, somewhere on the Web, this would be available online for free. Four years later, I had to reconsider. Maybe nobody thought of these things as interesting enough to warrant the effort of compiling and publishing such lists. In June 2000 I finally said "Everyone is publishing his favourite stuff on the Web, so it won't hurt to add a little more" - and so the core of today's Designation-Systems.Net went online in July 2000. Of course, the further development of the site did benefit greatly from the fact that I was definitely not the only one interested in the topic!

Is this a life?

What else do I do in my spare time, when I don't write for my website? Well, first of all comes my family, of course. The little one is definitely more rewarding to play with than a computer keyboard, and life is much more colourful with children ... even if these colours sometimes show up as red and green crayons rubbed into the carpet! My son Christian
FC Bayern München The other great passion, which my wife and I are sharing, is football - and that's real football (called "soccer" in some remote places on this planet), not the strange game, which the Americans call "football", where it's not allowed to handle the ball with your feet! We are big-time supporters of the FC Bayern München, Germany's most successful football club, and 2001 winner of the European Champions League (comparable to the Super Bowl in American Football, only much more important and prestigious - to us!). Before our son was born we used to visit every single home match of Bayern in full football supporters' regalia! We definitely plan to continue this tradition when Christian gets older, and things are looking good - the 2006 FIFA World Cup has once and for all infected him with the "football virus" :-).

I also try not to completely forget my physics background and regularly read scientific magazines and books, with special interest in topics related to General Relativity, like wormholes, CTLs (closed time-like loops, vulgo time-machines), and possibilities of faster-than-light travel. Unfortunately, modern physics has some decidedly pessimistic words to say about the realizability of these issues, so bad luck for the UFO believers!

Among my favorite contemporary fiction authors are Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett. In cinema, I watch mainly mainstream "block-buster" movies - I actually enjoy SFX-overkills like Jurassic Park and Star Wars, even if I know perfectly well that the plot has holes large enough to drive the Titanic through! My favorite movie of all-time is of a different sort, however - Monty Python's Life Of Brian.

Linux I would also like to add that I'm a supporter of the Linux open source operating system. You don't need WinDoze to do useful real-world work. All the pages on Designation-Systems.Net are completely designed, written, and maintained on a Linux system with a KDE graphical desktop environment.

Time to offend some people ...

Finally, a slightly non-streamlined remark. Although I am very interested in all things military - after all, I maintain a website with a military topic - I am definitely not a "militarist" type. My political attitude is firmly on the moderate left-wing side, and I actually fear "hawkish" politicians who vigorously promote military funding and action. I am by no means a full-scale pacifist, and agree that force is often needed in this far-from-perfect world, but senseless violence (often under the name of "revenge") is the wrong answer to everything, including previous senseless violence by the "other side". The events of 11 September 2001 did not change my attitude.

I hope you find the Designation-Systems.Net website useful and informative, even if you do not agree with the last paragraph. You can rest assured that you will never find any politically biased remark on this website, with the exception of this "personal" page.


If you have any questions, comments, or abuse to write, drop me an e-mail at

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Last Updated: 28 February 2008