Some months ago, I posed a question about adding the airline name to FS2004 AI flight plans filed under registration, specifically B.E.A. in the sixties, who used registrations up until 1969, prefixed by "Bealine". I now have managed to get this to work 90% - the 10% that doesn't sound quite right I can live with.
Starting with Viscounts (aivisc_HQ_800), I made a separate folder "aivisc_HQ_800 BEA". I changed the "atc_type=Viscount" to "atc_type=Bealine" and added "Bealine" to EVP - custom modifications-aircrafts-manufacturers. This now gives me (e.g.) "Heathrow tower, Bealine Golf Alpha Oscar Juliet Delta, 8 miles inbound ILS runway 28 right". OK, sometimes I hear (e.g.) "ground, Bealine Golf Alpha Oscar Juliet Delta is type Bealine, request clearance to xxx IFR", or "hold position, give way to the Bealine on the taxiway". This I can live with. So I have now done the same for B.E.A. Vanguards, Tridents, Argosies and Comets. Also several other airlines who were using registrations in the late 60's, including British United, Britannia, Autair and Sabena. Possibly not to everyone's taste, but, as I said above, it sound right 90% of the time.
Further to my earlier, other UK airlines I have flying under registrations in the late 60's are Dan Air, British Midland and Court Line (early 70's, although I remember them using flight numbers at some stage). AFAIK the remainder used flight numbers, including B.O.A.C., British Eagle, Caledonian, Cambrian, BKS/Northeast, Laker, Lloyd, Monarch. Not sure about Invicta and Skyways - I remember the Invicta Vanguards flying under their flight prefix IM (India Mike) + flight number but not sure if this was actually from the start of their Vanguard operations in 1971. I believe Sabena were the only major non-UK scheduled carrier still flying under registrations, which they did until at least 1977. Further info on the subject most welcome.
Something else I would like to do would be to truncate the registrations to the last 2 letters (after the initial radio call) rather than 3 which is the case at the moment e.g. Bealine Juliet Delta rather than Bealine Oscar Juliet Delta. The only way I can see of doing it would be to file flight plans with just the last 2 letters as the registration, which wouldn't really be a satisfactory solution. In the UK at least, controllers used to (and still do) refer to aircraft flying under registration, especially GA aircraft, by the first and last 2 letters e.g. G-ARBN would be shortened to Golf Bravo November. US registered aircraft would be shortened to the first and last 3 characters e.g. N1277C as November Seven Seven Charlie. Probably would need a complete rewrite of the FS2004 ATC program to achieve.
Well it's been many months but I've gone back to trying to abbreviate callsigns for AI aircraft flying under registrations to 2 letters. Filing the flight plan under just the last 2 letters obviously works but still sounds unrealistic - I want to hear the full callsign on the initial call then just the last 2 letters subsequently rather than 3. Yes it might seem a very minor thing but I try to get my 1960's and early 1970's AI traffic sounding as authentic as I can. The answer is pretty simple, don't know it didn't occur to me before. Put a space between the 3rd and 4th letters of the registration in the reg box in AIFP e.g. G-AP EA. The initial callsign won't change, only the ATC use of 3 letters. So BEA Vanguard G-APEA becomes Bealine Echo Alpha which is what I remember rather than Bealine Papa Echo Alpha. Only slight drawback is, if you have the "tail number" box checked in the "aircraft labels" option then the displayed registration will show the space. I can live with that. Now all I need to do is amend a few hundred flight plans....