Size of marks.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, each operator of an aircraft must display marks on the aircraft meeting the size requirements of this section.
(b) Height. Except as provided in paragraph (h) of this part, the nationality and registration marks must be of equal height and on—
(1) Fixed-wing aircraft, must be at least 12 inches high, except that:
(i) An aircraft displaying marks at least 2 inches high before November 1, 1981 and an aircraft manufactured after November 2, 1981, but before January 1, 1983, may display those marks until the aircraft is repainted or the marks are repainted, restored, or changed;
(ii) Marks at least 3 inches high may be displayed on a glider;
(iii) Marks at least 3 inches high may be displayed on an aircraft for which the FAA has issued an experimental certificate under § 21.191 (d), § 21.191 (g), or § 21.191 (i) of this chapter to operate as an exhibition aircraft, an amateur-built aircraft, or a light-sport aircraft when the maximum cruising speed of the aircraft does not exceed 180 knots CAS; and
(iv) Marks may be displayed on an exhibition, antique, or other aircraft in accordance with § 45.22.
(2) Airships, spherical balloons, nonspherical balloons, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft must be at least 3 inches high; and
(3) Rotorcraft, must be at least 12 inches high, except that rotorcraft displaying before April 18, 1983, marks required by § 45.29(b)(3) in effect on April 17, 1983, and rotorcraft manufactured on or after April 18, 1983, but before December 31, 1983, may display those marks until the aircraft is repainted or the marks are repainted, restored, or changed.
(c) Width. Characters must be two-thirds as wide as they are high, except the number “1”, which must be one-sixth as wide as it is high, and the letters “M” and “W” which may be as wide as they are high.
(d) Thickness. Characters must be formed by solid lines one-sixth as thick as the character is high.
(e) Spacing. The space between each character may not be less than one-fourth of the character width.
(f) If either one of the surfaces authorized for displaying required marks under § 45.25 is large enough for display of marks meeting the size requirements of this section and the other is not, full size marks must be placed on the larger surface. If neither surface is large enough for full-size marks, marks as large as practicable must be displayed on the larger of the two surfaces. If no surface authorized to be marked by § 45.27 is large enough for full-size marks, marks as large as practicable must be placed on the largest of the authorized surfaces. However, powered parachutes and weight-shift-control aircraft must display marks at least 3 inches high.
(g) Uniformity. The marks required by this part for fixed-wing aircraft must have the same height, width, thickness, and spacing on both sides of the aircraft.
(h) After March 7, 1988, each operator of an aircraft penetrating an ADIZ or DEWIZ must display on that aircraft temporary or permanent nationality and registration marks at least 12 inches high.
[Doc. No. 2047, 29 FR 3223, Mar. 11, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 45-2, 31 FR 9863, July 21, 1966; Amdt. 45-9, 42 FR 41102, Aug. 15, 1977; Amdt. 45-13, 46 FR 48604, Oct. 1, 1981; Amdt. 45-15, 48 FR 11392, Mar. 17, 1983; Amdt. 45-17, 52 FR 34102, Sept. 9, 1987; 52 FR 36566, Sept. 30, 1987; Amdt. 45-24, 69 FR 44863, July 27, 2004; Amdt. 45-25, 72 FR 52469, Sept. 14, 2007]