On this page you can access and download, in pdf format, the entire reel by reel contents guide for the complete
set of 319 Individual Aircraft Record Card (IARC) reels held by the United States Air Force (USAF).
In addition, there is also a contents guide for the 93 file set of USAF Delivery Logs detailing the delivery
of individual aircraft from manufacturer to USAF service.

These contents guides took website author and aviation historian Simon D. Beck 12 months to compile and are
presented here for fellow researchers and aviation enthusiasts to download and use at their convenience.
The author would like to retain his right as the creator and writer of these contents guides and would also
appreciate any feedback to correct possible typo errors or additional notes researchers may think are needed.

Please email corrections or feedback to:
Simon D. Beck
sdbeck AT

  pdf Files:  
  IARC Reels ACR-001 to ACR-040  
  IARC Reels ACR-041 to ACR-080  
  IARC Reels ACR-081 to ACR-118  
  IARC Reels OACR-01 to OACR-10  
  IARC Reels AC-01 to AC-75  
  IARC Reels ACA-01 to AC-89  
  IARC Reels AVH-01 to AVH-27  
  USAF Delivery Logs  

What are IARC Reels?
During 1923 the United States military began keeping movement and assignment records for each individual aircraft
in their inventory. These were hand written on 'cards' by clerks and often difficult to read. As the air component of the
U.S. military evolved into a more sophisticated and technological entity so did the methods for tracking and recording
aircraft unit assignments, movements and functions. It was around the mid-1930s that machine typed 'aircraft cards'
began to appear although many remained hand written throughout World War II. As computers evolved in the
decades after the war, Individual Aircraft Records Cards (IARC) became clearer with more codes and information.
Over time the USAF have recorded these cards onto microfilm 'reels' which in turn have then been converted to the
pdf files available to the public today. Even in modern pdf format these files are still called 'reels' or 'cards' by many
researchers. Many of the cards were poorly scanned to microfilm with blurry, smudged or over-exposed scans common
place. Most of the content however is well scanned and with a bit of close examination can be easily deciphered by
an educated researcher or historian.
There have been multiple major changes in the IARC history as outlined below.
ACR Reels
These span the years 1923 to 1951 comprising 118 reels and contain aircraft in the USAF inventory that were made
inactive up to 1951. This is the largest set by far and contain aircraft from the earliest days of the air force plus the
gigantic collection for World War II built aircraft.
OACR Reels
The same as ACR but contain aircraft that were "out of file" at the time they were scanned to microfilm. These
10 reels include many aircraft assigned overseas to Europe and the Pacific for example. Virtually all of them
are World War II era serving aircraft.
AC Reels
USAF aircraft that were in service during the years 1951 to 1955 contain 75 reels and also contain many
of the Wold War II era aircraft still in service at that time like the A-26, C-47 and P-51.
ACA Reels
Aircraft in service from 1955 to 1964 contains 89 reels and presents a new format reflecting the wider
use of the computerized typing machines of the period.
AVH Reels
These are 27 reels spanning the inventory from 1964 to 1979 containing many of the USAF's inventory
in The Vietnam War and many of the mass retirements of aircraft after that conflict during the 1970s.
Some later reels are hard to read and become quite sparse in the later 1970s period.
What about reels after 1979?
The IARC system changed again after 1979 but these have not been scanned to microfilm or even
converted to pdf format. Aircraft histories from this period are available to the public but a request
must be made through the USAF Historical Research Agency at Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

A typical ACR card layout from 1946 showing both machine typed and hand written entries.
What are USAF Delivery Logs?
These 93 pdf files are scanned from original USAF sheets that recorded aircraft delivery dates from the
the manufacturer to initial air force units. The files are arranged in various ways across the collection and cover
the 1930s era right up to the late 1970s. The data makes an excellent confirmation source for dates found in IARC
entries. There are some USAF to US Navy files as well.
Where do I obtain IARC Reels and Delivery Logs?
Visit the website for the USAF Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) located at Maxwell AFB, Alabama
and make a request. You can also visit the agency in person by making a booking at the website.

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