In approx. 1985 Deckel split the FP2/3/4NC series into 2 parts, probably to be able to sell a line of cheaper machines.
These cheaper machines were the "A" series, not to be confused with the earlier straight-line "A" series.
As a rule, any FP2/3/4NC machine after 1985 that had the regular low speed head (swivel sideways instead of backwards) is an "A" machine.
As a rule any FP2/3/4NC machine with the flip-backwards 6300rpm head is NOT an "A" machine.
"A" machines usually had the Contour 3 control, but later also the Dialog 11 control.
Toolchanger machines had to be of the "A" type because only that head worked with the tool changer.
An "A" machine is recognizable by the x-axis motor without assessory hook-ups (cost extra), no flip head (eventhough after 1985), flat electrical cabinet that fits under y-axis, coolant tank beside the machine instead of behind it. And of course way too much sheet metal. The control support arm is much longer, bolted to the lower side of the machine base, and can be swiveled to the front of the machine.
Do you disagree with this definition? drop me a line! because I am not sure myself.
The following pictures show only D11 machines which gives a false impression. Very many had the Contour 3 control.
Supposedly like new 1990 FP2A with Dialog 11
Beautiful! Very late model. Right side window not removable, arm on these models in the front.