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Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?  
User currently offlineChase From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 1054 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1866 times:

I'm going spotting soon, and since the airline I worked for (TZ) has only Boeing a/c and L-1011s, I don't know much about identifying other manufacturer's aircraft, such as Airbus, Embraer, etc.
I'm looking for a small (preferably could be printed on 1-2 sheets of paper) guide something along the lines of:

Step 1:
If jet engines, jump to step 2.
If props, jump to step 3.

Step 2:
If two engines, jump to step 4.
If three engines, jump to step 5.
If four engines, jump to step 6.

Step 3:
blah blah

Step 4:
blah blah

Step 5:
If the middle engine is partway up the tail, it's a DC-10.
If the other two engines aren't mounted under the wings, it's a 727.
If the other two engines are wing-mounted and the middle engine is sitting right on top of the fuselage, it's an L-1011.
...blah blah

Step 6:
If it's got a hump, it's a 747.
If the hump has _ windows, it's a 747-100 or 747-200.
...blah blah

Yes, I know that the little "mock guide" I just made up is very, very incomplete . But...can anybody point me to the kind of resource I'm looking for? At this point I'm only interested in pax a/c types that would likely be seen in the US. Thanks in advance!

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1852 times:

Have you seen this site: http://www.luchtzak.be/modules.php?name=Aircraft-Identifier ?

User currently offlineCarmenlu15 From Guatemala, joined Dec 2004, 4748 posts, RR: 32
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1812 times:

I've learned a lot playing the airliner identification quiz here, you should give it a try. http://www.airliners.net/quiz/


Being a pioneer in any field is not by itself a guarantee of continued success - Pan Am, anyone?
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3292 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1787 times:
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That Airplane Identifier looks cool.

HOWEVER...

I tried it with Concorde and it told me I was looking at a DC-8! Concorde is not on the list. If the creator is on A.Net, please add it, as I tried Concorde purely on the premise that my cousin asked me about it and while I knew what it was, if I'd referred him to this he wouldn't have been able to find out!

Not trying to be critical, even though it sounds like it, just some friendly advice.

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offline727EMflyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1730 times:

I would say the first step is to familiarize yourself with the basic types: Be able to differentiate a 737 from an A32X etc. Each type has some pretty characteristic looks that a little basic photo studying can teach you. For example, the 737 sits low to the ground while the 32X is elevated; the 737 has pointy nose, 32X is more round and stubby; 737 wings are set mid-body while 32X are somewhat forward; some 737 have large blended winglets, all 32X have small triangular wingtip fences; 737 tail has a small "wedge" in front of it (except 100/200 series) while 32X is more of a straight line straight; engines are sometimes dead giveaways e.g. JT-8D's (long, narrow old-fashioned looking jet) on 731/2, flattened nacell on 733 and later, and IAE's (mixing nacelle) on some 32X. Once you can tell similar makes apart, you can focus on sub-types, such as knowing 319's and 318's have one overwing exit while 320 has two and 321 has doors forward and aft of wings instead of overwing's.

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Some competing types have very few differences, so they are tougher. For example 767 and A300 can be tough to tell apart from a distance... especially early 300's without wingtip fences. And if you don't know them well it can be tough to differentiate between 757's and A321's. On the flip side, some aircraft are uniquely distinctive (can you say 747?!) and the only question is which version.

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A bit trickier to the casual observer are RJ's. Again look at some photos, you will note that ERJ's are very thin compared to their Canadian counterparts and their engines are housed in "closed" nacelles whereas the CRJ nacelles look more like a classic Pratt or GE underwing configuration.

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Prop's are fairly easy as there are only a handful of distinctive types in regular service. High wing? Dash-8 series or ATR: Roundish nose and main gear on the fuselage is ATR while pointy nose and nacelle mounted main gear is a Dash-8. Low wing? EMB-120, Saab 340/2000, or Beech 1900: Conventional tail means Saab, T-tail mens Embraer or Beech. Tall fuselage with egg-shaped fuselage is a Beech and a more proportionate looking fuse is an Embraer.

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Photo © Mark Plumley CLE Spotters



User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1651 times:

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 3):
Not trying to be critical, even though it sounds like it, just some friendly advice.

Suggest you contact the 'designer' - his details are at the link I posted above.


User currently offlineStylo777 From Turkey, joined Feb 2006, 2904 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1587 times:

727EMFlyer great post!
Can you please tell me how do you differ between B737-300 and -500 ?
THX


User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1568 times:

Quoting 727EMflyer (Reply 4):
319's and 318's have one overwing exit

SqueezieJets 319s have two overwing exits due to their high density configuration. (but that is the only Airbus they operate)


User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1560 times:

Quoting Stylo777 (Reply 6):
Can you please tell me how do you differ between B737-300 and -500 ?

You can always consult the airliners.net data base.

B737-300
B737-500


User currently offlineChase From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 1054 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1547 times:

WOW! Thank you so much for the above posts, 727EMFlyer, ANother, and Carmenlu15! Very informative, and just the kind of info I was looking for.

User currently offlineLegoguy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 3311 posts, RR: 40
Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1540 times:

I find that, when on airliners.net, looking at the tailcone of each aircraft helps to identify it (instead of looking at the name of the aircraft under the picture0.

777 has a tailcone like a flat screwdriver, where as the 767 and 757 tailcone is sort of short and stumpy.

A330 and A340 tailcones tend to be flat. By this I mean that the fuselage is flat all the way down to the very end.

However everyone has their own methods to identifying an aircraft. I myself can identify most aircraft types, except for the 737. The only obvious one in the 737 series to identify is the 200 series.

Enjoy your spotting trip



Can you say 'Beer Can' without sounding like a Jamaican saying 'Bacon'?
User currently offlineVisityyj From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1513 times:

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 3):
I tried it with Concorde and it told me I was looking at a DC-8! Concorde is not on the list.

I assume that's because the chance of you seeing a Concorde while spotting is quite low  Wink


User currently offlinePilotaydin From Turkey, joined Sep 2004, 2537 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1486 times:

here are some basics...you'd have to e-mail me for details about a/c...

people confuse the A320 and the 757.....

1. The Airbus a/c have a forward slanting nosegear assembly
2. The A321 has exits that are all the same size, 4 evenly distributed
3. The top portion of Boeing a/c cockpit windows are flat, the bottom is flat
on Airbus a/c (taper)
4. The A321 has wingtip fences, 757 may have huge winglets
5. The A321 only have 2 tires, the 757 has 4 on each assembly

Differences between 757 and 767

1. 767 has inboard AND outboard ailerons
2. 767 has a conical symmetry fuselage, the 757 has a curved nosetop and flatter bottom

767 and 777

1. 777 has a beaver tail
2. 777 has 6 tires on each assembly

if you want more about any a/c lemme know....i used to teach a class in college on this...



The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
User currently offlineStylo777 From Turkey, joined Feb 2006, 2904 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 1412 times:

Quoting ANother (Reply 8):
You can always consult the airliners.net data base.

B737-300
B737-500

THX for your reply ANother, but that doesn't help me to differ between these two types. I am sure that the -300 and -500 have characteristics which allows me to differ between each other. Something like the A320 and A321 with the middle exits...

Ori


User currently offlineComairGuyCVG From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 335 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 1406 times:
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I would just go to the pics on this site and look, and look, and look some more.  Smile

User currently offline727EMflyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 1372 times:

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, Stylo777... The best way I know to tell a 733 from a 735 is to look at how stumpy the plane looks. 733 and 73G look failry proportionate, more along the lines of a 763, while the 735/6 seem really short, and their tail looks big... because it is bigger! (Due to shorter moment-arm it needs a bigger control surface to have the same effect.) If you care enough to remember a couple numbers, and are able to do some quick counting, the -300 has 10 windows between the front doors and the "gap" w/out a window while the -500 has 8 in the same space (both have 5 between the gap and the overwing exit)

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User currently offlineStylo777 From Turkey, joined Feb 2006, 2904 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1339 times:

:D THX! I see me counting the windows all the time  Big grin
Lufthansa have a huge fleet based here in FRA and every time I am confused about the actual version. My only help so far was the registration. But now I will count the windows Big grin

THX
Ori


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