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Identification Problems For A Newbie.  
User currently offlineToady From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 724 posts, RR: 0
Posted (14 years 9 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 1011 times:

I'm nowhere near as serious about civil aviation as some of you folk (and maybe I never will be) but I'm begining to enjoy most aspects of the subject. Gone are the days when I saw an aircraft and simply thought "I wonder what that is" and I now have a slight appreciation of aircraft identification.
However, it's not an area without difficulties! I found this photograph in a gallery of Northwest DC10s but (to me) it doesn't look like a NW DC10. At first glance, my guess (please don't laugh too much) would have been a US Airways A330 or Boeing 767. What's really 'thrown' me about this picture is the lack of a third contrail. I read in a recent thread that some DC10 pilots would throttle back the #2 engine during cruise, could that explain the lack of a third contrail? Or is the third one simply hidden behind the contrail from #1 engine?
Also, the trailing edge of the tail seems to be nearly vertical, whereas it's my understanding that a DC10's tail has a sharp rake and that its top (horizontal) edge is quite short.
Furthermore, I'll guess that the Northwest colour scheme doesn't show too clearly at that altitude!

Any comments or advice from experienced spotters would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,


4 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineFlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (14 years 9 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 989 times:

Definitely not a DC-10. Twin-engined aircraft for sure. My best educated guess is..it's an A320. This plane has a "nose" to it. DC-10s have practically no noses at all. It certainly looks like a A320 to me anyway. Regards.

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
User currently offlineToady From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 724 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (14 years 9 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 962 times:

Ha! Maybe I'm not as dumb as I thought Smile
FlagshipAZ, thanks for your input. I can't see a tail-mounted engine in that picture but I remember a recent thread about a 727 performing a very low level fuel dump - in that case, the centre engine was all but invisible due to lighting and the angle of the shot & I wondered if that may also be the case with this "DC10". Apparently not!

Thanks again,

User currently offlineBlackened From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 9 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 949 times:

That's not a DC-10 of course. Never! It looks like a A321 to me or maybe a B757. You can see the tail very clearly, no engine! Pretty stupid to put that in a DC-10 gallery.

User currently offlineDonder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6660 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (14 years 9 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 944 times:

Aer Lingus A321 me thinks

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