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.