SXMbyKLM747
Topic Author
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 11:37 pm

How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Sun Oct 10, 2004 8:23 pm

Hi everybody

I am always wondering...probably like more of you...what kind of plane it is flying sky-high over my house...
How the ### can i recognise the plane type...i can just distinguish the nr. of motors, but then: If its 4, how can i see the difference between an A340 of a 747? Is the shape of the wings very different so i can recognise it???
Same holds for 2 engine planes.
/Robbert
MST/EHBK
 
DeltaWings
Posts: 1234
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 4:06 am

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Sun Oct 10, 2004 8:27 pm

This is exactly the reason, why I purchased 30-times- binoculors. On nice days you can see me just staring into the sky searching for planes flying high above.....
Homer: Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen.
 
SXMbyKLM747
Topic Author
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 11:37 pm

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Sun Oct 10, 2004 9:57 pm

good suggestion...
somebody got more ideas?
MST/EHBK
 
AirTrader
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 3:38 pm

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Sun Oct 10, 2004 10:11 pm

Good question. I live in the center of amsterdam, but on my roofterrace I have one of the best views of planes flying high over. I am always trying to see which airliner it is. The binoculars I have are too small. Anyone know which are good ones? Thanks Remi
Cabin Crew: doors to manuel and crossdress
 
User avatar
TS-IOR
Posts: 3500
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2001 9:44 pm

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Sun Oct 10, 2004 10:38 pm


...the shape of the wings could find out whether it is a 747 or an A340...Rear-engines aircraft are easy to identify,and also wingletted 737s
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 17097
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Sun Oct 10, 2004 10:44 pm

The wing sweep of the 747 is much less than than of the 340. Also if you see it slightly from the side you can tell if the plane has a hump.

I guess it's all about practice. There is not simple way to tell.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
dw747400
Posts: 1091
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2001 8:24 am

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Sun Oct 10, 2004 11:14 pm

I think you swapped the sweeps there... A340 is around 30 degrees (a bit more for the NG's) while the 747 was 37.5 (for the 400).

Honestly, though, if you can see that at cruise altitude, you are a better man than I... or at least have better eyes!
CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
 
boeing764
Posts: 262
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2001 7:24 am

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Sun Oct 10, 2004 11:32 pm

I use a pair of 20x50 binoculars to see the aircraft flying high above my house. With a VHF scanner tuned to the frequency these aircraft are using you can identify the flight number then look on the internet to sites such as http://www.flytecomm.com/cgi-bin/trackflight, or the airlines own website and click on 'flight status', enter the flight number and it will tell you what type of aircraft it is and it's routing. http://www.airnavsystems.com even has a live flight tracker that you can use to see all flights airborne in North America.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mathieu Pouliot


Another great way to identify the aircraft is by using an ACARS decoder. ACARS stands for Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System. Aircraft frequently send and recieve messages via ACARS, and the message will identify the flight number and the registration of the aircraft. You'll need a VHF reciever and decoding software on your pc. I use this website to check ACARS reports for my area: http://asia.geocities.com/sunshine_8088/
From Dr. King's America to Nelson Mandela's Africa, the journey of equality moves on.
 
airtrainer
Posts: 1492
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2003 11:44 pm

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your Hous

Mon Oct 11, 2004 12:41 am

I had some answers in a thread I started a few months ago, here's the link...

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/1512769/4/

I've found a small telescope to replace my 8x56 binoculars, it's not really easy but sometimes I'm able to identify some airlines flying over the house. Another solution would be to buy a digital camera like the Canon 300D with at least a 200mm lens, take pictures and then view the result on the computer. Looking at some pictures in the database, I really think it's a good idea but hummm, maybe quite expensive. Am I just crazy ?  Laugh out loud

SXMbyKLM747, feel free to email me if you want to talk about the topic !

Regards.
Life is short : eat dessert first !
 
COAMiG29
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:30 am

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Mon Oct 11, 2004 12:43 am

in reading the forum there are many good suggestions. thanks. i live right under an international route from dfw so i may be identifying planes soon.

--COAMiG29--
If Continental had a hub at DFW with nonstop flights I would always fly them, unfortunantely good things take time.
 
kim777fan
Posts: 497
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 11:47 pm

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Mon Oct 11, 2004 2:12 pm

Q. What time is it when you recognize the plane flying over your house as a BA 777??

A. Time to get a new house!!  Laugh out loud
 
ua777222
Posts: 2987
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2003 11:23 am

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Mon Oct 11, 2004 2:24 pm

If the a/c flieing over are at a lower altitude you can tell from the normal a/c "stand outs" as I like to call them. The 744 of course has the 4 engines, 777 has the stub tail, 767 just stands out to me, the 757 is very skinny and the 737 is in a class of it's own. The MD-11 I can tell is only Fed-Ex....

I live in an area where when it's light out and the skies are clear you can tell the airline and a/c. It's really great I think. The MD-11's that are going into OAK start their decent right over my school and house. A/c in and out of CCR are over the house and the usual Coast Guard or MedaLife helo's are a usual. With the added F-16/18 and other airshow fav's.

Thanks again.

UA777222
"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
 
Azul320
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 10:49 am

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Mon Oct 11, 2004 3:47 pm

How to recognise a plane over your house, you ask?
I believe it's the lights that blink simultaneously at the tips of the wings, most distinguishable at night of course, Boeing aircraft one blink simultaneously at each wing tip and Airbus Aircraft a double blink simultaneously at each wing tip...
Excuse me, while I kiss the sky
 
ZKSUJ
Posts: 6808
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 5:15 pm

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Mon Oct 11, 2004 6:16 pm

How high up are the aircraft flying.
Here at AKL it is pretty obvious because I roughly know what airlines flyin out or in at certain times of day. Also because to the colour scheme.
Here at AKL, it is also made easier by the fact that we do not see many varients of aircraft operated by different carriers.
eg. CX will only operate the A340 to AKL and on occasions the 744. Therefore, it will not be a 777 or A330 (do you get what I mean because it may sound confusing).
 
rushed
Posts: 239
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 3:48 pm

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:57 pm

Its easy.. just move closer to the airport. My partners brother lives directly in a flight path for sydney airport. Staying there a few weeks ago i could simply read the 'Boeing 737-400' title at rear of the plane.
travel blogging enthusiast :)
 
N62NA
Posts: 4006
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 1:05 am

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:06 pm

I use the Flight Explorer personal edition software. It costs about $10 per month but it's fantastic. I always know what's coming, so I can skip running out for the mundane AA MD80 and instead not miss the VS A346!

Their website is http://www.flightexplorer.com and you can download the software from there.
 
airtrainer
Posts: 1492
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2003 11:44 pm

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your Hous

Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:09 pm

Rushed, of course living close to an airport will help you seeing the aircrafts going in or out of that airport, but Robbert is talking about planes flying high  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Be well.
Life is short : eat dessert first !
 
ckfred
Posts: 4716
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:37 am

In looking up, if the plane has a very tapered or "bullet" nose, it's a Boeing 737.

A318s through 321s have fences on the wingtips, while 737NGs, if installed, have tall, skinny winglets.
 
noelg
Posts: 2313
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 11:39 pm

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:42 pm

Another way to help identify it is the colours. For instance, if I see a 4 engined airliner that's mainly white with a red flash up the tail I know it's BA.

I can't really get any closer without my scope, but I've been able to read the reg numbers from under the wing of overflights in the past (at about FL200).

Cheers,
Noel.
 
BCAL
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:16 pm

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:06 am

IIRC BEA (which merged with BOAC to become BA) at one time painted the wings of their aircraft red both top and bottom and the BEA logo also appeared underneath. This made their planes very easy to spot when flying overhead.

Does any airline still have their logo underneath the wings of their aircraft?

MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
upsmd11
Posts: 643
Joined: Sat May 17, 2003 10:56 am

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Wed Oct 13, 2004 5:16 am

If you are lucky enough to live in an area where the Passur system is in place you can always log on and find the flight via that system.

I was at a soccer game once and noticed a big 4-engine aircraft overhead crusing at 37,000 - 39,000 feet. I noted the time and then went home.

When I got home I pulled up Passur and I changed the replay to the correct time of when I had seen this flight. It ends up it was an LH flight going from DFW or HOU (can't remember) to FRA. The aircraft was, indeed, an A340 as well.

John
 
b741
Posts: 677
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 3:09 pm

RE: How To Recognise A Plane Flying Over Your House...

Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:42 am

I have 20x50 binos and can see the aircraft colors when they are at FL390.
Being Bilingual, I Speak English And Aviation