chase
Posts: 658
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:02 pm

Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Fri Jun 16, 2006 4:54 am

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!
 
ANother
Posts: 1833
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:47 am

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Fri Jun 16, 2006 5:06 am

 
carmenlu15
Posts: 4517
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2004 1:24 am

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Fri Jun 16, 2006 5:38 am

I've learned a lot playing the airliner identification quiz here, you should give it a try. http://www.airliners.net/quiz/
Don't expect to see me around that much (if at all) -- the contact link should still work, though.
 
ANITIX87
Posts: 2952
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Fri Jun 16, 2006 5:58 am

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
 
727EMflyer
Posts: 538
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 3:22 am

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:55 am

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.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Carlos A. Morillo Doria
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Normando Carvalho Jr.



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Matheus M. de F. Barbosa
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Antonio Carrasquilla - Iberian Spotters


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.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John Yu
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John Yu



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Thomas Wirtenberger
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Thomas Wirtenberger


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.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © I. Gunawan
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Paul Robbins


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.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Peter Tonna
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mats Sålder



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © George Canciani



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Matthew C. Lyons
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mark Plumley CLE Spotters

 
ANother
Posts: 1833
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:47 am

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Fri Jun 16, 2006 6:13 pm

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.
 
stylo777
Posts: 1996
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Fri Jun 16, 2006 10:35 pm

727EMFlyer great post!
Can you please tell me how do you differ between B737-300 and -500 ?
THX
 
ANother
Posts: 1833
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:47 am

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:04 pm

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)
 
ANother
Posts: 1833
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:47 am

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:09 pm

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
 
chase
Posts: 658
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:02 pm

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:24 pm

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.
 
legoguy
Posts: 2970
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:59 pm

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:35 pm

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'?
 
visityyj
Posts: 380
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2000 7:23 am

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Sat Jun 17, 2006 12:11 am

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
 
pilotaydin
Posts: 2099
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:30 am

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Sat Jun 17, 2006 12:43 am

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!
 
stylo777
Posts: 1996
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:39 pm

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
 
comairguycvg
Posts: 235
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2006 5:01 pm

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Sat Jun 17, 2006 3:17 pm

I would just go to the pics on this site and look, and look, and look some more.  Smile
Worked at: CV62, RJTA, KNLC, CV63, KNFL, OKAJ, KTRI, CV67, KMGE, KNQX, KVPS, KPIT, KCVG, KTYS, KATL
 
727EMflyer
Posts: 538
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 3:22 am

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Sat Jun 17, 2006 5:13 pm

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)

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © AirNikon
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © AirNikon

 
stylo777
Posts: 1996
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Detailed Steps To Identify A/c Type?

Sat Jun 17, 2006 6:44 pm

: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

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Adipasquale, Andy33, Baidu [Spider], BobPatterson, DLX737200, Gemuser, lcycs300, Mani87, na, Navion, OA940, qf789, raylee67, rbrunner, RickNRoll, sassiciai, tonymctigue, tvh and 234 guests