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Slightly OT: Different variants of Airbus and Boeing

Slightly OT: Different variants of Airbus and Boeing

Old Jun 20, 11, 10:01 am
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Slightly OT: Different variants of Airbus and Boeing

Is there any way to tell the difference between an airbus and a boeing - further to this, is there an easy way to establish what type of boeing or airbus a plane might be. This question excudes looking at the safety card, reading (probably) near the tail etc etc. Just a quick glance? Obviously A380 and 747 don't count - those are the easy ones!
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Old Jun 20, 11, 10:14 am
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Just a question of visual recognition. The better you know them, the easier it is to tell them apart. The more detail you descend into, the fewer people will be able to do it quickly. I wouldn't be confident of distinguishing 737-300, -400, -500, -600, -700, -800 or -900 at a quick glance - but I know some people who can.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 10:22 am
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On short-haul aircrafts, Boeing engines are always slightly "flat" at the bottom whereas the Airbus has "round engines" - that is the easiest visual recognition from the outside.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 10:26 am
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Boeing:

Longer nose.
737-400 has two over-wing exits on either side
737-300/500 has one over-wing exit either side
777 is bigger than 767
767 is bigger than 757



Airbus:

Stumpier nose
Winglets that look a bit like this: < on the end of each wing
319 - one overwing exit either side
320 - two overwing exits either side
321 - 4 exit doors either side (I think - I'm out of check on this aircraft)
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Old Jun 20, 11, 10:29 am
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Come work at LHR for a bit. I couldn't have told you the difference between a Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, for example, when i first started here, but now i would say i'm pretty good at identifying any type of aircraft that's regular around here. In a particularly geeky moment, waiting by the runway for an arrival, our engineer told me how to spot the Airbus and Boeing planes on approach from the wingtip strobes.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by Dave Z View Post
In a particularly geeky moment, waiting by the runway for an arrival, our engineer told me how to spot the Airbus and Boeing planes on approach from the wingtip strobes.
Airbus wingtip strobes flash twice in quick succession, Boeing lights flash only once
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Old Jun 20, 11, 10:40 am
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hate to say it, but not all Boeings carry CFM-56s (it's the only engine I can recognise because it is the only non-round one!).

Here's my id process (please note, there will be errors in this, I can recognise many planes from silhouette, so don't always have an id feature in mind):

Does it have propellers?
If yes, mutter about Dash-8s, Fokker 50s and ATRs and give up.

Is it grey?
If yes, it's military. Ignore. You'll be breaking espionage laws to try and ID (that said UK fast jets aren't too bad now we've got rid of the Jag vs harrier issue, but the transports are murderous).
If no:
How many engines:
4 : is it big?
If no - BAE146 (which has a new name RJ something).
If yes - does it have a hump:
if yes - B747 (if it has winglets then it's a 744)
if no - A380 or A340.
A380 is huge
A340 is sleek and long

If 2 engined, it's a lot more complex:
Are engines rear mounted?
If yes - MD80 or F100. KLM is main user of F100

If no:
Does it have winglets?
If yes then Airbus, 738 or 757:
757 has a nice face with a turndown nose.
Airbus as a tribe are best separable by length and width. Does it look big/little/short long. The A319-21 family are horrible, but my rule of thumb is the bigger the plane the higher the number. 738s just look racier.

So that leaves a bunch of regionals - which get classed into the 'life is too short' category with the turboprops (Embraers, Bombadiers, A318 which is cute etc), plus some of the bigger planes
73x - like an airbus but without winglets. Smallest of the regularly flying boeings.
777 - very long, elongated rear exhaust vent. Huge engines in comparison with body size. Just general size.
767 - quite dumpy compared with 777/747/330.
330 - like 340 but two engined.
300 - virtually extinct, few carriers use these.

The 737 vs A32x- they also have a different number of underwing struts - I think Boeing has 4 and Airbus has 5, but I could have them around the wrong way. Airport bod pointed that out but I don't really use it.

It's all much easier when they leave the make and model on the airframe
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Old Jun 20, 11, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by Baconroll View Post
319 - one overwing exit either side
Apart from Easy Jet's A319s which have 2 each side - originally so they could get more seats in and it became an evac requirement.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 10:50 am
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I can tell instantly just by looking at an aircraft what it is.

*Getting back in my geekmobile now*
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Old Jun 20, 11, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
737-300, -400, -500, -600, -700, -800 or -900
300 - Middle sized, 400 - longest, 500 shortest (all with no winglets and very flat engine nacelles)

600 - shortest, 700 - middle sized, 800 and 900 longest (all with winglets and rounder but still a little flat engine nacelles).
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Old Jun 20, 11, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by CT-UK View Post
Airbus wingtip strobes flash twice in quick succession, Boeing lights flash only once
Yep. I hate that i know that sometimes.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 10:56 am
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Originally Posted by Baconroll View Post
319 - one overwing exit either side
Some, including all of easyJet's, have two on each side because this was the only way to meet the evacuation requirements with high-density seating.

Neil
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Old Jun 20, 11, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by Genius1 View Post
I can tell instantly just by looking at an aircraft what it is.

*Getting back in my geekmobile now*
Any aircraft??

No cheating now then, what is this?

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Old Jun 20, 11, 11:06 am
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Ooops. My bad. I don't go anywhere near anything orange as it doesn't suit my complection
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Old Jun 20, 11, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by CT-UK View Post
Any aircraft??
No cheating now then, what is this?
I should have clarified that I'm most adept at Boeing and Airbus aircraft (all variants of ).

Looks like an Antonov, but not sure which one. Possibly An-148?
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