How to Recognize the Type of Commercial Airplanes – PART#1

Have you ever been sitting in the airport waiting for your flight whilst watching planes of different sizes taxiing, taking – off, and/or landing in front of you? Did that ever make you wonder what type of planes are these? And how specialists differentiate between them?

Advertisements

Today I’ll be giving some simple and easy ways to differentiate between planes, with different angles of view. In this article (part#1) we will talk about Airbus and Boeing’s narrow-body airplanes. Let’s dig in!!

Advertisements

Narrow Body Airplanes

First, let’s know what ‘narrow-body airplane’ means.

A narrow-body aircraft or single-aisle aircraft is an airliner arranged along a single aisle permitting up to 6-abreast seating in a cabin below 4 meters (13 ft) in width. 

At shorter ranges, it is often left to the turbo-props as they can take off and land even on short runways due to their short-take-off ability.

Advertisements

Narrow Body Airplanes (Airbus & Boeing)

In Airbus these are:

  • Airbus A220
  • Airbus A320 Family includes
    • A318
    • A319
    • A320
    • A321

In Boeing these are:

  • Boeing B737 NG family; includes:
    • B737-700
    • B737-800
    • B737-900
  • Boeing 737MAX family; includes:
    • B737MAX8
    • B737MAX9
    • B737MAX 10
  • Boeing 757
Advertisements

Airbus A220

The Airbus A220 is a family of narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range jet airliners. The airliner was designed by Bombardier Aerospace and originally marketed as the Bombardier CSeries.

You can determine whether this airplane is an Airbus A220 by looking at:

The Nose:

Photo by: Alex Macheras

Wingtips:

Photo by: Airbus
Advertisements

Airbus A320 Family

The Airbus A320 family consists of narrow-body airliners. The A320 was introduced in April 1988 by Air France. The first member of the family was followed by the longer A321, the shorter A319, and the even shorter A318.

Usually, the a320 family airplanes look similar, but in different sizes.

Advertisements

A318

The A318 can be easily determined since it’s the smallest.

The A319, A320, and A321 can be noticed by their doors and sizes:

A320

Medium size compared to the A321 and the A319 with two small doors beside each other in the middle of the airplane.

A321

The A321 is the tallest in the family.

Since they are all a family, the A321 looks the same as the A320 and is longer with four separate doors along with the airplane.

Advertisements

A319

It looks similar to the A320 but smaller and with one small door in the middle of the airplane.

The A320 Family airplanes all have the same wingtip:

Advertisements

A320neo Family

The A320neo family airplanes all have the same mentioned specifications above with only one difference, which is the wingtips:

Advertisements

Boeing 737 Family

Advertisements

The Boeing 737 family is the most successful airliner lineage in the world. Orders for the first-generation Boeing 737-100 and 737-200 were placed in 1965 and since then, over 6,000 aircraft were produced. The family consists of three generations of aircraft.

The earliest was the Boeing 737 Original (which included the Boeing 737-100, -200, and -200 Advanced), followed by the Boeing 737 Classic series (including the Boeing 737-300, -400, and -500) and the Boeing 737 Next Generation, or Boeing 737 NG (including the Boeing 737-600, -700, -800 and -900), then the Boeing 737MAX (including the B737MAX7, MAX8, MAX9, and MAX10).

However, today we’ll only talk about the Boeing 737 Next Generation (NG) Family as well as the 737MAX family since they are the most popular nowadays.

Advertisements

Boeing 737 Next Generation (NG)

They all look the same, only the sizes are different here; they have similar noses, wingtips, and tails.

Nose

Advertisements

Wingtip

Advertisements

Tail

Also an interesting fact about Boeing 737 is that they do not have a landing gear door. The aircraft’s main landing gear wheels are not covered, and they remain exposed even when fully retracted. To know why doesn’t the Boeing 737 have landing gear doors you can head to this article.

Advertisements

Boeing 737MAX Family

The 737 MAX is a fourth-generation Boeing 737, re-engined with CFM LEAP turbofans. It is based on earlier 737 designs, re-engined with more efficient CFM International LEAP-1B engines, aerodynamic changes, which include its distinctive split-tip winglets, and airframe modifications.

Wingtips

Engines

And comparing the B737MAX engines with its previous generation the B737 NG:

Advertisements

Boeing 757

The Boeing 757 can be noticed by its nose and its regular wing with no wingtips.

Nose

Wings

One more thing about the Boeing 757 is that it looks really narrow.

Read now: PART#2 of this article “Airbus’s Wide Airplanes”.

Thank you!

Advertisements

Published by Youssef Yahya

Hello everyone! I’m Youssef Yahya, the founder of Aviation for Aviators. I’m an Egyptian, born and raised in Saudi Arabia. My passion for aviation can’t be described! I fell in love with this field since childhood, these times when I was used to watching “Air Crash Investigation” on “National Geographic” every Tuesday night, this enthusiasm got and will always get evolved on each and every flight. My dream job since 10 was to live in the skies as a commercial pilot, this dream began when I was on an outbound flight operated by, the queen of the skies, a Boeing 747, I was just amazed by how aircraft fly and the amazing mechanism of these birds!!

5 thoughts on “How to Recognize the Type of Commercial Airplanes – PART#1

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM NOW!

We are glad to announce that we are relaunching our Instagram page after we have reached great milestones on our original account (@aviation_for_aviators); more than 83k followers! But we will work hard to return even better than always! We would appreciate your support by following our new Instagram page!


for more details about our old Instagram page (83k+ followers) please tap here

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Join others in a quick recap of AVIATION we talk weekly fresh to your email!

We don’t spam..We promise!

%d bloggers like this: