Airplane spotting -2

In aviation, the flight length is defined as the distance of a flight. Commercial flights are often categorized into long-, medium- or short-haul by commercial airlines based on flight length, although there is no international standard definition and many airlines use air time or geographic boundaries instead. Route category lengths tend to define short-haul routes as being shorter than 600–800 nmi (1,100–1,500 km), long-haul as being longer than 2,200–2,600 nmi (4,100–4,800 km), and medium-haul as being in-between.

So today we will be looking at how to identify a long haul aircraft. As in one of the previous blog I had discussed how to identify a Boeing 737 and an Airbus A320.

AIRBUS A330 and BOEING 777

The Airbus A330 and the Boeing 777(pronounced Triple 7) are the most common long haul aircraft. They are similar in size, shape, range and some airline operate both. So here are some ways to find out.


Observe that the Airbus A330 body gear has 2 pairs of tyres/tires while the Boeing 777 has 3 pairs of it. It’s simple to remember a Boeing Triple 7 has 3 pairs and Airbus A330 has 2.

A Qatar Airways A330-200 landing
A Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER Landing

If you look closely from the front at the engines of both aircraft you will notice that the Airbus A330 has a smaller engine but if you see Boeing 777’s engine, they are humongous. And with the rollout of the 777X in 2022, it will fly with the largest and the biggest commercial engine ever produced. To give a perspective, the body of Boeing 737 will fit in the engines of the 777X.

A Singapore Airlines’s 777-300ER
A Swiss A330

Also the A330 has some different types of engines.

Qantar A330-200
Saudia A330-200

The Boeing 777 doesn’t has Winglets but the A330 has its Sharklets.

Cathay Pacific 777-300 with no Winglets
A Delta A330-200 with its small Sharklets

AIRBUS A350 and BOEING 787 Dream)liner

These are the most fuel efficient jet ever built on this planet. They have a humongous range. There are two ways to find an A350 or B787

Engine Cowlings

The 787 Dream)liner has its famous cheron tooth at the end of the engines. This reduces noise. Also the Airbus A350 has its special Sharklet.

787-9 Drem)liner Engine
A Virgin Atlantic A350-900 sharklets (closeup)
A350-XWB Sharklets view

Also the A350 has its famous cockpit window, which from a front veiw looks like sunglasses.

A350 Sunglasses

BOEING 747 and AIRBUS A380

The Boeing 747 and the A380 are the biggest commercial plane ever built on this planet. But there is a very easy way to identify them.

The 747 has its iconic hump which generally covers one third the length of the body. The A380 has its full length upper deck.

A Lufthansa 747-8i
Airbus A380

I will make a different blog on more detailed spotting.

3 thoughts on “Airplane spotting -2

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s