Airplane Spotting- 3

Previously I made a blog on how to identify a long haul aircraft which you may encounter if you are travelling international from India to Europe, North America, South Asia, or Australia.

Today we will be talking in more detail about some long haul aircrafts. We will not be looking for some single aisle long haul aircrafts like Boeing 757 or the Airbus A321 LR. And also we won’t look into the cargo varients.

Today we will be talking about the VARIENTS of the Aircraft. But first of all let us know what are VARIENTS.

Varients are the modification or upgrade of one specific model of aircraft. For example, if we take the Boeing 747 then the original 747 which was built in 1960s couldn’t cope up with today’s era of aviation. So Boeing will make some changes in the 747 to cope up with today’s era. It’s just like you update your phone software or apps.

Varients of an aircraft usually have a dash after their model name and have a number followed by two zeros or sometimes also have ‘ER’ or “LR’ at the end. ‘ER’ stands for Extended Range and LR stands for Long Range. This means that the varient has more range than the normal varient. No doubt there are exceptions to this rules. For example 747-100 (pronounced Boeing 747 dash 100) , 747-400, Airbus A330-800 follow this rule. 747-400ER means that this 747 has more range than normal 747-400. Exception to this rule are Airbus A350-XWB (Extra Wide Body) , Boeing 777X or some even consider Airbus A350-1000 a exception.

THE AIRBUS A330-200/300 and A330NEO

The Airbus A330neo (New Engine Option) was made as an upgrade to A330 and to make it more fuel efficient. Two aircrafts make the A330neo, they are A330-800 and A330-900. The A330-900 has a greater passenger capacity.

The A330-200/300 doesn’t have the new looks on the cockpit windows. The A330NEO has Airbus A350 like windows.



Airbus A340 is another quad engine plane which huge range. It is very easy to spot.

Take a look at the plane, and if it has 4 engines and just one desk then it is A340. If it has upper then check its length. If it has a full length upper deck then its the A380 and if the upper deck is forming a hump then it is Boeing 747.

Airbus A340

HOW TO SPOT BOEING 747-400 AND 747-8i

Boeing 747-400 is the most succesful varient of the 747 family. The 747-8 is the newest varient in the family. There are two ways to identify 747-400 and 747-8i (Intercontinental; F for Freighter).

  1. 747-400 has winglets while the 747-8i doesn’t have.
  2. 747-8i has the chevron nozzel pattern at the end of the engines like the 787.
747-400 WINGLETS
747-8 without winglets
747-8i engines


The Boeing 777-300 is the extended version of the Boeing 777-200. The 777-300 is the longer one so it has more doors then 777-200. The 777-200 has 4 doors and the 777-300 has 5 doors.



The Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000 are the varients of the A350 Family of aircrafts. The A350-1000 or the A350-1000XWB is the stretched version of the A350-900. However there is a very easy way to identify it.

Just look at the body landing gears ( landing gears attached to the center of the aircraft), you will notice that the A350-900’s body gear is made of 2 pairs of wheel while A350-1000 has 3 pairs.


Stayed tuned to my blog as I will make another blog about airplane spotting.

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