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Author Topic: Want to learn about planes  (Read 22455 times)
Fra
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« on: March 18, 2006, 07:07:09 AM »

Hi guys, this is a great site that I spend every single spare moment watching and listening to the feeds. Well, I am a great airplane entusiast, but unfortunately I really don't recognize most of the planes. (I would only for sure recognize B737, 747, Tu154, and that's about it. Sad

So, I am determined to learn how to recognize them (I've met people that recognize the aircraft by the sound, and you can imagine if they see it.)

So, do you have any tips to give me on how I can do this? Thanks to everybody who would wish to help me.

And one final question. What's the difference between a DC-9 and a Fokker 100?

Seems exacly the same to me!

Cheers!
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davolijj
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2006, 08:41:14 AM »

The most obvious difference I know between the F100 and DC9 is the "bumps" on the tail of the F100.  I've been told that these have something to do with the thrust reversers and they seem to stand out.

As for recognizing other aircraft trypes, spend some time around airports....you'll pick it up. Cheesy

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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2006, 09:08:20 AM »

It's a little outdated by now, (latest version was published in 1992, I think), but check out "A Field Guide to Airplanes" by M.R. Montgomery and Gerald Foster.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0395628881/104-0212430-0609567?v=glance&n=283155

The format seperates the aircraft by configuration--twin engine jets, four engine jets, biplanes, etc., so it's easy to check out the identifying characteristics that distinguish between two similar looking aircraft. It's not an encyclopedia by any means, but as a quick reference, it's more than adequate.
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Fra
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2006, 09:10:49 AM »

Thanks guys, it's a great help.
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mattkbdl
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2006, 04:02:41 PM »

I think the windows are a good attribute too.  For example, the eyebrow windows on the DC-9 series and some of the 737s.  Theres obviously other things but those are just some of the small parts I look at.
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Fra
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2006, 06:24:14 PM »

Nice thinking mattkbdl! Anybody else with some good tips?
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PHL Approach
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2006, 12:42:56 AM »

Philly used to get AAL F100's, but of course they retired them a while back. One thing to look at is the nose, it's very distinct. No where close to a DC-9's nose. It's much more round. Even the way the fuselage transitions to the top. Just above the flight deck windows.
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n57flyguy
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2006, 09:08:33 AM »

Aircraft can be determaned by noise, You can tell distictions between the sounds of Airbus and Boeings. It is also the engines. Some people can tell the difference between a PW and a RR on a 757. Older aircraft like the 727 and the 737-200 have a kind of wine to the engines. Once you become a more expierenced spotter, you'll catch on quick just by the engine noise.

As for looks, Boeing aircraft can easilly be determained, even from the air. B757s have a more slender nose than other aircraft, a 757 looks "Determaned" to me, thats my nickman for it. From the air a 757 has a shorter wingspan compared to the lenght of the fusalage. You can tell a 767 from a 777 simply because its longer and bigger, from the air, its a bit more difficult. A 747, its just got 4 engines and a double deck, high cockpit and its just huge.

737s, these are harder. Older 737-200s have different engines, they are smaller and more attached to the wing. on 200s the cockpit windows are a bit different to. The 300/400/500 are the trickey ones. Dont let the higher the number, the bigger confuse you. The 300 is the longest, the 500 is a bit shorter, and the 400 is the shortest. they dont have wingtips, like the NG. the 6/7/8/9 73s can be difficult to. the 6/7s early modles dont have wingtips, but the latter 7s do. the 8s and 9s both have wingtips and the 9 is longer than the 8.

As for MD, DC, and Airbus, I don't know to much about, but I can tell the difference between a DC and MD from the wingspan. Airbus are just ugly and have stange winglets that go up and down. Airbuses under bellys are different to.

Get some good books about Airliners, check out pictures of them on airliners.net and youll be good in no time. Also, youll get to know what type of aircraft fly for each airline. Once you get good, you can tell the most little details betweem aircraft.

If you want to know more about Bussiness aircraft I'm here just tell me and I would be glad to help.

Paul
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Fra
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2006, 09:37:11 AM »

Thanks Paul that's a great help! Yeah, I've downloaded lots and lots of videos from Flightlevel350 and I see a lot of pictures on airliners.net. The thing is I live near an airport, but it's not busy at all. Today there were only 2 departures and 2 arrivals (one in 5:30am and the other in 11:30am) I saw the later one (It was a b737-300). I go there almost every day but sometimes there aren't flights for over a week or so. Sad

There are only 3 or 4 airliners that fly to this airport, so the planes are quite easy to learn, but most of them are DC-9s and Fokker 100s so that's not much of a attraction. The last week was all F100 and DC-niners so today the 737 was a blast! It made a huge roar compared to the other ones.

Well, I've read that persistance pays so I won't give up.
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n57flyguy
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2006, 10:25:54 AM »

Good old Boeing roar! like a muscle car! I grew up around Boeing, My dad an engineer there in WA, I went past there alot and seeing the new shiney jets role out of the factory, a real plessure to see them.

Sounds like a slow airport, what field is it? How big is it?

yes don't give up! Again, if you want some more help, just ask.

Paul
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stealth71
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2006, 11:29:54 AM »

Welcome aboard. Learning to recognize planes is a lot of fun, and it only takes time. For example, a 737 and an Airbus A320 look similar from a distance airborne, but as one or the other gets closer, they take on distinctive differences, including fuselage design. For example, the A320, and most narrowbody airbus planes, have small winglets protruding both up and down, 737s don't, except for the models Paul mentioned that have huge winglets that rake upwards. 767's don't have winglets, except for the -400 model, in which they rake backwards, very unique. I've found that on some Mcdonnel Douglas planes, I can tell what it is by the flashing of the wingtip strobe lights, especially the newer MD11's. As for small planes, such as Cessnas, it can come down to just the shape of the windows. And you're right, some people can tell the plane by the sound of the engine. I work at an airport, so I can definitely tell if there is a Canadair regional jet taking off or an Airbus A300 simply because all the Airbus planes use engines that produce a distinctive whine when they spool up. I think it just takes time. One suggestion is to go back to airliners.net and rather that look at the photo's, look at the top of the homepage and there is a button that says "A/C Data", or just click on this link to go right to it.

http://www.airliners.net/info/

From there you can select your planes from the list. I'd start with the most common planes 717,727,737,747,757,767, 777, all the Airbus planes A318, 319, 320, 321, 300, 310, 330, 340, then all of the former McDonnell Douglas planes including the DC9, DC10, MD11, MD80, MD83, MD87, MD90.  Take a look at the good old L1011 Tristar as well. Once you're familiar with those, you can start to branch out to the other types of planes. Any questions, just ask. On a sidenote, I had a Delta 737-800 come in last night that the pilot claimed needed to be de-iced. Don't know why, it was about 50 degrees out, but nonetheless I de-iced his plane, and I have to tell you, a 737 is one cool looking plane when you're hanging about 30 feet above it. It's a view you don't usually get to see, and I wish I had a camera. Hey, I also just remembered, if you want, go to my website at flymissoula.com. I have several catagories of planes in the media gallery where you can see what some different planes look like. If you use Internet Explorer, place your cursor over the photo for information.
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Chris Hart
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Fra
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2006, 12:26:25 PM »

I can't really tell you how much helpful this is guys. Thank you a lot.

I live nearby a very quite airports, today there were 2 departures and two arrivals, and the next one is in Friday (5 days from today) and there is only one arrival scheduled. I live in Ohrid, Macedonia and the airport has only one runway. I counted from the monthly schedule for arrivals/departures there are about 24 flights a month (only Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays). There are a lot more if the airport from the capital, Skopje get closed for weather. (Happens every once in a while)

From the official page from the airport I got this

IATA Code:       OHD   
ICAO Code:       LWOH   
City:                OHRID
Fuel grades:       JP-1
Refueling facilities:    2 truck cisterns capacity 25 000 liters each
Seasonal availability:    All seasons
Runway (RWY) Designation:       02/20
RWY Dimension:       8366 x 147 ft   
RWY Surface:       ASPH   
RWY Strength:       PCN 76/F/B/X/T   
RWY Shoulders:       8.2 ft from both RWY edges   
Strip:       8956 x 460 ft
Declared RWY distances :
TORA    8366 ft
TODA    8366 ft
ASDA    8366 ft
LDA       8366 ft
Apron Dimension:
787 x 267 ft  (the old part of the Apron)
590 x 377 ft  (the new part of the Apron)    
Apron Surface:    ASPH    
Apron Strength:   LCN 56, h = 30 inches.   
Parking positions: 13
PSN Nr. 1,2,3,4:                         MAX 116 ft wing span
PSN Nr. 5,6,7,8:                         MAX 113 ft wing span
PSN Nr. G1,G2,G3,G4,G5:          General aviation, MAX 40 ft m wing span
Taxiways (TWY):
A, B (from RWY to Apron)
C, D (on the Apron)   
TWY Width:    75 ft   
TWY Surface: ASPH

I was considering to become a feeder for the site (since I live about 4 nm from the airport, in a 7 floor building, probably putting up an antenna on the top would be just fine) I postponed it because it's such a quiet airport so probably nobody would listen to it. But it's still an option.

Anyway, this has been a great help, I won't stop taking pictures and see videos until I really get it to it.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2010, 05:50:31 PM by Fra » Logged
stealth71
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« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2006, 12:29:34 PM »

One other idea. If you have good eyes or binoculars, jot down the airliners tail number. Then do a search for it on airliners.net. 99% of the time it will come up and you can find out exactly what it is.
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Chris Hart
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Fra
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2006, 12:42:58 PM »

That's also a good idea! I carry my binoculars in my car to see the tower or the planes taxing. First I wanted to take good pictures from the airplanes but after two weeks I haven't had much success. I have a 5.2M camera but I guess I'm just too far from the planes, the closest I can get is the fence. I don't know how to get as near on the runway as possible, because the pictures on airliners.net are really great, very close shots.

4 days ago I was right on the airport and it had been raining constantly for 4 days before, somehow me and my cousing got stuck in the mud (it was all the way around the fences) and it took us like 3 hours to get my car out of it. Smiley It was hilarious, I have couple of pictures, I'll put them so you can laugh, maybe in a while.
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Jason
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2006, 12:49:36 PM »

Quote from: stealth71
....Then do a search for it on airliners.net. 99% of the time it will come up and you can find out exactly what it is.


Good tip, Chris.  Another way to do it is search it through the FAA's N-number Database which will pull up the official registration information and can be more accurate than a.net at times.  Either way will get you the information, but the FAA's database is accurate.  While many a.net pictures are accurate, some are not.  It is still cool though to see a nice picture of the aircraft when you run the number through the a.net database cheesy

Jason
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n57flyguy
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2006, 01:09:23 PM »

Are there alot of private aircraft procedures there? Sometimes spotting those can get pretty tricky to.
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PHL Approach
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« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2006, 03:33:49 PM »

Quote from: Jason
Quote from: stealth71
....Then do a search for it on airliners.net. 99% of the time it will come up and you can find out exactly what it is.


Good tip, Chris.  Another way to do it is search it through the FAA's N-number Database which will pull up the official registration information and can be more accurate than a.net at times.  Either way will get you the information, but the FAA's database is accurate.  While many a.net pictures are accurate, some are not.  It is still cool though to see a nice picture of the aircraft when you run the number through the a.net database cheesy

Jason


If the info is bad, then they won't get in. Every photo in that database is spot on as far as info goes.
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Jason
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« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2006, 03:41:26 PM »

Quote from: PHL_Approach
If the info is bad, then they won't get in. Every photo in that database is spot on as far as info goes.


I wasn't aware of that, Ed.  Thanks for the correction. wink  Either way, it's still nice to run it through the FAA's database since not all aircraft are photographed on a.net.  Both ways will most likely get you the same information.  The amount of information though may differ from whichever method you choose.

Good Luck!

Jason
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PHL Approach
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« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2006, 03:46:56 PM »

Quote from: Jason
Quote from: PHL_Approach
If the info is bad, then they won't get in. Every photo in that database is spot on as far as info goes.


Either way, it's still nice to run it through the FAA's database since not all aircraft are photographed on a.net.

Good Luck!

Jason


I agree as for GA aircraft, it's hard to find photos of most GA aircraft on A.net. After all it is Airliners.net, not GeneralAv.net.
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stealth71
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« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2006, 03:51:46 PM »

For the most part it's spot on, although there is an option to correct info on each photo, and I've had to use that option for a few photos here in Missoula. One photo of our smokejumper base said it was in Bozeman, a city 200 miles from here. But they're right on the money most of the time.
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Chris Hart
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Jason
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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2006, 03:52:50 PM »

Quote from: PHL_Approach
I agree as for GA aircraft, it's hard to find photos of most GA aircraft on A.net. After all it is Airliners.net, not GeneralAv.net.


..but you also have to remember, not every airliner has been photographed.  Many have, but many have not.  Both are equally good resources for the requested data.

Quote from: stealth71
For the most part it's spot on, although there is an option to correct info on each photo, and I've had to use that option for a few photos here in Missoula. One photo of our smokejumper base said it was in Bozeman, a city 200 miles from here. But they're right on the money most of the time.


I agree with you, Chris.  But as you also stated, there are a few that slip through the [virtual] internet cracks.
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stealth71
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« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2006, 04:35:17 PM »

Yeah. For the most part, it seems to be with older photos, pre 1990 or so.
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Chris Hart
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hopskip
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« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2006, 08:00:31 AM »

Quote from: n57flyguy

737s, these are harder. Older 737-200s have different engines, they are smaller and more attached to the wing. on 200s the cockpit windows are a bit different to. The 300/400/500 are the trickey ones. Dont let the higher the number, the bigger confuse you. The 300 is the longest, the 500 is a bit shorter, and the 400 is the shortest. they dont have wingtips, like the NG. the 6/7/8/9 73s can be difficult to. the 6/7s early modles dont have wingtips, but the latter 7s do. the 8s and 9s both have wingtips and the 9 is longer than the 8.

As for MD, DC, and Airbus, I don't know to much about, but I can tell the difference between a DC and MD from the wingspan. Airbus are just ugly and have stange winglets that go up and down. Airbuses under bellys are different to.


I think you will find some 737-800's don't have winglets. Indeed I know this as fact, as I have flown on one.

I thought the -400 was longer than the -500? and roughly the size of a -700, though with a different nose and cockpit windows and tail.

One I used to have difficulty with was 737-800 and 767-200. untill I got the idea of the tail and nose Wink

then the difficulty was 737-700 and -800. So I bought two models at the same scale of a -700 and an -800 and stuck them side by side in my bedroom and looked at them every day. It kinda sunk in after a while and now I can see the proportions quite easily. (did you know the wings of a 737-800 and -700 are the same size? the only difference is fuselage length really!)

I live in Australia and we only really have 3 (or 6 depending on how you count them) airlines.

Virgin Blue use only 737-700 and 737-800
Jetstar use 717-200 and A320
Qantas use 737-300, 737-400, 737-800, 767-300, 747-300, 747-400, A330-200, A330-300, with their Qantaslink subsiduary using 717-200, Dash8 Q300 and Q400, and in the west, I believe some BAe146's
Independant Regional Express Airlines REX (used to be part of the Ansett group, and now I think with an agreement with Virgin Blue) use Saab S340b and Merin Metro's, and possibly Twin Otters DHC6 too.

Since I'v gotten quite used to seeing these aircraft, and the King Air 300, around my international airport of choice, I can tell them apart quite readily. MD-11 too, although it's hard to mistake those, maybe except for against a DC-10 (but the 'tenner' doesn't have winglets)

the Airbusses are quite distinctive to me, the winglets of the A320, and the way it sits high on it's landing gear compared to a 737, and has a wierd nose compared to a 767.

A330 has an interesting wing-fuselage joining point. and the -300 is quite a bit longer than the -200. The nose and cockpit windows are also very unlike the boeings. seem alot more 'blended' and 'rounded'.

The landing gear of the 767 vs A330 is also quite interesting to see, particularly at landing or immediatley after takeoff.

the A340, I can't imagine confusing it with anything else. It's far larger than the 707 and DC9, and is quieter, and doesn't belch smoke Tongue

and if you confuse the A340 with a 747, well your just not trying hard enough Tongue

I would suggest

www.airliners.net

and if you get stuck on one pairing (for instance the 737 varients) well maybe buying a model or two might not go astray.
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n57flyguy
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« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2006, 08:44:58 PM »

Quote from: hopskip
Quote from: n57flyguy

737s, these are harder. Older 737-200s have different engines, they are smaller and more attached to the wing. on 200s the cockpit windows are a bit different to. The 300/400/500 are the trickey ones. Dont let the higher the number, the bigger confuse you. The 300 is the longest, the 500 is a bit shorter, and the 400 is the shortest. they dont have wingtips, like the NG. the 6/7/8/9 73s can be difficult to. the 6/7s early modles dont have wingtips, but the latter 7s do. the 8s and 9s both have wingtips and the 9 is longer than the 8.

As for MD, DC, and Airbus, I don't know to much about, but I can tell the difference between a DC and MD from the wingspan. Airbus are just ugly and have stange winglets that go up and down. Airbuses under bellys are different to.


I think you will find some 737-800's don't have winglets. Indeed I know this as fact, as I have flown on one.

I thought the -400 was longer than the -500? and roughly the size of a -700, though with a different nose and cockpit windows and tail.

One I used to have difficulty with was 737-800 and 767-200. untill I got the idea of the tail and nose Wink

then the difficulty was 737-700 and -800. So I bought two models at the same scale of a -700 and an -800 and stuck them side by side in my bedroom and looked at them every day. It kinda sunk in after a while and now I can see the proportions quite easily. (did you know the wings of a 737-800 and -700 are the same size? the only difference is fuselage length really!)

I live in Australia and we only really have 3 (or 6 depending on how you count them) airlines.

Virgin Blue use only 737-700 and 737-800
Jetstar use 717-200 and A320
Qantas use 737-300, 737-400, 737-800, 767-300, 747-300, 747-400, A330-200, A330-300, with their Qantaslink subsiduary using 717-200, Dash8 Q300 and Q400, and in the west, I believe some BAe146's
Independant Regional Express Airlines REX (used to be part of the Ansett group, and now I think with an agreement with Virgin Blue) use Saab S340b and Merin Metro's, and possibly Twin Otters DHC6 too.

Since I'v gotten quite used to seeing these aircraft, and the King Air 300, around my international airport of choice, I can tell them apart quite readily. MD-11 too, although it's hard to mistake those, maybe except for against a DC-10 (but the 'tenner' doesn't have winglets)

the Airbusses are quite distinctive to me, the winglets of the A320, and the way it sits high on it's landing gear compared to a 737, and has a wierd nose compared to a 767.

A330 has an interesting wing-fuselage joining point. and the -300 is quite a bit longer than the -200. The nose and cockpit windows are also very unlike the boeings. seem alot more 'blended' and 'rounded'.

The landing gear of the 767 vs A330 is also quite interesting to see, particularly at landing or immediatley after takeoff.

the A340, I can't imagine confusing it with anything else. It's far larger than the 707 and DC9, and is quieter, and doesn't belch smoke Tongue

and if you confuse the A340 with a 747, well your just not trying hard enough Tongue

I would suggest

www.airliners.net

and if you get stuck on one pairing (for instance the 737 varients) well maybe buying a model or two might not go astray.


Ill check out the 400/500 deal, Im am almost positive, but I can be wrong.

I could see the 738 and the 762 getting confused, but the 767 is just longer, higher, bigger, and yes a different nose.

dont 777s service Austrialia?

Airbus are just wierd looking to me, I am not a fan. They can easily be told apart from one another to me.

Hitting up on 707s and DC-10s punk! Just kidding, I like those old aircraft. The wingtips on the A340 are different to and the 340 is kinda fat, the 70 dosnt have tips.

yes, 74s and 34s are very different.

Thanks
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n57flyguy
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« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2006, 08:46:32 PM »

BTW DC-10s have three engines, I think you might mean the DC-8, which is comparible to the 707.
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