How do people differentiate planes?

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On the way to school

Aviation Enthusiasts: b787-9 in a KLM Orange Pride Livery.
Aviation Enthusiasts Friend: What?

How do people differentiate different planes? E.g. How do you tell a 789 from a 788? How did you differentiate Boeing, Airbus, etc.?

What are some key features to look for when spotting a plane that is 100 - 500 ft above you? How do you see the airline livery against the sun and it’s 100 - 500 ft away?

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Doors, landingear, wings, engines, liveries, just stuff like that. It gets easy after a while.

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KLM orange Pride only seen on 77W,

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@GordenW I know, just example, specs may not be true irl.

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Several factor…for me…wing tips,wing length, fuesalage characteristics, nose, some reference points etc

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You’ve just got to spend more time around planes. On Infinite Flight is best, as you can switch between aircraft quickly and see around the whole thing. It becomes very easy to recognise them after a while.

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Practice, practice, practice

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I tell by nose shape and engines. Also shapes of cockpit windows can help you distinguish between airbus and boeing.

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I tell by, engines, nose length, wings, wheels airline.

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I understand that when a Cessna and A380 are parked right next to each other, it can get pretty confusing.

But after a while you just get used to it, ya know?

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Well I don’t know about you, but I can’t tell the difference between a Cessna 172 and a Boeing 737.

I wish it was like the A320-200 and the A320-200 can spot the differences a mile away!

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After seeing so many planes go by over quite a few years, you remember different plane types, and what they look like. It gets easier over time.

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I identify it by livery, nosetip, length, shape, and sound

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I can’t tell Series (737-700 or -800 etc.), but I know what flies into my airport that I’d see. CRJs and ERJs are easy once you know the engines. MD80s and 717s and really similar to ERJs (IMO), but they are longer. I can’t really give info on passenger heavies since they don’t fly near me. Cargo heavies I can. For UPS, I have their fleet memorized. A 747 is easy, since they have 4 engines and it’s the only four engine jet that flies in. The MD11 is easy since it has a tail engine that you can see. The 757 and 767 are hard to tell apart, and that’s really how skinny they are and width. The a300 is easy because it has wingtip fences.

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These two links help. It’s a nice read and you really gain some understanding how to tell them apart.

http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/03/27/how-to-tell-airplanes-apart/

And:

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Thanks for the links

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Looking at this: www.flightradar24.com all the time.

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@SirPilotOfAviation… MaxSez: Smart people use an aircraft “Dichotomous Key”. Others depend on other people’s experience and observations which are often flawed. Google is your friend! Try: tap

http://flightlineaviationmedia.com/planespotting/

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787: -8 is kinda short, -9 is just right, -10 is long.

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I can tell by the lights

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