Airbus and Boeing Spotting Guide


There are easily over twenty models of jet airliners in use by airlines around the world today, plus variations and modified versions.

Included on this page is a quick and easy guide to spotting the common Boeing and Airbus jet airliners of the day.

A Few Notable Differences Between Airbus and Boeing Jet Airliners

The typical Airbus airliner features a "rounded nose" with windshield straight across the bottom, and the rear windshield window "notched"
The typical Airbus airliner features a "rounded nose" with windshield straight across the bottom, and the rear windshield window "notched"

The classic Boeing airliner has a "pointed nose" with a "V-shaped' windshield
The classic Boeing pointed nose configuration

Comparison of typical Boeing wide-body tail structure (top) compared with a typical Airbus structure (bottom) which has more of a straight fuselage alignment across the bottom of the tail
Comparison of typical Boeing wide-body tail structure (top) compared with a typical Airbus structure (bottom) which has more of a straight alignment across the bottom of the tail

 

Boeing Jet 7x7 Airliner Series

Pan American Boeing 707
See more Boeing 707 photographs and spotting tips
Pan American Boeing 707

Air Tran Boeing 717-2BD
See more Boeing 717 photographs and spotting tips

Boeing 727-200 of Delta Air Lines
See more Boeing 727 photographs and spotting tips
Delta Air Lines Boeing 727-200

Boeing 737 has two engines (one under each wing), a main landing gear consisting of two sets of two wheels, and a triangular section at the front of the tail. The nose is "pointed"
See more Boeing 737 photographs and spotting tips
Boeing 737 spotting tips

The Boeing 747-400 with its bulbous front fuselage is an easy spot
See more Boeing 747 photographs and spotting tips
Boeing 747 spotting guide

In this photograph of a British Airways Boeing 757-200, the long and narrow fuselage is clearly seen along with its "dolphin" nose. It has high ground clearance thanks to its tall landing gears.
See more Boeing 757 photographs and spotting tips
In this photograph of a British Airways Boeing 757-200, the long and narrow fuselage is clearly seen. It has high ground clearance thanks to its tall landing gears

Boeing 767-200 (top) and 767-300 (bottom)
See more Boeing 767 photographs and spotting tips
Spotting comparison between the Boeing 767-200 and 767-300

The wide-body, twin engine Boeing 777-200 (top) and Boeing 777-300 (below)
See more Boeing 777 photographs and spotting tips
Spotting tips for the Boeing 777-200 and Boeing 777-300

The twin-egine, wide-body composite Boeing 787-8 (top) and Boeing 787-9 (below)
See more Boeing 787 photographs and spotting tips
Spotting guide for the Boeing 787-8 and Boeing 787-9



Airbus A3xx Jet Airliners

American Airlines Airbus A300-600
See more Airbus 300 photographs and spotting tips
American Airlines Airbus A300-600


The twin-engine Pan Am Airbus A310-324ET - N814PA
Note the two doors (and one emergency exit door) along the side of the fuselage.
See more Airbus 310 photographs and spotting tips

Air France Airbus A318
See more Airbus 318 photographs and spotting tips
Airbus A318 of Air France


Lufthansa Airbus A319-100
See more Airbus 319 photographs and spotting tips
Lufthansa Airbus A319-100


Air France Airbus A320-200
See more Airbus 320 photographs and spotting tips
Air France Airbus A320-200

The A321 has two engines under the wings, two dual-wheel main landing gear, four doors along the fuselage, and the classic Airbus nose featuring the "notched" window.
See more Airbus 321 photographs and spotting tips
The A321 has two engines under the wings, two dual-wheel main landing gear, four doors along the fuselage, and the classic Airbus nose featuring the "notched" window


The Airbus A320 family of jetliners:
A318, A319, A320 and A321
Spotting guide for the Airbus A320 family of jetliners


Airbus A330 spotter's guide: notched windshield window, two engines (one under each wing), one passenger deck the length of the fuselage, main landing gear fall to the rear, and a straight fuselage under the tail structure.
See more Airbus 330 photographs and spotting tips
Airbus A330 tips for spotters


Boeing 767 (top) and Airbus A330 (bottom) main landing gear design differences
Boeing 767 and Airbus A330 spotting guide


The Airbus A340 is a 4-engine wide-body airliner, and features three sets of main landing gears, one under each wing and one in the middle of the underside of the fuselage
See more Airbus 340 photographs and spotting tips


The wide-body, twin-engine Airbus A350-941 of Qatar
See more Airbus 350 photographs and spotting tips


Airbus A350 with its blended winglets


The Airbus A380 is an easy spot, with its four engines and two passenger decks extending the length of the fuselage.
See more Airbus 380 photographs and spotting tips
The Airbus A380 is also an easy spot, four engines, with its two passenger decks extending the length of the fuselage