Spotting 3-Engine Jet Airliners


Does the Airliner Have Three Engines?

If the airliner has three engines, one in the tail and one each under each wing or one on either side of the rear fuselage, it is an older aircraft, probably a Boeing 727, Douglas DC-10, McDonnell-Douglas MD-11 or Lockheed L-1011. It could also be a Russian-built Tupolev TU-154.

Few of these tri-jets are in service today, and many of those are cargo jets.

The 727 is powered by three Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines below the T-tail, one on each side of the rear fuselage with a center engine that connects through an S-duct to an inlet at the base of the fin.

The front of the fuselage features the classic "Boeing pointed nose" and V-shaped windshields on each side of the cockpit.

These features can be seen in the Boeing 727-200 of Delta Air Lines shown below.

See more Boeing 727 photographs and spotting tips

The 727 is powered by three Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines below the T-tail, one on each side of the rear fuselage with a center engine that connects through an S-duct to an inlet at the base of the fin.


Northwest Air Lines Douglas DC-10

See more DC-10 photographs and spotting tips

Northwest Air Lines Douglas DC-10

Delta Air Lines McDonnell-Douglas MD-11 wide-body tri-jet

See more MD-11 photographs and spotting tips

Delta Air Lines McDonnell-Douglas MD-11

The wide-body, tri-jet Lockheed L-1011 Tristar

See more L-1011 Tristar photographs and spotting tips

Lockheed L-1011 Tristar


Tupolev Tu-154 Medium-Range, Narrow-body Airliner

The design of the Tu-154 features a T-Tail, three-engine configuration in the tail, and two six-wheel main landing gear arrangements. It also utilizes on each side of the fuselage three cabin doors along with two over-the-wing emergency exit doors.

Seating capacity ranges from 164 - 180 passengers.

In total, 930 Tu-154 aircraft were built.

(Photo courtesy of Tupolev)

Tupolev TU-154 Trijet Airliner

 

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