Pilots, planespotters and aviation buffs can quickly recognize nearly every aircraft type from the ground or in the air.
But it’s not so easy for the rest of us. To help TravelSkills readers confidently recognize what they see overhead or out on the runway, we offer a series of posts dedicated to planespotting.
The Boeing 777, 767 and the Airbus A330, three of the most-used, two-engine widebody jets flying around out there look VERY similar to the untrained eye. But there are differences that help make them easy to distinguish.
First let’s look at the largest of the three, the Boeing 777. It’s most distinguishing feature is its size…it’s a big one— significantly larger than the 767 or A330. Its engines alone are enormous- some are as wide as the fuselage on a 737!
Depending on configuration, the 777 carries around 375 passengers. Smaller 767s and A330s fall in the 250 passenger range.
But relative size is not always easy to determine when the plane is alone on a runway or in the air, so you must look for other features.
Another most distinguishing feature of a B777 is its flattened or bladed tail– which is quite different from the conical shapes found on the back end of a 767 or A330.
Plus, B777s don’t have winglets, while all A330s and some 767s do.
You can also look at the outer edge of the cockpit windows. On Boeing jets, the windows have a sharp diagonal corner while Airbus windows are more square along the bottom edge.
And finally, look at the wheels– each of the main landing gears on a big Boeing 777 have three sets of wheels, while A330’s and B767s only have two.
I must admit that spotting these three widebodies is tough…even for me, and even after writing this post.
Please share your planespotting tips or advice in the comments below! How do YOU tell the difference between a 777, 767 or A330? Please leave your tips or comments below.
Here are our other popular planespotting posts!
And don’t miss the TravelSkills Planespotting quiz— 10,000+ readers have taken it! Why not you?