Identifying planes from the ground

Peter
  • Identifying planes from the ground Peter

    Are there any good resources that teach you how to identify jetliners from the ground? I'd love to see some great comparative photos of their silhouettes. Books or websites are both ok.

    For example, here's a plane that was flying over yesterday en-route to KSFO. I'm guessing it's a 747 or A380, but I can't easily guess from this angle.

    silhouette of plane from the ground

  • The canonical reference for aircraft recognition would be Jane's All the World's Aircraft.

    http://www.airliners.net is also a useful resource, but generally means working from photos - the line drawings in Jane's are often easier to use because they abstract away things like airline liveries and distill the aircraft down to its basic shapes.

  • A Field Guide to Airplanes is also really good. I find it better than Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide because it is categorized by aircraft appearance, and also is written like a field guide as opposed to a reference book.

Related questions and answers
  • Are there any good resources that teach you how to identify jetliners from the ground? I'd love to see some great comparative photos of their silhouettes. Books or websites are both ok. For example, here's a plane that was flying over yesterday en-route to KSFO. I'm guessing it's a 747 or A380, but I can't easily guess from this angle.

  • If I understand correctly, when a plane transitions from takeoff roll to being airborne, it is not something that happens "by itself" when the airspeed is high enough, but is caused by deliberate... the tailplane down, which makes the entire aircraft pivot around the main gear and increases the wings' AoA enough to create lift that takes the plane off the ground. Or is it something that increases lift with unchanged attitude, such as a symmetric aileron movement, or an additional flaps extension? And then after the plane is airborne it is rotated to climbing attitude? The descriptions I can

  • We know that most of the plane accidents and deaths result from the explosion of fuel tanks in the planes, like when two planes collide, or when the plane falls on the ground. With the advent of technology, i wonder whether it is possible to prevent the fuel explosion. Can this be done by evaporating the fuel in the planes just before the collision? Or use a solid architecture encapsulating the fuel tanks in the planes, such that the fuel is not set to fire? What research has been done in this field and if so what were the findings?

  • This is a followup to What data does ACARS send back to base? Can it be used to track a plane? I had asked this as a part of the earlier question, but it seems to be a large enough issue to be separate (plus no answers covered this aspect). All electronic communication systems have low level diagnostic and channel check packages (commands). By pinging, I mean to send a system specific query... of the receivers (which may be satellites or ground stations). Then, approximate the plane heading, location or speed, with reference to the receiver, and then with reference to the ground. Would

  • In smaller planes, pilots has apparently great visibility in front, on the sides and a good portion of the rear of the plane. But as the plane's size is increased, the visibility is also reduced. One obvious factor is height of the cockpit from ground, but it appears (from pictures) that pilots of bigger Boeing/Airbus planes have too many blind spots. However, I did notice that some bigger planes have a camera behind the nose gear to ease in taxiing etc. So the question is that how do pilots compensate for this lesser visibility? Do they always need external help (e.g. ground crew

  • If the pilots, crew and passengers had all passed out from an unexplained result of gradual de-pressurization and ground personnel were somehow aware of this scenario would there have been anything that could of been done to save the plane and people before the fuel ran out?

  • When I learned to fly helicopters, I of course spent significant time learning about and practicing autorotations. The CFI at my school, who had around 15,000 hrs (that's right, fifteen thousand!) said a few times that practice, knowledge and currency are vital — but as long as you got the entry right (following which you can fly to the ground) and executed at least a decent attempt at the flare and cushion, you would survive. Is this a correct take on the survivability of an autorotation? Do fatalities arise primarily from errors during the autorotation entry or flare? While you

  • These days, when reading news about missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200, I keep coming across a scenario where pilot might have deliberately turned off the transponder which is used for the communication of flight with ATC. When there is a possibility that any bad thing can happen when pilot turn off transponder, why would one give the ability of turning off the transponder to a pilot when he/she usually depends on instructions from ATC or flight control. Is there anyway that ATC can turn on transponder back from ground?

  • ? What G forces are involved in the impact? I realize that there are lots of possible variables here, but let's assume that the parachute deploys correctly and in plenty of time for a stabilized descent; touchdown is in 'ideal' conditions, i.e. on level, unobstructed ground; and impact forces are as described in the Cirrus CAPS guide: The airplane will assume its touchdown attitude to optimize occupant protection. The airplane will descend under the canopy at less than 1700 fpm and ground impact is expected to be equivalent to dropping from a height of 13 feet (about 4 meters

  • as well land. But what about in a light, single engine plane (think Cessna 172 or Piper Cherokee)? Engine failures in small aircraft, for example, seem to be more common, so you have more accidents that start high above the ground. Thus, you usually have a few minutes before you're going to hit the ground and there's often only 1 or 2 passengers (rather than 100). Plus, you're usually already at an altitude where you don't need oxygen to bail out. With that in mind, couldn't you put the plane into a shallow dive to keep it from stalling, trim it to keep it going straight and then bail

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