How to recognize aircraft: Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 (Ep.2)

If you have flown to Romania or abroad, you have most likely flown on an Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 family. They are the most widespread aircraft for regional and medium flights.

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Yesterday I told you some tricks with which you can recognize Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Today we come with episode 2 and we begin to deepen the recognition of the aircraft at model level.

We continue to remain in the "yards" of Airbus and Boeing, the largest manufacturers of civil aircraft globally. They are large by the number of aircraft models held in the portfolio, by the volume of manufacture, but also by the large number of aircraft already in the commercial service.

Airbus-Boeing 320 A737

Today we will focus on Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, single-aisle narrow-body models.

How to easily recognize a Boeing 737 family plane

The history of the Boeing 737 aircraft family began with 1964, being derived from the 707 and 727 models. It is an American production aircraft, with short structure, dedicated to short / regional and medium flights.

The Boeing 737 family of aircraft comprises the versions: -100, -200, -300, -400, -500, -600, -700, -800 and -900ER. In this article we will not analyze the new generation 737 MAX, which has just made its debut in the commercial service.

Boeing 737-100 Lufthansa
United-Airlines-Boeing 737-200
Boeing 737-200 United
Boeing 737-300-Blue-Air
Boeing 737-300 Blue-Air
Boeing 737-400 Blue Air
Boeing 737-400 Blue Air
Boeing 737-500 Tatarstan Airlines
Boeing 737-500 Tatarstan Airlines
Boeing 737-600-WestJet
Boeing 737-600 Westjet
Boeing 737-700 TAROM
Boeing 737-700 TAROM
Boeing 737-800 Blue Air
Boeing 737-900ER Okay Airways
Boeing 737-900ER Okay Airways

Returning to B737, the -300, -400 and -500 versions fall into the Classics category, while the latest 4 are part of the Next Generation. The -100 and -200 versions are no longer in operational service, at least not in Europe. The -300ER version is the shortest, while the -900ER version is the longest. The only exception to the rule is the -400 version, which is longer compared to -300, -600 and -700.

How do we recognize them more easily? There are some defining elements for the entire Boeing 737 family of aircraft and others that make the differences between versions:

Family-Boeing 737
Boeing 737 family of aircraft

- The –100 and –200 versions have cigarette-shaped engine platforms. Both are out of use!
- All Boeing 737 aircraft (from the 300 series onwards) have two main and defining elements in their recognition: the front of the engine nacelle is flush with the classic models and lightly flush with the next generation models; if you look closely at the front wheel, you can see the longer door from the landing gear room. From what I have analyzed, there is no airplane model with these 2 descriptions. So clearly it's an 737.

See the long front door wheel (where AHP writes in this case)

- If the front of the engine compartment is flattened and has a triangular shape, it is a classic 737.

engines, nacelles, flat-Boeing 737-400
Engines for Boeing 737-400 Classic aircraft

- If the front of the engine nacelle is almost round, it turns out to be a New Generation 737.

engines, nacelles, flat-Boeing 737-800
Engines for Boeing 737-800 aircraft

- Ground clearance is lower on Boeing 737 aircraft compared to other models.
- If you look at the APU evacuation (from the tail of the plane) and see 2 holes, then it is from the New Generation.

APU Boeing 737-700
APU (Auxiliary power unit) Boeing 737-700

- If it has only one hole, it's a classic 737.
- The -400 version is the longest 737 Classic.
- If it is a long 737 of the New Generation, then it is an airplane of the -800 version (such planes you will meet on Ryanair)
- If it is very long and has 3 doors on each side plus two escape areas above the wings, then it is an 737-900ER.

Blue Air owns an all Boeing fleet. The number of aircraft reached 28: 2 x 737-300; 9 x 737-400; 6 x 737-500; 1 x 737-700 and 10 x 737-800. TAROM also owns Boeing aircraft in the fleet: 4 x 737-300; 4 x 737-700 and is about to receive 2 x 737-800NG.

It is worth mentioning that all Boeing 737 aircraft have 2 main landing gear with a pair of wheels on each, positioned in the wing area and a pair of wheels on the front axle.

How to easily recognize an Airbus A320 family aircraft

The history of the Airbus A320 aircraft family began with 1986. It is shorter compared to the history of the Boeing 737 aircraft family. It also has fewer versions. The A320 family includes the models: A318-100, A319-100, A320-200 and A321-200. If we talk about the fuselage length, A318 is the shortest (Baby Bus) and A321 is the longest. We are not talking about the new generation A320neo.

Aircraft in the A320 family are easy to recognize. A320 usually has 2 windows for emergency exits above the wings, while A318 and A319 have only one such exit above the wings. The Airbus A321 has 4 normal-size doors for emergency exits on each side and obviously longer.

Airbus A318 TAROM
Airbus A319 TAP Portugal
Airbus A319 TAP Portugal
Airbus A320-Wizz-Air-HA-LYB
Airbus A320-Wizz-Air-HA-LYB
HA-LXA-wizz-air airbus-a321-231wl
Airbus A321 Wizz Air

As defining elements, Airbus aircraft from the A320 family have higher ground clearance. The landing gear consists of 2 main legs with a pair of wheels on each, placed under the wings, and a pair of wheels on the front axle. The engine platforms are round.

TAROM owns 4 Airbus A318-100 aircraft. Wizz Air has a fleet of all Airbus: 63 x A320-200 and 18 x A321-200.

If you liked our article, we hope to share it with your friends, fans on social media. If you have any other criteria for highlighting an Airbus from a Boeing, please leave a comment with this information!

  1. [...] we fly, we are fascinated by airplanes, we learn to recognize and choose our favorites, but we must not forget that airports also play an important role in travel.

  2. […] How you can more easily recognize the difference between Airbus and Boeing aircraft, but also how to recognize airplanes from the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families. Let's see how to recognize planes with 4 […]

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