Take the 2-minute tour ×
Aviation Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for aircraft pilots, mechanics, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I took a couple of pictures of various aircraft and I would like to know which aircraft I photographed. I have no idea, expect that all of them took off from ZRH and should be commercial airliners:

share|improve this question
Beautiful pictures :) –  flyingfisch Apr 26 at 14:18
Just wanted to point out that the plural of "aircraft" is "aircraft". :) –  egid Apr 27 at 15:39

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

One of the simplest things you can do is to type in the registration into Google which will normally give you results of the type and history of the aircraft.

Otherwise, many airlines don't operate too many types of aircraft so a quick look on Wikipedia and looking through 'fleet' should show you which types it may be, from which elimination should be pretty quick.

The registration is normally visible on the back of the fuselage and under the wing, and the last two letters are (often) printed on the aircraft 'forehead' above the cockpit windows, the top of the tail and the nosegear doors.


Aircraft from your photos:

  • Boeing 737
  • Airbus A320
  • RJ85
  • Airbus A320
  • Airbus A321
  • Fokker 100
share|improve this answer
Ok, but how do I know the registration? –  RoflcoptrException Apr 26 at 12:52
@RoflcoptrException That's the little code on the back of the aircraft fuselage :) (And the last two letters are displayed on the nosegear doors) –  MikeFoxtrot Apr 26 at 12:54
Cool, thanks a lot! –  RoflcoptrException Apr 26 at 13:01
@RoflcoptrException: Note also that you can determine the registration country of the aircraft from the code. If it starts with N it is USA, C is Canada, G is the UK, D is Germany, and so on. –  Eric Lippert Apr 26 at 16:32
And sometimes part of it is shown on the top of the vertical stabiliser as well, and/or on other places (e.g. KLM tends to put the last 2 letters over the windscreen rather than the nose gear bay doors). –  jwenting Apr 28 at 8:19

The accepted answer has good advice. I would add that a quick and easy way to make a guess at the manufacturer is to look at the ends of the wings. Notice how in the first picture the wings "bend up" at the end. This is highly characteristic of Boeing 737s; you can read about it here:


By contrast, the "fence" style wing tip that you see in three of your photos is highly characteristic of Airbus.



for more information about why wings have unusual tips.

share|improve this answer
Blended winglets are no longer unique to Boeing. I've started seeing Airbus's "Sharklets" in the wild. –  egid Apr 26 at 17:58

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.