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:

Pegasus aircraft above runway on takeoff

Swiss aircraft on approach to land

Swiss aircraft on approach to land

Swiss aircraft on approach to land

Turkish aircraft on approach to land

Star Alliance aircraft on approach to land

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    $\begingroup$ Beautiful pictures :) $\endgroup$ Apr 26, 2014 at 14:18
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Just wanted to point out that the plural of "aircraft" is "aircraft". :) $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Apr 27, 2014 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ If you can read the immatriculation (at the rear of the aircraft), you may searh on airliners.net $\endgroup$
    – Manu H
    Apr 24, 2015 at 13:19

2 Answers 2


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 (D-ABEP on the rear fuselage below), and the last two letters are (often) printed on the aircraft 'forehead' above the cockpit windows, the top of the tail and the nose gear doors (EP on the nose gear doors below).


Aircraft from your photos:

  • Boeing 737
  • Airbus A320
  • RJ85
  • Airbus A320
  • Airbus A321
  • Fokker 100
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, but how do I know the registration? $\endgroup$ Apr 26, 2014 at 12:52
  • $\begingroup$ @RoflcoptrException That's the little code on the back of the aircraft fuselage :) (And the last two letters are displayed on the nosegear doors) $\endgroup$ Apr 26, 2014 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ Cool, thanks a lot! $\endgroup$ Apr 26, 2014 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ @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. $\endgroup$ Apr 26, 2014 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ 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). $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Apr 28, 2014 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.

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

See Wikipedia's article on the matter for more information about why wings have unusual tips.

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    $\begingroup$ Blended winglets are no longer unique to Boeing. I've started seeing Airbus's "Sharklets" in the wild. $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Apr 26, 2014 at 17:58

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