Is there a way to identify what commercial airliners are still flying without ACARS today? Most modern commercial airliners are equipped, but I know some 737s still fly without ACARS, for example.

  • $\begingroup$ Related: How do I track and visualize aircraft from home? $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Nov 7, 2018 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ This question could use some improvement-- there's a whole lot more to the world of aviation than just business aviation plus commercial airliners. It's far from accurate to say "Most modern aircraft are equipped" (with ACARS). Substitute "what models of commercial airliners" for "what aircraft models", or something like that. In other words if we were doing set theory, and we took the set of all aircraft models, and we subtracted away those related to business aviation, we'd still have many aircraft left that look nothing like what you are visualizing in your question re ACARS. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2018 at 21:30
  • $\begingroup$ Modified the question $\endgroup$
    – ThxMAD
    Nov 8, 2018 at 4:28

1 Answer 1


ACARS is a operator specific (optional) system. It depends on the operators requirements if an aircraft is equipped with ACARS or not. You can't tie it to an aircraft model or variant. As a rule of thumb: The older the aircraft, the less likely it is ACARS equipped.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for chipping in. I understand the difficulty of identifying who picked the system as an option or not. But the second part of your answer is more what I'm looking for: what would be a reasonable rule of thumb? $\endgroup$
    – ThxMAD
    Nov 7, 2018 at 20:47
  • $\begingroup$ @ThxMAD If it's got an electrical system, it can have ACARS. There's definitely 707 and DC-8s with retrofit ACARS. It's actually easier on old planes because they don't have the integrated avionics and displays that modern planes do, they just cut a hole into the console and put a standalone unit in. $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    Jan 8, 2019 at 2:37

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