Questions tagged [feature-identification]

For questions about identifying a feature or design on an aircraft.

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230
votes
4answers
145k views

What is the dark spot visible below the cockpit on A-10s?

On most A-10s I have seen, the area under the cockpit is darker than the rest of the plane. Is there a reason for this?
58
votes
3answers
22k views

What are these things hanging off the trailing edge of the wing?

What are these things hanging off the trailing edge of the wing? I've seen them in almost all of the aircraft I've flown in, and can't remember if they're exclusively Boeing or Airbus.
47
votes
1answer
13k views

What is this hatch above the cockpit of a 747?

There is a little door on the upper deck above the cockpit: Source: Airliners.net, (modified to indicate location of hatch). What is that door? What is its purpose?
46
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the offset in a seaplane's hull?

I noticed there is a little offset in a seaplane's hull (highlighted in the following picture). I suppose this is useful as it exists in all the seaplanes I know. It appears to be neither a ...
45
votes
4answers
10k views

What is this hole at the front of the engine pylon on a Boeing 707?

Images of the Boeing 707 show a hole at the front of the engine pylon just above the engine. Can someone please tell me what is the purpose? Also why do images show the hole absent on the left outer ...
45
votes
1answer
7k views

What does this plus (cross) sign on this electrical panel mean?

I'm looking at a picture of the electrical panel of a Phenom 100 and on it I see a + sign, does anyone have any ideas as to what it's supposed to mean?
43
votes
2answers
24k views

What is this flange on the engine?

Flying home from the Denver ComiCon, on a 737, I saw an angled flange on the engine. Could you describe its purpose? Photos by CGCampbell licensed CC0
42
votes
3answers
9k views

Why does the B-2 Spirit have a pattern of thin white lines?

Northrop Grumman's B-2 Spirit bomber is mostly black or dark grey, but has a symmetric pattern of distinctive, thin white lines painted on its wings and fuselage. I have not been able to find anything ...
41
votes
1answer
2k views

Can experts identify the model using this part (FOD prevention purposes)?

We found this part of an aircraft recently and, in order to improve the safety levels at our airport, we would like to know what possible aircraft model (or models) are compatible with this cover so ...
41
votes
2answers
8k views

What are these five indicators at the front of the 737 passenger cabin?

As a passenger I noticed set of five indicators on ceiling at the front of the 737 passenger cabin. They are: red, yellow (or white), blue, white, red. Red ones seem to be coupled together (what ...
39
votes
1answer
7k views

Which aircraft had such a luxurious-looking navigator's station?

I'm reading the BBC's How Fiji changed the way we travel; The little Pacific island nation was the first to incorporate GPS into its aviation system – and in doing so forever changed the way we get ...
35
votes
1answer
8k views

What is the strange object on 737-800 exterior, on the aft right side?

I was unable to locate this on a "real life" picture of the aircraft, so have attached an image from my simulator. What is the function/purpose of this object on the exterior of the 738? It seems like ...
31
votes
2answers
18k views

What is this on top of the Air Force One?

Clarification: It wasn't Air Force One that visited Switzerland, it was the 747-200 E4 carrying Ashton Carter. Source What is this thing on top of the plane (In red circle): On other "Air Force One" ...
31
votes
2answers
5k views

What are these boxes built into the tails of some fighters?

In looking at European-designed fighters of the 4th and 4.5th generation, I keep seeing a common design feature; a box-like structure built into the tail, often in the top half or third. Some examples:...
30
votes
3answers
8k views

What is this object in the cockpit of an ultralight?

This is a tool (probably) in on an ultralight airplane. Initially I guessed that it is a tilting meter (to level between right and left), but seems it is not as it just a vertical tube filled up with ...
30
votes
3answers
10k views

What is this gigantic dish at Ben Gurion airport?

As the title asks, what is this thing for? Have never seen anything like it at other airports I've been to.
30
votes
1answer
4k views

What does this black triangle placard on board an A320 denote?

Just out of interest whilst travelling aboard a British Airways A320-232 G-MIDT on the 9.45 BA shuttle service (LGW-GLA) in seat 10F I noticed a placard above the window of seat 9F. Given this seat ...
30
votes
1answer
25k views

Why is there a hole in one of the layer of an airplane's windows?

On a commercial airliner, there is a hole in one of the layer of the passenger windows. See here: and here: Or in more detail: Can you explain the physical reasons for this design choice?
29
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the metal bit in the front of this propeller spinner?

What is that grey spirally bit in front of the propeller mounted on this Shvetsov ASh-62 radial engine?
29
votes
1answer
8k views

What are those bumps on top of the Antonov-225?

What are those bumps on top of the Antonov-225? What are they for? And what are they called?
28
votes
2answers
6k views

What are those hatches on the engines of a B-2 that are open during takeoff?

I just watched this drool-inducing video of Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, And noticed that there are a couple of hatches near each engine, which were open: I initially thought they were open for some ...
27
votes
6answers
5k views

What is this F-18 Hornet “air intake” for?

I think I read once that they served to cool the on-board computer systems, but I'm not sure.
27
votes
2answers
5k views

What is that device on an Su-27 pilot's helmet?

While watching a YouTube video (2.5hrs), I noticed this device on the top of most Russian Su-27 combat pilot's helmet. A google search only shows it for a Su-27 and MiG-29, but apparently no other ...
27
votes
1answer
5k views

What is this pattern on the A350 front window?

The image is extracted from this video (at 3m40s, when taking off) I circled in purple the strange pattern formed by few black straight lines. I'm quite puzzled as I have no idea of what it is or ...
25
votes
1answer
1k views

What's that in front of the overhead panel?

There is that thing I have see a few pilot using it. it can be pulled outside and then inside. what's that and what's the use of it?
24
votes
5answers
9k views

Is this one of the engines from the 9/11 aircraft?

I ran across an interesting set of post-9/11 photos and I noticed this picture in particular: The closest item on the truck looks a bit like an airplane engine, but I can't tell for sure. Is it one ...
21
votes
2answers
6k views

What is this 'ball' in front of the cockpit of some fighters, e.g., an Su-57?

What is the lump/ball thing visible below and to the left of the canopy in this image of a PAK FA (which became the Sukhoi Su-57), and what is it for? It's also seen on other fighters. Image source
21
votes
1answer
2k views

What is this device they bring on board from the jet bridge when we park?

Every time I deplane a Virgin America A320, I notice that they grab something from the jet bridge, and stuff it between the jump seats. I haven't seen any other commercial airlines with things like ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

Why did some Caravelles have a very long dorsal fin?

(Source) Why did some Sud Aviation Caravelles have a very long dorsal fin stretching half the fuselage? Initially I thought it's to keep the fin low to fit in existing hangars as a selling point, ...
20
votes
1answer
6k views

What are these “pimples” on the jet engine for?

When looking into the General Electric CJ 805-23B jet engine, I have discovered that all forward section of the compressor is covered by a number of near identically looking "pimples". What are these ...
19
votes
2answers
4k views

What are those arrow markings on the wing?

I recently flew on a Boeing 737-800 and found these arrow markings on the wing. What are they for?
19
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the function of the plate behind the wheels of the Pilatus Porter?

Anyone knows what's the plate behind the wheel of the Pilatus Porter for?
18
votes
2answers
2k views

What is that CFM56 with a toothed exhaust on an A321?

I stumbled upon a wikimedia picture and I saw something that I have not seen before: a CFM56 with a toothed engine exhaust. Can someone explain to me what engine variant that is? Source Author: ...
18
votes
2answers
6k views

What's this hole on the ATR-72?

There is a hole on the belly fairing circled in yellow. I guess is an air intake but I tried searching some info and couldn't find anything. Source
18
votes
1answer
4k views

What is this device on the nose of a Bombardier Global 6000?

What is the circled object? (jetphotos.net)
18
votes
2answers
3k views

What is this cutout in the Spitfire cockpit glass?

This is a still from the film Dunkirk. I realise this is not a historical document, but I have also found a similar feature in photos of real Spitfires. What is the purpose of this?
16
votes
1answer
8k views

What are these panels underneath the wing root of a A380?

What are these open panels underneath the wing root of a A380 (right above the person standing under the aircraft)? Are they ram air exhausts of the air conditioning packs?
15
votes
2answers
7k views

What exactly are those openings in the bellies of many jetliners?

I have circled the areas (in yellow) under the belly of the 737. What exactly are those? (airliners.net)
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What is this nose cowl mounted display?

(YouTube) A crop duster's nose mounted display. It looks like a poor man's HUD to keep the display and the outside view at roughly the same focus distance, but what is its function?
15
votes
1answer
3k views

What is that ceiling compartment of a Boeing 737?

Does somebody know what that big box in the roof of the 737 cabin is?
15
votes
1answer
4k views

What are the unusually-enlarged wing sections on this P-38 Lightning?

Halfway through this video of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, there's an unusual-looking example. Notice the enlarged wing sections outboard of the engine bodies, and also how the cockpit fairing ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What is this pipe on the tail of this helicopter?

In this picture of a CH-53 you can see a pipe or rail on the tail section of the aircraft. What is that?
15
votes
1answer
1k views

What is this object on an MD-11?

There is something above the engine on the tail of this MD-11: What is that? Source
15
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this device protruding from the rear of this 787?

While looking at the photos from this question I noticed a small protrusion from the side of the plane. You can see it in the photo: and in the diagram from l@aeroalias answer: In the diagram it ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the tube shaped structures on the back of the fuselage of this 737?

A previous question asked what the little metal plates between the horizontal and vertical stabilizer were (they are vortex generators), however I am much more interested in what the gray tube shaped ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

What are those things on the B747 engine pylons?

I noticed some dots and lines on the Boeing 747 engine pylons. What are they? The above image is as seen in this video at 2:18.
13
votes
5answers
5k views

What is this ring-shaped device behind this DC-8's jet engine?

What is this ring-shaped device behind this Douglas DC-8's jet engine? (YouTube)
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Why do the A220 cockpit seats have a cutout?

Why do cockpit seats on the A220 have a cutout on the bottom cushion? The answers to Aircraft pilot's seats: what is the notch for? explain that these cutouts allow for easier maneuverability of the ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What engine are these fan blades from?

I bought these from a metal scrapper and paid about $30.00 total figuring they're worth more than that in cool factor. Problem is they aren't nearly as cool if I can't figure out what engine (and ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What is this thing between the engines on the F-14 Tomcat?

On the F-14 as you can see from a picture there is some exhaust like thing in between engines. What is this?