How to recognise commercial aircraft?
Our guide - Commercial aircraft recognition
There are many ways in which to identify aircraft. Some aircraft are easier than others due to their unique design, but some of the more similar looking aircraft are harder to tell apart. It's a help if you know which airliners operate which aircraft. i.e. Bmi baby only operate Boeing 737-300 and 737-500 so if you see a Bmi baby aircraft, there's a 50/50 chance you'll get it right. I'm not saying to go and study the fleet of every airline, it will come with experience. The more photographs/aircraft you see by each airline, the more you get to learn. A good website to use to find out more about airline's fleet is http://www.airfleets.net/home/
Here are some features of an aircraft that should help you identify an aircraft...
When trying to recognise an aircraft, a distinctive nose could sometimes be a clear give away. Boeing have very sharp noses whilst Airbus on the other hand, have a more rounded nose. What kind of nose does the aircraft you're trying to identify have? You should remember what type of nose the aircraft has for future reference, i.e nose of Boeing 747. If all you could see in a image was a 747's nose, it should still be fairly easy to identify that aircraft. Why? Because the nose is very unique to that aircraft and quite distinct.
Different aircraft can have all sorts of different tail sections including 't' tails, Standard tails, V Butterfly tails and twin tails.
Engines come in all shapes and sizes. Fisrt thing to do is to count how many there are. Easy right? (Not always) Next determine what type of engine they are, is it a jet engine or propellor? Where are the engines placed, under the wing, on top of the wing, or on the empennage?
What type of fuselage does the aircraft have? Does it have a narrow body or a wide body?
Does it have any for a start! It maybe a helicopter. What type of wing is it? Is it a swept back wing, straight wing or a delta wing? Position of the wing? High, mid or low wing?
Does it have any? If so what do they look like?
The landing gear can sometimes be a very useful feature of an aircraft to use to help identify it. That is if it's deployed of course. In some cases the landing gear is fixed and this helps determine the aircraft.