Airplanes Online Home Page Airplanes Online

Commercial Airliners

... on our new site devoted entirely to airliners:

Airliner Spotter guides and tips for Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and Bombardier aircraft

With the wide variety of airliners serving the worldwide travel market today, identification of individual aircraft manufacturers and planes can be a bit tricky.

Included on our new website are guides to spotting and identifying the common airliners of today.

This website provides identification guides and recognition tips for comparing the airliners of the major companies engaged in aviation manufacturing today: Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, Antonov and others.

The key to telling airplanes apart is attention to the details, e.g., number of engines, windshield design, landing gear configurations, engine placement, shape of the nose and tail design.

One of the many spotting guides and side-by-side comparisons available at
Spotting guides and side-by-side comparisons at

Side-by-side comparison charts of airplane differences and photographs help identify airliner manufacturer, individual models, and unique design characteristics.

Charts focus on how to tell planes apart, by comparing engine placement, windshield arrangement, landing gear configuration, entry doors, tailfin design, winglets and other distinguishing characteristics.

A good starting point is our Airliner Spotting Guide.

See you at the end of the runway!

Modern Day Airliners

Spotting Guides for Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, and Bombardier jet airliners

Airliner resources at our other website:

Boeing Commercial Jet Airliners

Boeing 707

Boeing 717

Boeing 727

Boeing 737

Boeing 747

Boeing 757

Boeing 767

Boeing 777

Boeing 787

Boeing Customer Code Numbers

Bombardier CRJ Series

Bombardier Q-400 / De Havilland Dash 8-400

Embraer ERJ Series

Embraer E-Jet Series and E-Jet E2 Series

Sukhoi Superjet 100

Mitsubishi SpaceJet

ATR Airliner

Gulfstream Aerospace

Saab Airliners

Fokker Airliners

BAe-146 and AVRO RJ Airliners

Airbus Commercial Jet Airliners

Airbus A220

Airbus A300

Airbus A310

Airbus A318

Airbus A319

Airbus A320

Airbus A321

Airbus A330

Airbus A340

Airbus A350

Airbus A380

Airbus Beluga

McDonnell-Douglas MD-80 and MD-90

McDonnell-Douglas DC-10, MD-10, and MD-11

Lockheed L-1011 Tristar

Airliner Exterior Lights

IATA, ICAO, Boeing and Airbus Airliner Codes/Numbers

Airliner Registration Numbers


Propliners of the Past

Boarding a United Air Lines propliner in earlier times of the airline industry

Today we are accustomed to travel in "the jet age" ... but prior to the 1950s all of the airlines of world depended on propliners as the mainstays of their fleets.

A series of improvements over the years led the industry from the DC-3 to the DC-7, Electra, Constellation and other propeller-based airliners.

Seen on this page are images of those early propliners, and airlines that still exist, such as American, Delta and United.

Also included are images from airlines that have been engulfed in takeovers, and victims of bankruptcy and changing times: Northwest, Eastern, National, Pan American and Trans Texas.

... about propliners of the past

Jetliners of the Past

Earlier days at Dallas Love Field
Earlier days of jet travel at Dallas Love Field (Author's Collection)

The jet age of passenger travel began in the late 1950s with the arrival of the Boeing 707, the Convair 880 and the Douglas DC-8.

Later aircraft included the Convair 990, Douglas DC-9 and McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 and MD-11, and Lockheed L-1011 Tristar.

We weren't able to photograph airliners in those earlier times. But we have included on this page representative images of these earlier jet airliners of the past from our collection of vintage postcards, and some of our original photographs from airplane boneyards.

... about jetliners of the past

Special Report: Boeing 707

Boeing 707 of Trans World Airlines
Boeing 707 of Trans World Airlines

The Boeing 367-80, the "Dash 80", was the prototype aircraft for the Boeing 707 jet airliner, the Air Force C-135 Stratolifter, and KC-135 Stratotanker. It was rolled out of the assembly line in May of 1954 from Boeing's Renton, Washington plant.

The successful testing of the Dash 80 led to many orders for Boeing from multiple airlines. The first commercial orders for the 707 came on October 13, 1955, when Pan American World Airways ordered 20 aircraft.

The 707 entered commercial service on October 26, 1958, when Pan Am flew 111 passengers on its 707-121 "Clipper America" (N711PA) from New York's Idlewild Airport to Paris in 8 hours and 41 minutes, twice as fast as a piston-engine airliner. The flight stopped at Gander, Newfoundland to refuel.

... about the Boeing 707

Active Airliner Boneyards and Storage Facilities

... on our new site devoted entirely to boneyards:

Airplane Boneyards website

Commercial airliners eventually reach end-of-life due to airframe wear and/or obsolescence. Some jetliners are temporarily taken off flying status, and must be stored in a environment that is conducive to preservation. Others are kept for spare parts for flying aircraft.

To protect airliners during their storage from wind and sun damage, engines and windows are tightly covered with white, reflective materials. A sealed airliner can thus be stored safely, for years, until the time comes to return it to active duty, or salvage. Eventually, all airliners are removed permanently from service and must be "disposed" of.

Airliner "boneyards" in the deserts of the western United States serve several functions: temporary storage, maintenance, parts reclamation, and scrapping.

Major boneyards and storage facilities are also located in Spain, France, the U.K., Australia and other countries around the world.

... about commercial airliner boneyards

British Airways Airbus A380s in storage at the Chateauroux Airport - June 17, 2020 (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
British Airways Airbus A380s in storage at the Chateauroux Airport



Entrance area at the Teruel Airport in Spain ... the dry climate makes it suitable for long-term storage of airliners
Entrance area at the Teruel Airport in Spain