One Distinctive Way to Tell a Boeing from an Airbus!

Note: This article is only for a quick Boeing vs Airbus comparison. We will be covering how to identify each aircraft of the two companies in detail our series AIKA BirdSpot! Many articles in the series are live now and can be accessed here.

There is one feature which will help you differentiate a Boeing from an Airbus most of the times – The Cockpit Windows! The side view of an Airbus cockpit has a notched window (sliding cut on top of a square window) while Boeing cockpit has V-shaped windows (lower edges of the windows form a shallow V-shape). 

Making it easy to remember – WANBV – the Windows of Airbuses are Notched and Boeings, V-shaped.

Example time baby!

Notice the sliding notch on the Airbus below:

Credits: Valentin Perret

And the shallow V-shaped windows on the Boeing below:

Credits: Pascal Renet

This rule has a few exceptions though:

Boeing 787 (Dreamliner): Laterally tapering windows. This shape is unique to 787.

Credits: Daniel Eledut

Airbus A350: Zorro-mask shaped windows. This shape too is unique to A350.

Credits: John H.

(Check out one more photo here:

Boeing 747: Square windows, unlike any other Boeing/Airbus plane. However, spotting a 747 is EXTREMELY easy as it is unlike any other Boeing/Airbus plane. This is almost poetic.

Credits: Nikita Herasimenka

The other way many spotters use to differentiate B vs A is the nose shape. Airbus noses are Round while Boeings’ are Pointy. So another mnemonic you can remember is NARBP – the Noses of Airbuses are Round and Boeings, Pointy.

Boeing 737 – Pointy Nose

Credits: Holgi

Airbus A320 – Round Nose

Credits: József Kincse

This was a quick glance through to the world of Plane Spotting. We will delve deep in our series AIKABirdSpot. Stay tuned!

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