Short Answer

Narrow-Body Aircraft    –   One aisle

Wide-Body Aircraft        –    More than one aisles (generally, two)

Long Answer

The distinction between Narrow- and Wide-Body aircraft is the width of the fuselage (tube shaped aircraft body, or the part where passengers, cargo and crew sit).

A typical narrow-body plane has a diameter of 3-4 m whereas a typical wide-body plane has a diameter of 5-6 m.

Due to the bigger fuselage, wide-body aircraft can house more passengers, and the same is achieved by having more seats per row. While narrow-body aircraft will have 3-6 seats per row with one aisle, wide-body aircraft can have upto 10 seats with two aisles.

Boeing 737 Interior
Narrow-Body Interior (Boeing 737). Notice the single aisle. By N3744F_cabin1.jpg- Original uploader was Cweyer at en.wikipediaderivative work- Altair78 (talk) – N3744F_cabin1.jpg, Public Domain, https-::commons.wikimedia.org:w:index.php?curid=10113207
Boeing 777 Interior
Wide-Body Interior (Boeing 777). Notice the two aisles. By Badudoy – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https-::commons.wikimedia.org:w:index.php?curid=15740210

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Definitions

International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) gives the following definitions for the types:

  • A wide-body aircraft is a large transport aircraft with internal cabin width sufficient for normal passenger seating to be divided into three axial groups by two aisles (in practice this means not less than 4.72 metres (15.6 feet))
  • A narrow-body aircraft is an aircraft having only one aisle in the cabin with passenger seating divided into two axial groups.

Examples

Head over to these articles to know which of the important aircraft flying in the skies today are narrow- and wide-body.

Boeing Family

Airbus Family

Providing some notable examples below:

Largest Narrow-Body Aircraft

Boeing 757-300

Boeing 757-300 Largest Narrow-Body Aircraft
Largest Narrow-Body Aircraft – Boeing 757-300. By Cory W. Watts from Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America – Boeing 757-300, CC BY-SA 2.0, https-::commons.wikimedia.org:w:index.php?curid=43532500

Smallest Wide-Body Aircraft

Airbus A310

Smallest Wide-Body Aircraft - Airbus A310
Smallest Wide-Body Aircraft – Airbus A310. By Tucancillo – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https-::commons.wikimedia.org:w:index.php?curid=6370234

First wide-body aircraft developed

Boeing 747

First Wide-Body Developed - Boeing 747
First Wide-Body Developed – Boeing 747. By Robert Frola – Flickr, GFDL, https-::commons.wikimedia.org:w:index.php?curid=32493949

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Hope we got you to know something new today.

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