Note: This article is a part of AIKA Birdspot Series, whose aim is to help you identify any commercial aircraft in under 5 seconds. To access the series, click here.

This is going to be a short article because identifying a Boeing 787 Dreamliner is very easy, at least till similar looking planes are not launched.

Cover- By Johnnyw3 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https-::commons.wikimedia.org:w:index.php?curid=76828779

Please use the following features to distinguish a Boeing 787 from other planes:

Cockpit Windows (Windshields)

Unlike other Boeing (and even Airbus) aircraft, the Dreamliner has a 4 piece windshield, or 4 cockpit windows. The shape of the side windshields too is different from other Boeing (and Airbus) aircraft, as these are laterally tapering. No other plane has a similarly shaped cockpit windows. Recall how Boeing aircraft have V-shaped windows, and Airbus aircraft have notched side windshields (highly recommend to read this article).

Boeing 787 Windshield Cockpit
Boeing 787 Dreamliner Windshield
Credits: BriYYZ

Engine Casing

The engine casing on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner is Chevron-shaped. Only Boeing 737 Max has a similar casing. Though it is fairly easy to distinguish the two planes as Boeing 737 Max is very much similar to its parent family, the 737 family (highly recommend to read this article for more on the 737 family).

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Engine Chevron
Dreamliner Engine. Notice the Chevrons at the rear
Credits: Chihaya Sta

Wings

Now this is the most interesting part. The Dreamliner’s wings have two distinct features.

  • Flex: For additional aerodynamic stability, and because of the nature of the material used, the wings of the Dreamliner flex (i.e. bend upwards) when in flight.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner Wing Flex
Dreamliner Wing Flex. The flex will be more pronounced when cruising
Credits: Tomás Del Coro
  • Raked wingtip: Though not a unique feature, the sharp triangular wingtip, known as raked wingtip, can be observed to identify a Dreamliner.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner Raked Wingtip
Dreamliner Raked Wingtip
Credits: Christopher Neugebauer

We hope this article was useful. Don’t forget to share it with fellow aviation enthusiasts!

Cover Credits: ohnnyw3

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