Boeing produces two reliable workhorses, widely accepted by airlines throughout the world: the Boeing 767 and 777. While 767 was a moderate success, 777 has been a breakthrough success for the company. Its latest range – 777x – got unveiled as recently as March 2019. In this article, we will attempt to provide you the features of both the planes that will help you spot them better.

Asiana Airlines Boeing 777-200 ER
Credits: Juergen Lehle
British Airways Boeing 767-300 ER
Credits: Arpingstone

Note: Before we begin, it is necessary to point out that as we go into each aircraft and its variants, the differences go more subtle. Also, because there are so many aircraft and variants, it is not possible to provide comparisons between all of them. Thus, it is necessary for the reader to always be mentally comparing aircraft and finding features that they can remember most distinctly. As we say at AIKA,

Every aircraft has its own personality, what feature of that personality appeals to you is a personal thing.

Jumping right in, here are some features to help identify the two airplanes and tell them apart:

1. Is it a Boeing aircraft?

For followers of this series, it is an easy one. Head over to this article where we discuss major differences between Boeing and Airbus aircraft. Once you know for sure it is a Boeing, move to point 2.

2. Is it a Boeing 737 family aircraft?

Boeing 737 family, undoubtedly, is the most important category of aircraft in the company’s catalogue, and arguably, in the world of aviation. With roughly 25% aircraft flying in the skies right now belong to this family, it is important to find out if it is indeed a 737. Head over to this article to help decide that. If you are convinced the plane in front of you is not a 737, move to point 3.

3. Size

Boeing 777 and 767 are fairly large planes with the former larger than the latter. If you see a single deck large Boeing aircraft at the airport, chances are that it is either one of these or a 787 Dreamliner (Dreamliner spotting guide can be accessed here). See the size comparison chart below:

Size Comparison of Major Commercial Aircraft
Credits: https://tinyurl.com/y37s2la2

4. Wingtips

Both Boeing 777 and 767 do not have any wingtips. 

5. Landing Gears

The 777 has a 6-wheel main landing gear. Only Airbus A350-1000 has a 6-wheel main landing gear other than the 777. The good thing about Airbus A350 series is that it can be very easily be distinguished from its peers by looking at the mask-shaped cockpit windows. Thus the landing gear can be a good distinguisher for the 777.

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER. Notice the 6-wheel main landing gear.
Credits: Adrian Pingstone

The 767 has a 4-wheel main landing gear. While Airbus A330, Airbus A350-900, Boeing 757 and Boeing 787 also have this type of a landing gear, the A350-900 and 787 can be easily distinguished from the 767 as these planes have very prominent features as discussed earlier. The difference with the A330 is that in idle position, the A330’s landing gears fall to the back while the 767’s gears fall to the front. We will discuss the 757 in a detailed article later.

Nationwide Boeing 767-300ER. See the 4-wheel main landing gear.
Credits: MilborneOne
Landing Gear Configuration for Major Commercial Aircraft
Credits: https://tinyurl.com/y3hcpb6v

6. Exit Doors

The 777-200 has 4 exit doors with no over-wing exit while the 777-300 has 5 exit doors with one over-wing exit. 

Japan Airlines Boeing 777-200. Notice the 4 exit doors.
Credits: Yamaguchi Yoshiaki
Emirates Boeing 777-300. Notice the 5 exit doors.
Credits: Terence Ong

The 767-200 has 3 exit doors with one over-wing exit, 767-300 has 4 exit doors with two over-wing exits and 767-400 has 4 exit doors with no over-wing exit.

Air Zimbabwe Boeing 767-200ER. Notice the 3 exit doors
Credits: Wikimedia Commons
Lauda Air Boeing 767-300ER. Notice the 4 exit doors
Credits: Benny Bartels
Continental Boeing 767-400. Notice the 4 exit doors.
Credits: Ozark

Thus, identifying between 777-200 and 767-400 on the basis of the number and position of exit doors is not possible. For this purpose, look at the number of passenger windows. For the 767-400 the exit doors are almost equidistant while in 777-200 they are not.


Hope this article helped you progress in your planespotting journey. Please share this article with fellow aviation enthusiasts, or anyone likely to benefit from it.

Cover Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

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