The two engine underwing model is the most common type of commercial aircraft in the sky today. There are two types: single-aisle, narrow body (Boeing 737, 757, Airbus A320, and Embraer E170) and two-aisle widebody (Boeing 767, 777, 787, Airbus A300, and A330). There are photo examples of each type at the bottom of this page. Place your mouse over the highlighted text to see that area on the image to the right.
- The 737 is one of the most popular jets ever sold. The -100 and -200 series were in production from 1968 to 1988, followed by the -300 and -500 series (all referred to as the 737 classic) from 1984 to 1999, and the “next generation” -700 through -900 series from 1998 to the present. More than 9,000 737s have been sold in the last 43 years. Most major airlines in America fly the 737 except Jetblue.
- Boeing introduced the 757 and 767 in 1982. Production of the 757 ended in 2004 and the 767 is still being built as a freighter and another version as a military refueling tanker. The largest operator of the 757 and 767 is Delta Airlines.
- The Boeing 777 went into production in 1995 and in America only United, American, and Delta fly them. This widebody jet is primarily used for long-haul routes.
- Boeing’s new 787 went into service in 2011. Eventually it will be in use by American, United, and Delta on long-haul international routes.
- The A300 was the first aircraft produced by Airbus and was built from 1974 to 2007. The only operators remaining in the U.S. are FedEx and UPS which use the freighter version. Out of the total of 823 built, 450 remain in service worldwide including the 169 operated by FedEx and UPS.
- Airbus introduced the narrowbody A320 family in 1988. The A318/319/320/and 321 versions are similar but have different passenger capacity and range. They are built in Europe. The largest operator of the A320 in the world is US Airways; United, Delta, and Jetblue also fly these jets in large numbers.
- The widebody A330 was introduced in 1998 by Airbus. In the U.S., only US Airways and Delta fly this jet for long range flights.
- The Embraer 170/175/and 190 models entered service in 2004 and are built in Brazil. They are basically large regional jets, seating between 70 and 100 passengers. These planes are flown under most of the regional airline brands, including Delta Connection, US Airways Express, and United Express as well as Jetblue.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Boeing 737 Next Gen
737 & A320 Front View
similar to that of their smaller Regional Jets, the ERJ-135/145.
All Embraer 170 family planes have winglets, and the 190 is longer than the 170 and 175 versions.
Boeing 767 and Airbus A300/310
This design is common on all Airbus aircraft.
which is a sloping, more aerodynamic design. Also, the wings do not have winglets but they have a well defined upward curvature and the wingtips are more slightly curved upward as well. This improves the plane’s aerodynamics, fuel economy, and range. The GE engines on this plane are very large and the rear edge of the exhaust duct has a serrated pattern (The only other plane using this engine is the new version of the 747) which helps reduce noise.
Boeing 777 and Airbus A330
The A330 is a twin engine version of the 4-engine A340 model.