4 Engines

The most common aircraft with four engines in regular passenger service today are the Boeing 747 and Airbus A340. There is also the Airbus A380, which is easily recognizable as it is the only full double-decker jet flying today. You’ll only see the A380 at one of the international gateway airports such as New York, Miami, and LA because the airlines flying it are from overseas. Place your mouse over the red links below to highlight the illustration and scroll down to see photos of these kinds of aircraft.

 

BACKGROUND

  • The Boeing 747 has been in production since 1970 and is popular with both passenger and cargo airlines. In the United States, only United and Delta fly the 747 as well as several cargo airlines but it is very common in other countries where there are high capacity, long distance routes.
     

  • The Airbus A340 went into service in 1993 but production ended in 2011. The largest operators are Lufthansa, Iberia, and Swiss International. No airlines in North America operate the A340.
     

  • The Airbus A380 entered service in 2007 and is flown by a dozen airlines in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East; the largest operator is Emirates with 48 out of the 136 built so far. This long range double-decker jetliner can be seen in the U.S. at major international gateway airports such as JFK and LAX, as well as Chicago, Houston, Dallas, and Miami.

 
 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

 
 

Boeing 747 and Airbus A340
The 747 is the only aircraft with an upper deck over the front section.
 
Only one version of the 747 has winglets (the -400 series, produced from 1989 to 2008) while all A340s have them.
 
The 747 engine’s exhaust outlets are pointed while all A340 engine housings are cone-shaped.
4 engine Boeing 747
4 engine Airbus A340

Airbus A380
The Airbus A380 has a full upper deck and a very large wingspan. It is an unmistakeable shape.
4 engine Airbus A380

CABIN LAYOUT

Boeing 747 Cabin
A 747 can hold as many as 568 passengers in a two-class seat configuration! Onboard you’ll find no less than 10 lavatories and galleys in the front, middle, rear, and upper deck areas. The 747 economy class seats are usually 3-4-3 across while the A340 is typically 2-4-2 across.
 
Also, the rear of an A340 cabin is more tapered than a 747 so that the last 4 rows are only 2-3-2.

Boeing 747 Seat Map (left) and Airbus A340 Seat Map (right)

4 engine Boeing 747 Cabin
4 engine Airbus A340 Cabin

EXAMPLES

Boeing 747 Aircraft

Click for photos of Boeing 747 aircraft

Airbus A340

Click for photos of Airbus A340 aircraft

Airbus A380

Click for photos of Airbus A380 aircraft

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