Essentially the Boeing 777 is a “blown-up” 767, which makes keeping them apart often tricky. However when you look at the tail cone and main landing gear it is quite easy: the tail cone of the 777 is squared off and the main landing gear has six wheels per leg.
To differentiate between the 777 subtypes you have to look at
- the length of the fuselage
- the shape of the wing tips
- the presence of a cargo door (and absence of cabin windows)
- the top of the vertical stabiliser
Boeing 777-200 & 777-200ER
Both are short body versions of the triple seven. They have normal, squared off wing tips, and this is how to distinguish them from the 777F and 777-200LR. The 777-200ER has a longer range than the -200 owing to extra internal fuel tanks. For the rest they are the same.
Obviously this is the freighter version of the short body 777, without cabin windows, so it should be an easy call. Additionally the 777 Freighter has raked wing tips, ending in a sharp point. Note that Boeing chose to call this aircraft just 777F, not 777-200F.
Confusion possible with
Look only quickly and you can easily confuse the Boeing 767 and Boeing 777; the 777 is just a blown up 767. But there are significant differences: the Boeing 767 has four wheels on each main landing gear leg, the 777 has six. Also the tail cone of the 767 is rounded, while that of the 777 is flat and square.
The Airbus A350 has a similar size as the Boeing 777, so you might mistake one for the other. Also the -1000 version has six wheel main landing gears like the Triple. However, one look at the nose, wingtips or tailcone will be enough to quickly recognise either aircraft type correctly.
Like the 777F the Boeing 777-200LR has raked wing tips to improve the aerodymanics, helping it to achieve a longer range (hence -200LR). There are no other external differences compared to the 777-200 and -200ER.
The 777-300 is significantly longer than the 777-200 (about 10 m), so it is easy to keep them apart. Just count the number of doors on each side: the 200 has four, the 300 five. Like the original 777-200 is has normal wing tips. This is how to recognise the 777-300 from the -300ER.
The Extended Range version of the -300 has raked wing tips that allows it to be recognised easily from the -300.
This is the shortest variant of the second generation triple seven, but it is still six metres longer than the 777-200 subtypes and four metres shorter than the 777-300. It is easiest recognised on the ground, when the wing tips are folded up. Then they look like large winglets. The wing span is so much larger than of the first generation 777 that folding wing tips is the only way to allow them operate at current airports. But even when extended the wingtips are more curved than on the 777-200LR and 777-300ER, like those of the 787.
Another recognition point is the top of the vertical stabiliser. Like on the Boeing 787, it is not straight, but has a slight sweep angle, with the end being higher than the front.
Compared to the 777-8 the -9 has a nearly seven metres longer fuselage, which is also three metres longer than the 777-300. Further there are no differences. The folding wing tips are the best way to keep it apart from the 777-300ER.