• woman holding a plane spotting guide

Plane Spotting at YVR

Our convenient location at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) provides you with a unique opportunity to observe active runways. Ready to see how many planes you can spot as they take off and land? Use this guide to keep track of all the various aircraft as you relax in Jetside Lounge and Globe @ YVR.

Propeller Aircraft

Look for: A flat stubby nose on the Otter and a long pointy nose on the Turbo Otter.

Fact: Its unique retractable undercarriage can be fitted with ski floats for water or skis for snow and ice operations. Look for the Otter at the Harbour Air float plane terminal.

  • Length: 12.8m (41ft.)
  • Wingspan: 17.7m (58ft.)
  • Passengers: 10
  • Cruising speed: 195 km/h (121 mph)

Look for: Two turboprop engines and the distinguishing tail on the fuselage.

Fact: The Saab 340 is a very popular regional airliner that can regularly be spotted at the South Terminal and operated by Pacific Coastal Air.

  • Length: 19.7m (64ft.)
  • Wingspan: 21.4m (70ft.)
  • Passengers: 37
  • Cruising speed: 515 km/h (320 mph)

Look for: Two 820KW Turboprops driving propellers, square fuselage cross-section, and a T-shaped tail.

Fact: Seen at the Domestic and South terminals, the Beechcraft is designed for shorter runways and is used by regional airlines at YVR.

  • Length: 17.63m (58ft.)
  • Wingspan: 17.7m (58ft.)
  • Passengers: 18
  • Cruising speed: 518 km/h (322 mph)

Look for: Two propellers and a large T-shaped tail.

Fact: All Dash 8-400s have a noise vibration system, which reduces in-cabin noise to jet-like levels

  • Length: 32.84m (107.5ft.)
  • Wingspan: 28.42m (93.5ft.)
  • Passengers: 70–78
  • Cruising speed: 648 km/h (328 mph)

Narrow Body Aircraft

Look for: Large winglets and two jet engines mounted on the fuselage at the rear.

Fact: The CRJ700 features a new wing with leading edge slats and a stretched and slightly widened fuselage with a lowered floor.

  • Length: 32.5m (106ft.)
  • Wingspan: 23.24m (76ft.)
  • Passengers: 70–78
  • Cruising speed: 829 km/h (515 mph)

Look for: Engines mounted under the wings, in housings called Nacelles.

Fact: Introduced in 2002, Embraer jets are relatively new.

  • Length: 36.2m (119ft.)
  • Wingspan: 28.9m (94ft.)
  • Passengers: 98
  • Cruising speed: 890 km/h (553 mph)

Look for: A pointier nose than the Airbus A320 and an engine with oval inlets that sits closer to the ground.

Fact: The 737 is the most produced commercial passenger jet in the world and is the staple aircraft for WestJet.

  • Length: 33.6m (110ft.)
  • Wingspan: 34.3m (113ft.)
  • Passengers: 126
  • Cruising speed: 833.8 km/h (518 mph)

Look for: Round engine inlets and a rounder nose than the Boeing 737.

Fact: The A320 has two emergency doors over the wing, the A319 has one emergency exit over the wing and the A321 has one large emergency exit in front of the wing and one just behind the wing.

  • Length: 37.6m (123ft.)
  • Wingspan: 34.1m (112 ft.)
  • Passengers: 150
  • Cruising speed: 840 km/h (522 mph)

Wide Body Aircraft

Look for: A sparrow nose, raked wingtips and engine nacelles with noise-reducing serrated edges.

Fact: The Dreamliner is Boeing’s most eco-friendly airliner. It is the world’s first major airliner to incorporate primarily composite materials in the construction of its airframe.

  • Length: 62.8m (206ft.)
  • Wingspan: 60.1m (197ft. 3in.)
  • Passengers: 250
  • Cruising speed: 913 km/h (593 mph)

Look for: Large winglets and same body as Airbus A340, but with only two engines.

Fact: The A330-200 can be set up in either a three-class or two-class system.

  • Length: 63.6m (208ft.)
  • Wingspan: 60.3m (197ft.)
  • Passengers: 295
  • Cruising speed: 871 km/h (541 mph)

Look for: Large winglets and same body as Airbus A330, but with four engines.

Fact: This long-range aircraft is used by many airlines travelling from YVR to overseas destinations such as Taipei, Manila and London Heathrow.

  • Length: 63.6m (209 ft.)
  • Wingspan: 60.3m (198ft.)
  • Passengers: 295
  • Cruising speed: 880 km/h (547 mph)

Look for: Three pairs of wheels (duals) in tandem on landing gear and a flat shape to the tail cone.

Fact: With ultra-long range, the 777-200 flies between YVR and Sydney, Australia nonstop in 15.5 hours.

  • Length: 63.7m (209ft.)
  • Wingspan: 60.9m (199ft.)
  • Passengers: 305
  • Cruising speed: 892 km/h (554 mph)

Cargo and Roto Aircraft

Look for: Longer and thinner body style than other twin-engine airplanes.

Fact: The 757 freighter is used by FedEx Canada at YVR.

  • Length: 47.3m (155ft.)
  • Wingspan: 38m (124ft)
  • Cargo Capacity: 17 tonnes
  • Cruising speed: 850 km/h (530 mph)

Look for: Similar to the 767 passenger aircraft, but with no windows.

Fact: Used by DHL and CargoJet at YVR, the main deck can carry odd-sized cargo, including perishable goods and live animals.

  • Length: 48.5m (159ft.)
  • Wingspan: 47.58m (156ft.)
  • Cargo Capacity: 42 tonnes
  • Cruising speed: 914 km/h

Look for: The distinctive second storey hump at the front of the plane and four engines.

Fact: At 63 feet 8 inches (19.4 m), this plane’s tail height is equivalent to a six-storey building. Cathay Pacific operates this aircraft for its all-cargo operations.

  • Length: 70.6m (232ft.)
  • Wingspan: 64.4m (211ft.)
  • Cargo Capacity: 134 tonnes
  • Cruising speed: 913 km/h (567 mph)

Look for: Four bladed main and tail rotors.

Fact: B.C.’s air ambulance service relies on the Sikorsky 76 for emergency medical transport.

  • Length: 13.2m (43ft.)
  • Blade length: 13.4m (44ft.)
  • Passengers: 12
  • Cruising speed: 287 km/h (178 mph)