How To Describe An Aircraft?

You already know how to describe a picture in terms of an ICAO examination, so now let’s focus on a more detailed part. An aircraft is an obvious and unquestionable element for aviators. Make sure you know the appropriate linguistic advanced structures for aircraft description.

Is Aircraft  A Countable Or Uncountable Noun?

“Aircraft” is a countable noun. It’s the same in both singular (an aircraft) and plural (aircraft).

These forms are grammatically correct:


“Taxiing is the movement of an aircraft on the ground, under its own power, in contrast to towing or pushback where the aircraft is moved by a tug.” (Wikipedia: “taxiing” entry)

checkboxAn F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft crashed Tuesday during routine flight training, the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing said.” (

checkbox“The modern aircraft use more sustainable aviation fuel”. (“Aircraft” here is a collective noun.)


If you want to add the number of aircraft, the word remains the same. No “s” is added.

checkbox“Sunday’s operation involved 15 aircraft and followed a similar drill that led to a warning from Washington.” (

So that’s the only incorrect option here is aircrafts. Worth remembering if you don’t want to end up on Level 3 Pre-Operational:


No, no, no, please. Replace it with “airplanes” or “planes“.

Three ATRs-72

Count The Engines – Is It A Single-engine, Twin-engine, A Trijet, Four-engine Or Multi-engine?

When you describe a plane, you can also mention a number of engines:

  • a single-engine plane – mainly used for general aviation description
  • twin-engine – an aircraft with two jet engines,
  • a trijet – a jet powered by three jet engines,
  • a four-engined aircraft = a multi-engine


Count the Aisles – Is It A Single-Aisle or Twin-Aisle Airliner?

The number of aisles will clearly indicate whether an aircraft is a medium- or a long-range jet.

  • A single-aisle aircraft is a narrow-body aircraft allowing up to 6-abreast seating in a cabin below 4 meters (13 feet) of width.
  • A twin-aisle aircraft is a wide-body aircraft that can accommodate two passenger aisles with 7 or more seats abreast. The typical fuselage diameter is 5 to 6 meters (16 to 20 feet).

Aircraft Paint Schemes – What’s The Difference Between a Decal and Livery?

What Is A Decal?

Decals are usually adhesive decorative graphic elements on foil or stickers used for aircraft personalization.

Decals are usually less expensive and easier to apply than a livery. Decals are often made for short– and medium-term use

What is A Livery?

The livery is the permanent design that is put on a company’s aircraft.

Liveries are usually more expensive and more difficult to apply than a decal Liveries are often made for long-term use.

The types of liveries:

  • a national livery
  • a retro livery
  • a special livery (a Star Wars-themed paint design or Iron Maiden livery)

Pssst! Remember this collocation “in the livery of“:

  • in special livery
  • in retro livery
  • in the livery of Air India

Is It A Passenger of Cargo Aircraft?

It’s such a basic distinction but the examination pressure can make you forget the simplest facts like if a shown plane is a passenger or freighter/cargo aircraft or a military transport aircraft.

A DC-3 and Dreamliner