All posts tagged: airbus
all white a340-600 side view
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Here she is – my favorite A340 variant of them all! I’ve been really anxious to publish these templates because the A340-600 contains pretty much everything I like in a big airliner: four very large engines, a long fuselage, and very well balanced proportions. Some may argue with me a bit on the proportion thing, but I think the extra-long fuselage with those four big Rolls Royce engines looks fantastic from any angle. I’ve heard it referred to as “the flying pencil” (the Boeing 757-300 has the honor of being referred to that as well), but that makes no difference to me. Flying pencil or not, she’s still a beauty!

Creating this template wasn’t too difficult, mostly since it borrows a large majority of components from the -500. The biggest difference (besides the added length) is the window and boarding door configuration. The -600 has four full size boarding doors, while the -500 has only three. Both have one emergency exit door. Other than that, was simply a matter of stretching a little here, pulling a little there, and repositioning components like sensors and landing gear to the appropriate positions.

airbus a340-600 side view line drawing

Technical side profile line drawing of an Airbus A340-600 over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

There’s something special about these large four-engined airliners that no other type of aircraft has ever been able to replicate, and it’s a shame that we are at the end of an era with this sort of thing. The aviation industry has moved on to large twins (two-engine aircraft) for cost and efficiency purposes and it’s likely that we’ll never see another four-engined airliner again. Of course Airbus could continue to develop variants of the A380 over time, but there are very few airlines in this world who have been able to make large quads work within their fleets. It’s simply too much airplane for most markets, so only time will tell how much longer we’ll see four-engined airliners flying across the skies above.

Anyway, I’m still up in the air (ha!) about which airliner template to focus on next. The Airbus A320 NEO seems like it would be a good option due to how popular it has become, but…I’m not ashamed to admit that it’s not very exciting and I’d prefer to work on something with a bit more style. How about a Concorde? Or DC-8?? I can’t imagine there would be too many of you anxious to download templates for those, so the NEO may be the one. We’ll see…

airbus a340-500 white
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Here we go – now we are getting into the “fun” variants of the A340! The A340 templates I posted last April were of the -300 variant which, to be quite honest, isn’t a very remarkable airplane. The biggest issue is how underpowered it is (despite having 4-engines), and quite a few airlines have voiced their disappointment in it’s overall performance over the years. It’s a well-built and reliable aircraft no doubt, but it just didn’t live up to it’s promises.

But then the stretched and re-engined -500 and -600 variants came along, and the A340 became relevant and competitive again. These aircraft were so much more capable than the -300 and -200 in pretty much every regard. More power, more range, and higher payload capabilities are just a few of the things which gave new life to this aircraft family. Unfortunately, most of the airline industry is moving away from 4-engined aircraft and the future isn’t looking good for the A340. The twin-engine A350 is simply the better option for most airlines that need an aircraft of this size.

Regardless of the A340’s future, the -500 and -600 are my favorites of this series. They are both long and lean, and the larger engines and wings help to make these things look like proper long-range wide body airliners. Of course I realize that’s a very subjective statement, but to me, bigger is better when it comes to long haul air travel. I’d be a horrible airline CEO, wouldn’t I? Buying large aircraft just because they look cool is a recipe for disaster. Just ask pretty much any airline who has bought the A380…

a340-500 line drawing side view

Technical side profile line drawing of an Airbus A340-500 over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

The beefy engines on the -500 and -600 are exactly what the A340 needed to make it fit the image of a capable high-performance airliner. The -200 and -300 variants had tiny engines which didn’t really fit the proportions of the fuselage all that well, but these big Rolls Royce Trent 553’s hanging under the wings balance things out nicely. You already know my stance on big-engined aircraft (the bigger the better!) so there’s no point in spewing off about that again.

This post is for the -500 templates only, but I’ll be posting the -600 very soon. The wireframe line drawing is complete, and I’m almost done creating the all-white rendered version. There are a few minor details that I’m having a hard time verifying, so I’d rather spend the time to make sure that I get it right before rushing though it and posting something that is incorrect. Look for those templates soon!

airbus a340-300 side view
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One of the problems with taking a long time to do a single airliner template is that more often than not (especially if it takes long enough), the aircraft in question is no longer popular and highly sought-after by the time the illustrations are complete. Of course I knew that the Airbus A340 was a dying breed when I first thought to make side view templates of it way back in 2012, but here in 2016, the airlines can’t seem to retire these things fast enough. Sure they were a perfectly fine aircraft for their day (ok, perhaps a bit underpowered), but there are now far better performing and more fuel-efficient options available from both Airbus and Boeing which makes this bird an economically poor performer in comparison.

airbus a340-300 line drawing

The featured image for this post is the A340-300 (non X). Here is the line drawing of that version over a blank background with and without the landing gear deployed

Luckily for me, this was a relatively easy set of drawings to make. Since the A340 is basically an A330 with four engines (and a few other really minor changes), I was able to leverage my existing A330 templates quite nicely. Essentially all I had to do was to create a new wing and engines, make a few minor adjustments, and I then I was good to go. It wasn’t easy by any means, but it was much better than having to create a complete aircraft from scratch! The landing gear is always the most time-consuming part of creating these illustrations, with the wing and engines being the second biggest time-suck. Having half of the work done already was a huge time saver.

Airbus A340-300X all white side profile

Two side profile illustrations of a white Airbus A340-300X over a blank background with and without the landing gear deployed

A340-300X side profile line drawing

A340-300X side profile line drawing with and without the landing gear

Speaking of wings and engines, I guess I never realized how small the A340-300’s engines really are. Sure there are four of them, but still…they are relatively tiny when compared to the fuselage of this airplane. I noticed the same thing with my Embraer 175 templates – that airplane has the tiniest engines of all!

My apologies once again for taking so long to create blank illustration templates for the A340. I know many of you have been asking for these over the past few years so hopefully you will find them useful for your projects. Note that I am also going to be doing all of the other variants of the A340 over the coming weeks. I’m going to start with the -500 and -600, and will then wrap this set up with the least-popular -200. I know this series has been a long time coming so I thank you all for your patience!

Airbus A330 white side view
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I really wish that I could work on these side view airliner templates full time, because things would happen a whole heck of a lot faster than they are right now. I’m almost embarrassed that it has taken this long to create these A330-300 illustrations – after all, it’s basically an A330-200 that’s just a little bit longer. My apologies for dragging my feet on this one.

That’s not to say this was super easy and it only took me ten minutes to put together. The fact that the vertical stabilizers are different between the -200 and -300 made this a slightly more involved project than simply stretching the fuselage, and it did take a bit of time to make sure that I illustrated the differences correctly. Making matters worse was the fact that I realized that the vertical stabilizer on my original A330-200 illustrations wasn’t totally correct so I had to go back and update those as well. It wasn’t a big deal, and it actually felt very satisfying to have made those updates. Like I said – the more accurate these illustrations are the better. I still don’t recommend building actual airplanes from my drawings though. They aren’t that accurate.

The image at the top of this post is the all white version of the -300 with General Electric (GE) engines. Here is the wireframe line drawing for that model:

a330 ge engines wireframe

A330-300 line drawing with GE engines

Next up is the Rolls Royce Trent option. This is the version that the designer in me likes the least, as I just can’t seem to get over the fact that the long and thin shape of this powerplant looks out of place on a modern airliner. But the “Trent” name is super cool – I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is about it, but to me the name is powerful and fitting for a large aircraft engine.

a330-300 white side view rr engines

All white A330-300 with Rolls Royce engines

a330 RR engines wireframe

A330-300 line drawing with Rolls Royce engines

Last but not least, here is the A330-300 with Pratt & Whitney engines. The proportions of this powerplant look the best to me, and is perfectly matched (aesthetically) for a large airliner like this. She’s a good looking bird, for sure.

All white A330-300 pw engines

All white A330-300 with Pratt & Whitney engines

a330 pw engines wireframe

A330-300 line drawing with Pratt & Whitney engines

On a side note, I’m still planning on creating templates for the A330-200F. I’m also still working on gathering reference material for the next generation A330 (-800 and -900), but I haven’t been able to find much other than low resolution renderings from odd angles that don’t provide much detail. I’ll continue to keep looking though, because the A330 is one of my favorite commercial aircraft types at the moment and I’m looking forward to having a full set of templates covering the entire lineup.

A330 pratt & whitney engines side view
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Finally. Here is my third and last template for the Airbus A330-200 series! Rounding out the set is this illustration with those big Pratt & Whitney engines looking good and hanging low under that large swept wing. I claimed that I liked the look of the GE CF6 engine the best on the A330, but I may have to retract that statement in favor of these PW4000’s instead. These are the largest-diameter engines currently available on the A330-200, so in my opinion, they are more in proportion with the fuselage (and overall size) of the aircraft. Note that these engines are the shortest of the three – but I don’t think that makes any difference. It’s the diameter that gives the impression of power and strength.

Now that I’ve completed the illustrations for all three engine options, the thing that surprised me the most is how different the connections are to the wing. The Rolls Royce Trent 700’s appear to be bolted right to that connection without much complexity, but both the CF6 and this PW4000 are actually blended into that structure in a way that I’ve never seen before on any other airliner. The Pratt & Whitney version is the most pronounced, as it looks to be seamlessly integrated into that wing connection without any hard breaks in the exterior surfaces. I can only imagine how long the designers and engineers spent refining this in the wind tunnel, but all I know is that it looks really great and it’s one of the most interesting things I’ve ever seen on any aircraft. Yes, I think it’s that cool!

a330-200 pratt & whitney line drawing

A technical side profile line drawing of an Airbus A330-200 with Pratt & Whitney engines over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

It’s the discovery of these interesting little details which keep me interested and pushing forward with this side view airliner template project. I’ve learned so much about these airplanes since my first DC-10 illustration back in 2012, and it’s a lot of fun noticing new things that I never would have paid attention to before. There is a lot of work that goes into the design of these airplanes, and I’m certainly appreciating that fact with each new template that I create.

Now that my A330-200 set is complete, it’s time to move on to the stretched -300 variant. I just finished all three versions of that one (yes, the same three engines are options) and I’ll be posting those templates very soon. After that I think I’m going to tackle the A340, which makes sense since it shares so many components with the A330. My fingers are crossed that it’s going to be relatively simple and won’t require me to start from scratch. Using existing components will make things go much faster…

airbus a330 ge engines side view
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This has been a long time coming, but I’ve finally decided to go ahead and finish out my Airbus A330-200 templates and create versions with the other two engine options. The first illustration I created way back in 2014 had the Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines, but I’ve been getting a lot of requests for the others lately and I don’t think it can wait any longer. So here it is: an updated version with the much fatter and tougher looking GE CF6 engine option.

I guess I never realized before how weird those Rolls Royce engines look on the A330. They are very cigar-like; long and lean, sort of like a scaled up version of the original Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines on the old 737-100 (which looked more like rockets than engines). But now that I’ve spent so long researching and illustrating this General Electric CF6 engine, it seems “normal” to me and I can’t help but to raise an eyebrow or two when looking at my original A330 RR drawing.

a330 line drawing ge engines side view

A technical side profile line drawing of an Airbus A330-200 with General Electric engines over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

Another thing I like about this GE engine is the way that the exhaust protrudes out the back. It has a very aerodynamic look to it compared to the similar-shaped Pratt & Whitney engine option that I just finished as well (coming to norebbo.com soon), and I like the way that the entire structure is broken up into three parts. There’s the fat main section, a step down to the thinner mid-exhaust section, and finally the pointy exhaust tip protruding out the rear. It’s a good looking powerplant – the best looking by far on the A330 as far as I’m concerned.

From a styling and design point of view, my only gripe is the overall diameter. It was really hard for me not to take some artistic license as I was drawing this to increase the size of the engine a bit to make it look even tougher, but my desire to keep these templates as realistic as possible trumped that urge. This is why I’m looking forward to the A330 NEO (New Engine Option) so much – that airplane features much bigger engines, and you can bet I’m going to do a template of that one as soon as I can get my hands on some decent reference material. It’s going to make these A330-200’s look weak (and probably a little bit funny) in comparison!

Anyway, I’m going to upload a template of the -200 with Pratt & Whitney engines next. The longer -300 series is coming after that – with all three engine options of course.

airbus a350-1000 side view white
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I normally hesitate to create side view templates of aircraft that haven’t even been built yet, and this A350-1000 is no exception. To be perfectly honest, I (and nobody outside of Airbus for that matter) really have no idea what this airplane is going to look like so there are probably a lot of things I’ve drawn here that won’t be completely accurate once we see the first flying prototype. But I decided to go for it anyway thinking that I can always go back and change/update the little details as necessary once Airbus gives us more information.

Considering that the first prototype is less than a year away, I can’t imagine that I’ve missed the mark too far with this template. After all, we know how long this thing is going to be. We know the door configuration. We know that it will feature a triple-wheel main gear just like the 777. Combined with the fact that the fuselage is going to be just a stretched version of the smaller A358 and A359 models, I figured I had enough information to take a first crack at it. I can’t imagine that I’m that far off – if anything, I’m sure there will be a few little details I’ll have to update later, but otherwise this illustration should be pretty close. “Should” is the important word here…I’d really hate to redo this template from scratch!

a350-1000 line drawing

A technical side profile line drawing of an Airbus A350-1000 over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

Anyway, now that I’ve got templates of the full family of A350 aircraft, I’m still thinking that I like the stubby proportions of the -800 version the most. As far as I know, there haven’t been any new orders for that version since I posted the blank drawings in July, and I’m willing to bet that means trouble for that little guy. Will it ever be produced? It’s not looking good at this point, which is a real shame IMHO because the Industrial Designer in me has fingers on both hands crossed hoping that it will see the light of day. I wonder what the designers at Airbus think? Having spent my entire career so far in the design field, I know for a fact that design studios usually have their favorites in terms of what they would like to see being built. In my personal experience, it’s always the design that I like the least that is produced in the highest volumes. Go figure.

I’ll update this template once the first flying A350-1000 prototype is built, but until then, I welcome any and all comments regarding things I might have messed up with these illustrations.

airbus a310 side view all white
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In my last post, I mentioned how much I like the look of a short and stubby aircraft. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a weird fetish or anything (lol), but short and squat proportions help to exaggerate the impression of power and strength – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for an airplane to convey. I don’t know about you, but I’m not about to step foot on any airplane that looks weak and flimsy. The Airbus A310 is a perfect example of an airplane that just looks tough.

Despite it’s tough outer appearance, I’ve always considered the Airbus A310 to be an oddball commercial airliner. It’s proportions are bordering on being somewhat cartoonish due to it’s extreme stubbiness, and I almost feel the urge to snicker whenever I see one. But then again, the A310 has always been a rare aircraft here in the US and I haven’t seen many in real life.

a310 side view line drawing

A technical side profile line drawing of an Airbus A310-300 over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

Just so you know, adding this oddball to my side view airliner template collection was completely unplanned – I only created it because of a request I received from a reader pretty much right at the exact moment I was contemplating which airplane I should draw next. I couldn’t make up my mind, but the request sounded pretty desperate and I’m always happy to oblige provided I have the time. It hardly ever works that way with my busy schedule, but I’m glad I could fulfill this request in a (somewhat) timely manner.

Finally, I’d like to point out that comparing the visual differences between the A350-800 to this A310 has been interesting as I’ve been creating these illustrations. They are essentially the same class of airplanes, with nearly 30 years of technology separating the two. The fuselage of the A310 is almost boat-like in shape with it’s high nose and tail, while the A350 has a much lower belt line. The wings of the A350 are much more aggresively shaped compared to the A310, and I find it interesting how the vertical stabilizers vary greatly in size. The A310 vertical stabilizer is downright huge in comparison to it’s fuselage, while the A350 has opposite proportions.

Pretty neat stuff! If you’re interested in that sort of thing…

all white A350-800 side view
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One of the biggest unknowns in the commercial airline industry at the moment is whether or not Airbus will ever build an A350-800. Of course Airbus would probably look at you funny while proudly telling you “absolutely”, but the fact of the matter is that this shortened variant of the A350 family hasn’t received very many orders so far while the larger -900 and -1000 versions are selling like hotcakes. This is leading many industry experts (and nerds like me) to think that it doesn’t offer anything that the airlines need and it’ll never see the light of day.

From a design point of view, I like this shortened version the most. I’ve always been a fan of stubby wide body aircraft (such as the 767-200), mostly because it exaggerates the size of the engines and makes the entire airplane look tough and muscular. Tough and muscular is better than flimsy and weak, right?

Airbus A35-800 side view line drawing

A technical side profile line drawing of an Airbus A350-800 over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

I started these illustrations two years ago right along with my A350-900 templates. I had to take a lot of educated guesses in terms of figuring out what it would really look like (it was just a concept at the time), so I put them on hold until more details were released from Airbus. Now that some time has passed and we have a bit more information on what this aircraft is going to look like, I thought it would be a good idea to get them wrapped up. No, these side view drawings aren’t perfect – after all, there hasn’t even been a prototype of this thing built yet so all I had to go by was a collection of 3d renderings and part drawings found on the internet. From what I can tell, this shortened A350 shares quite a bit with it’s bigger brothers so I don’t think I’m off by very much.

I’ll be sure to update these templates when (if) Airbus builds a real prototype. I’m sure there will be a lot more differences than what I’ve captured in these illustrations, but I figure these should be good enough for anyone who needs a clean side view illustration of an A350-800.

all white A319 template
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Okay, now it’s official. With the completion of this Airbus A319 template set (along with the A320 and A321 I already created), I am completely sick of these Airbus narrow bodies! There are just so many variations that have to create of each one to make a complete set, and I’m thankful beyond words that I’m done. There are two engine types, along with two wingtips – so for each one I need to make a fully shaded all white version to go along with the wireframe line drawing. It’s not difficult, but it is annoyingly time consuming. I never was a fan of tedious production work!

But as I mentioned in my post about the A320, the fact that Airbus offers so many options on these airplanes is what has made them some of the best-selling airliners in history. There’s a configuration for nearly any need, which was very smart of Airbus to develop. However, it sucks for aircraft illustrators like me…

So now that I’ve done all three, which do I like the best? I’m going to have to say that the baby of the family (this A319) is my favorite. I like it’s stubbiness, which helps to balance out the proportions between the wing and fuselage. This airplane is essentially all wing – which looks pretty cool IMHO.

Finally, I would like to point out that yes, I do know that there is actually one more aircraft within this same family – so technically, I’m not really finished with the set. But that aircraft (the A318) was such an oddball edge case that didn’t sell very well, and therefore, it’s not very high on my priority list. I’m only focusing on the most popular aircraft for now, and perhaps someday (when I’ve made templates of everything else) I’ll go back tackle that A318. But for now I’m just going to bask in the satisfaction of having the three most important Airbus narrow bodies complete.

Here are all the templates, starting with the wireframe line drawing of the illustration at the top of this post:

A319 line drawing cm56 engines

Airbus A319 technical line drawing with cm56 engines and rakelets

Next up, we have the same engine type (cm56) with sharklets instead of rakelets on the wingtips.

A319 all white with sharklets

All white Airbus A319 drawing with cm56 engines and sharklets

A319 line drawing with sharklets

Airbus A319 technical line drawing with cm56 engines and sharklets

Finally, here are the v2500-engined variants, with both sharklets and rakelets:

shaded white blank a320

All white Airbus A319 drawing with v2500 engines and rakelets

a319 line drawing v2500 engines

Airbus A319 technical line drawing with v2500 engines and rakelets

a319 all white template

All white Airbus A319 drawing with v2500 engines and sharklets

a319 line drawing v2500 engines and sharklets

Airbus A319 technical line drawing with v2500 engines and sharklets