How are Aircraft categorized? What are the different types of aircraft?
Aircraft are categorized as Passenger and Cargo as per their use. Just like goods trains or trucks for goods transportation in aircraft they are called Cargo planes.
There are military aircraft and civil (non-military) aircraft.
In civil aircraft, we have private owned business planes or scheduled plying commercial airliners. We usually talk about commercial airplanes who transport freight (cargo) or passengers. They are known generally as commercial airliners or airlines.
On the technical side, aircraft are different as per their make, engine or propulsion, capacity, wing type, etc.
The major commercial aircraft manufacturers are (known in short) the Boeing, the Airbus, the Bombardier, Embraer, etc.
What does the number like Boeing 747 or Airbus 320 or Embraer ATR-42 indicate?
As it denotes it is an aircraft manufactured by the Boeing company. It is a wide-bodied commercial jet plane. It is one of the most popular aircraft. It has a capacity of 600 in a single-class configuration.
It is manufactured by the Airbus company. It is a narrow-bodied aircraft. It has a capacity of194.t is series in the A320 family and the first one started in 1987. The new version A320neo was released in 2016. This has more fuel efficiency and cabin comfort with a spacious overhead cabin for cabin luggage.
It is a 'turboprop' engine aircraft by Embraer company.. It is used for short-distance flights and hence for regional
What has the type and number useful to normal flight or passenger airlines.?
For a general passenger, it does not make much sense. It is like the car model number when you travel by taxi. But if you care, you can know about the features, comparative differences with other types, etc. Some have more comforts viz-a-vis overall capacity, multiclass configuration, cabin space, overhead luggage locker space, luggage carrying limitations, etc. It is also academically satisfying to know about the various types of aircraft from their manufacture model numbers.
What according to you is good - Boeing, Airbus or Embraer and why?
It all depends on the particular plane/model one is flying and to some extent the biased loyalties. So it is best left to the flyer. As the middle class usually fly the low cost or economy class or the single class configurations used by our airliners we do not see much difference. But those who fly abroad frequently, especially on long haul flights may know the difference.
There are many web sites which give a lot of information on flights and aircraft. I use 'FlightAware' .I use this web site for live tracking flights when my relatives travel by air. The site has also rich information on airliners and aircraft. One can surf by airliner or type or aircraft clicking on the relevant key link or menu. You can see the aircraft photos and