Compared to the Lockheed TriStar the DC-10/MD-11 is recognisable by the rear engine. The DC-10 and MD-11 have the engine in the tail, with a straight inlet, while the TriStar has it in the tailcone using an S-shaped inlet.
The Bf109 has a liquid cooled engine in the front and a main landing gear that retracts outward in the wing. It has trapezoidal wings and a cockpit with many flat panels. The top is flush with the top of the rear fuselage. The horizontal stabilisers are mounted on the vertical stabiliser, giving the Bf109 a cruciform tail.
A bullet with small wings powered by a rocket engine in the rear is the best description of the Me163. The gear is only meant for take-off, as it lands on a skid at the bottom of the fuselage.
The world's first operational jet fighter has its engines in long pods under the wings, like the Boeing 737-200. It has a triangular vertical stabiliser with rounded top, and a bubble canopy. The prototypes had a tail wheel landing gear, but all production versions had a retractable nose wheel landing.
Not having a distinctive tandem cockpit the MiG-AT is best recognised by its rounded rectangular air intakes and cruciform tail. The two engines are attached to the side of the fuselage (like the AIDC AT-3) and have visible exhaust pipes.
The inners wings of these MiGs have no dihedral, while the outer wings have. Seen from above, the wings have a trapezium shape, with rounded tips. The aircraft have inward retracting main gears. The canopy is quite close to the tail. (photo: Anna Zvereva/WikiMedia)
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17, Shenyang J-5 & PZL Lim-6
The MiG-17 strongly resembles the MiG-15, and to a lesser extend the MiG-19. The MiG-17 has a thinner and more highly swept wing and tailplane, three wing fences on top of the wings, a ventral fin below the rear fuselage and a longer and less tapered rear fuselage. The J-5 and Lim-6 are Chinese and Polish license-built versions.
The MiG-21 has very distinctive delta wings, compared to other aircraft in this category which have cropped delta wings. Also very markable is the air intake in the nose, with a large, pointy shock cone. It is similar in appearance as the Sukhoi Su-9. The latter has however a much smaller shock cone, and a bubble canopy.
The MiG-23 has variable sweep wings, mounted on top of the fuselage. The long, narrow air intakes are on the side of the fuselage. Compared to the similar MiG-27 the MiG-23 has a larger diameter nose.
The MiG-25 has wings with a high aspect ratio, more looking like swept wing, although the wing trailing edge is hardly swept. Also typical for the MiG-25 are the large diameter engines and the small canopy, tucked away in the fuselage. It has a twin wheel nose gear and single wheel main landing gear.