Over the past decades Airline companies have prefer “smaller aircraft, more flight’’ strategy. There are some positive sides of this strategy like greenhouse effects, cost efficiency, operational sustainability and more. On the other hand, many companies designed at least one giant aircraft in their history. These aircrafts are symbolic and took their places on the aviation literature already. Let’s look at some of these biggest airplanes – giant aircrafts and their properties.
Antonov 225 Mriya
It is the largest airplane ever build in the history. There is only one build and it is still operational today. Its first flight was in December 1988. A second was on progress when Soviet Union collapsed and it is still in a storage facility in uncompleted condition in Kiev today.
Stratolaunch is different among others with its two fuselage (body part). It has 6 engines and longest wingspan with 117 meters. Stratolaunch first flew in April 2019.
Airbus A330-743L “Beluga XL” and Airbus A300 – 600ST “Beluga”
Airbus 330-743L or commonly known as Beluga XL. This Dolphin view aircraft is a modified version of Airbus 330-200. Mainly it developed for cargo purposes. First flight was in July 2018.
Airbus 380 – 800
Airbus 380 – 800. It was built because of the exponential growth in air traffic and the congestion in the main hubs. A380 -800 is the biggest airplane in accordance with passenger capacity. It has 850 passenger capacity. The aircraft found the main support from Emirates company and Emirates is now the biggest operator of A380 – 800. On the other hand, the aircraft didn’t get expected attention from other companies and Airbus has announced that A380 production will end by 2021.
Boeing 747 – 800
Since the B747 family first entry to industry in 1970 it became the “Queen of the skies”. Its unique forward hump shape is iconic and recognizable. B747 – 800 is the latest and the largest member of the family and it has more than 8000 miles range.
Antonov – 124
Antonov – 124 is smaller than Antonov – 224. It is mainly used for cargo and military purposes. First flight of Antonov – 124 was in 1982.
Antonov – 22
Another aircraft from Antonov company is a special one, Antonov – 22. It is the biggest turbo-prop engine aircraft. There are only few Antonov – 22 aircrafts remain serviceable under Russian Air force.
Airbus 340 – 600
Another heavy class airplane of A340 family. It has 379 passenger capacity with a typical 3 class layout. First flight of A340-600 was in 2001.
Tupolev – 160
Tupolev – 160 is the largest combat-fighter aircraft. Its first flight was in 1981 and there was a break since 1987. The first modernized version of Tupolev – 160M2 rolled out in 2017. Now it serves for Russian Air Force.
Lockhead C-5 Galaxy
C-5 is a United States origin aircraft. It serves as military cargo and humanitarian aid operations and on evacuation duties. First flight of C-5 was in 1968.
Let’s see if airline companies will change their strategy of smaller aircraft, more flight? and will new airplanes be added to the biggest airplanes list?
Biggest Airplanes Dimensions
|Antonov 225 Mriya||84 meters||88.4 meters|
|Stratolaunch||73 meters||117 meters|
|A330 – 743L “Beluga XL”||63.1 meters||60.3 meters|
|Airbus 380 – 800||72.72 meters||79.75 meters|
|Boeing 747 – 800||76.3 meters||68.4 meters|
|Antonov – 124||69.1 meters||73.3 meters|
|Antonov – 22||57.9 meters||64.4 meters|
|Airbus 340 – 600||75.3 meters||63.45 meters|
|Tupolev – 160||54.1 meters||55.7 meters (wings spread)|
|Lockhead C-5 Galaxy||75.31 meters||67.89 meters|
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