Since humans realized that they were able to fly, they have been building incredible machines.
Here is the top 10 biggest airplanes in the world:
Quick Content Navigation
Antonov An-225 Mriya
The Antanov An-225 Mriya is a strategic airlift cargo airplane that was created by Antonov Design Bureau of the Sovjet Union in 1980. It has 6 turbo engines and is the biggest airplane ever made with a maximum take-off weight of 640 tonnes! It was originally designed to carry the Buran Spaceplane which was part of the space program of the Sovjet Union. The first flight was on 21 December 1988. The airplane is still operative for commercial flights and transporting over sized loads. The limits of the payloads the can be carried by the Antonov An-225 are object with a length of 70 meters and a weight up to 250 tonnes. When the Sovjet Union collapsed, the space program ended and the only operative An-225 was placed in to storage and the engines were used on another aircraft. They are currently renovating the aircraft to take it back in production.
It has a wing span of 88 meters and a length of 84 meters. With these numbers it deserves its first place in the top 10 biggest airplanes in the world.
The Airbus A340 is equipped with 4 engines, it can carry up to 440 passengers and can fly up to 16.700 Km without refueling. It has a length of 75,3 meters and a wing span of 63,45 meters. The first flight of the Airbus A340-600 was on 23 April 2001 and began its official commercial flights in August 2002. The biggest rival is the Boeing 777-300 ER. The big aircraft is powered by four Rolls-Royce Trent 556 turbo engines. The cargo version of the A340-600 is the A340 HGW and flew the first time in November 2005, it got its certification in 2006 and it can carry over 380 tonnes and can fly up to 14,600 Km.
The Airbus A380 is the largest passenger airplane and many airports had to upgrade their facilities to be able to allow the A380, because it is so big. The main challange of the Airbus team was to defeat Boing´s monopoly in the aircraft industry. The first flight of the Airbus A380 was on 27 April 2005 and it was certified to fly commercial flights since October 2007. The First airline to fly with the A380 was Singapore Airlines. The huge airplane has 2 decks, good for carrying 853 people! It can fly up to 15,700 Km without refueling and flies with a top speed of 900 Km/h. Until now, Airbus received 324 orders and the big airline company Emirates has the most A380 models flying. 140 to be correct.
Antonov An-124 Ruslan
The Sovjet Union was good in building big airplanes! Next to the biggest airplane in the world, they also earned the 4th place in the top 10 biggest airplanes in the world. The Antonov An-124 Ruslan is also designed as a strategic airlift jet aircraft. It was designed by Antonov Design Bureau in the USSR. It was also the design of this An-124 that is used to build the big brother An-225. The first flight of this aircraft was in 1982 and was certified for civil flights in 1992. It is used for transporting heavy loads like boats, locomotives etc.
Antonov An-22 Antei
Another Antonov in the top 10 biggest airplanes in the world. This Antonov An-22 is built to be used as a military transport aircraft. Is has 4 big propeller driven engines, which makes this airplane also the biggest airplane with propellers. The first flight was on 27 February 1965 and after several prototypes and over four months of intensive tests, the An-22 was officially released later in 1965. The tire pressure could be adjusted while in flight so improve landings, but that feature was removed later. It could carry loads up to 33 meters in length and there was space for 8 crew members and 28 passengers. There were plans for making the airplane suitable for civil transportation that could transport up to 724 people, but those plans were never used. The Antonov An-22 airplanes are still in use.
The official release of the Boeing 747-8 was in 2005, and it is the third generation of the Boeing 747 series. The wings got a new design and the aerodynamics and fuel efficiency are improved. Next to that it is also the biggest one in the Boeing 747 family and also the longest airplane that is designed for passenger flights. There are 2 versions of the 747-8, one for cargo flights and one for commercial flights with passengers. In total there are 119 747-8 aircrafts flying. It can transport up to 605 people, has a wing span of 68,5 meters and a length of 76,3 meters.
The 6th place on the top 10 biggest airplanes in the world is the Boeing 747, AKA Jumbo Jet. This was the first wide-body airplane ever designed and manufactured by Boeing. It is used for commercial flights, but it is also doing its duty as a cargo airplane. The first flight was in 1970 and has been keeping the record amount of transporting people for 37 years! The airplane has some parts which are twin deck and the upper deck is mainly used for first class passengers. It has four big jet engines that provide the power to be airborne. By the end of 2013 there were over 1480 aircrafts sold. The top speed is 920 Km/h and can fly 13,500 Km with one fuel tank and can transport over 550 people.
Boeing 747 LCF
Boeing introduced the Boeing 747 LCF cargo airplane. It was designed to transport airplane parts from Boeing itself to all over the world because shipping took just too much time. In 2003 they announced that they will use the 747 LFC for transporting their own airplane parts. It is basically a modified 747-400 and is now one of the biggest cargo airplanes in use. The first flight was in 2006 and it was certified in 2007. It has a wing span of 64,4 meters and a length of 70,6 meters. As I mentioned before, it is only used in the private sector and will not be released for commercial flights.
The Tupolev ANT-20 is an old timer! It is built between 1933 amd 1934 but the design dates back from the times of World War 1. It was completely built from metal and was the biggest airplane in its time era. It was very high-tech for the time it was built. We are talking about a movie projector for passengers, a complete library, printing machines, radio stations and a big powerful radio set. It was also the first airplane with a ladder that would come out of the belly of the airplane. Next to that, is was possible to disassemble the aircraft to transport it over land. It had a wing span of 60 meters and a length of 32,9 meters. The maximum take-off weight was 53 tonnes.
Dornier Do X
The Dornier Do X was a unique aircraft! The plans started to develop in 1925 and it was completed in 1929. In that moment it was the biggest and most powerful airplane that could take-off and land in the water. It also defeated the Russian Tupolev ANT-20 with 3 tonnes more take-off weight. That brings its total maximum take-off weight to 56 tonnes. Unfortunately it was not a big commercial success and there were only 3 models build. It was able to take up to 100 passengers, and it had a wing span of 48 meters and a length of 40 meters. That was a giant for its time! It could fly up to 1700 Km with a top speed of 211 Km/h.