Since people have learned how to design flying machines, they have been used to transport heavy and large cargoes. In the entire history of the aircraft industry, which dates back a little more than a hundred years, a lot of transport aircraft have been created.
However, few of them can impress with their huge size. Today you will learn about the ten largest cargo planes in the world!
10. C-130J “Super Hercules” (30 meters)
It is a medium- and long-range aircraft that is the main military carrier of the United States, NATO countries and a number of other countries. The C-130J is the most common aircraft in the world. It is operated by 65 countries.
The cargo capacity of the aircraft is about 19 tons with a wingspan of 40 meters. Since the end of the last century, the main production version of the C-130 aircraft has been the modification of the Lockheed Martin C-130J. The cargo cockpit of the C-130 aircraft can accommodate 92 infantrymen with full layout or 64 paratroopers.
The advanced C-130J takes on board 128 infantrymen or 92 parachutists, respectively. The aircraft can parachute a light tank “Sheridan” as well as other weapons.
9. Super Guppy (44 meters)
The Super Guppy cargo plane has been produced in five copies and to date only one is used. It belongs to the NASO space programme and is operated to deliver large cargoes and parts of spaceships. The wingspan is 48 meters.
The vehicle’s payload is just over 24 tons. In the early 1970s, two Super Guppys were used by Airbus Industries to deliver large parts to the final assembly plant in Toulouse.
Between 1982 and 1983, two more aircraft were built in France by UTA Industries after Airbus acquired the production rights. With the arrival of a new transport aircraft of a similar configuration Airbus Beluga, the aircraft were decommissioned.
8. Airbus A400M “Atlas” (45 meters)
The A400M was designed and built as an international project for the Air Force of France, Germany, Italy, the UK and several other countries. It is a four-engine turboprop aircraft with a capacity of up to 37 tons. The Airbus A400M has wings made of carbon fiber and reinforced with plastic. The wingspan is 42 meters.
Eight blade screws made of composite material are used as propellers. The screws on each wing rotate in the opposite direction, which is extremely rare. The aircraft can accommodate 116 personnel or 66 stretchers with the wounded.
7. Boeing C-17 “Globemaster III” (53 meters)
The C-17 Globemaster III is one of the most common U.S. Air Force military transport aircraft. It is still used today. The aircraft is designed to carry military equipment and troops, as well as to perform tactical missions. The capacity of the C-17 is more than 76 tons.
Boeing, which merged with McDonnell Douglas in the 1990s, continues to produce the C-17 for export and for the U.S. Air Force. The C-17s are in service with the U.S. Air Force, the Royal Air Force of Great Britain, Australia, Canada, the Air Force of the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, India and nato’s Heavy Aviation Wing.
The crew of the aircraft consists of two pilots and an operator of loading and unloading work. The aircraft can carry up to 102 parachutists, while the main cargo hold can accommodate attack helicopters AH-64 Apache, M-1 Abrams battle tanks or 5-ton trucks.
6. Airbus A300-600ST Beluga (56 meters)
The jet cargo plane is designed to carry large cargo, which was developed on the basis of the Airbus A300 series. The main purpose of the A300-600ST was to replace the Super Guppy transport aircraft. The name Beluga is due to the shape of a hull that resembles a whale beluga.
Beluga’s payload capacity is 47 tons. Details of Airbus airliners, which are manufactured in four countries, are transported to the main plants by air for final assembly. It was for operational transportation that the A300-600ST aircraft was created.
The cargo cabin has been brought to 1,400 k.m., and the maximum length of cargo carried in the aircraft can be up to 40 meters. The aircraft is lifted into the sky by two turbojet engines of General Electric. The power of the existing two engines is enough to lift a large aircraft into the air.
5. An-22 “Antey” (57 meters)
The Soviet-made heavy transport aircraft is the largest turboprop aircraft in the world. It is designed to transport heavy and large-scale weapons, military equipment and troops over long distances, as well as for paratroopers and landing methods of airborne troops.
Currently, the aircraft is used by the Russian Air Force and the Ukrainian cargo airline Antonov Airlines. The cargo capacity of the An-22 is 60 tons. In total, the plane can accommodate 290 people. The wingspan is 64 meters.
The aircraft has four NK-12 MA turboprop engines. They set in motion four bladed coaxe screws. The front propeller spins to the right and the rear to the left, which provides the car with high speed and payload capacity.
4. An-124 “Ruslan” (71.7 meters)
Ан-124 является тяжёлым стратегическим транспортным самолетом военного назначения для дальних перевозок. Это самый крупный в мире из всех серийных коммерческих грузовых самолетов. Он был разработан в первую очередь для воздушной перевозки пусковых установок межконтинентальных баллистических ракет, а также для транспортировки тяжелой военной техники. Грузоподъемность Ан-124 – 120 тонн. Первый полет самолета состоялся 24 декабря 1982 года.
In 1985 it was first shown to Soviet journalists, and then presented to the world at the aviation exhibition in Paris. In the same year, the An-124 set 21 world records, including flight range and payload records.
Inside the cargo cabin, four Mi-8 helicopters, a whole train car used in the subway, or an SSD-100 aircraft with wings removed and tail plumage are placed in the cargo cabin. And the most surprising thing is that the An-124 Ruslan aircraft can carry the Angara launch vehicle.
3. Boeing 747 LCF “Dreamlifter” (72 meters)
This transport aircraft is a modified version of the Boeing 747. It was built and used exclusively to carry parts of the Boeing 787 aircraft. The maximum capacity is 113 tons. The wingspan is 64 meters.
Dreamlifter features its unusual appearance. The clumsy look was compounded by the fact that due to the need for immediate first testing, the first model remained unstained for a long time. The first loading of parts of the Boeing 787 was carried out in June 2006. The delivery time for the Wings for the Boeing 787 from Japan has been reduced from 30 days of sea voyage to 8 hours of flight thanks to the use of this aircraft.
2. Lockheed C-5 “Galaxy” (75.5 meters)
The U.S. military transport aircraft is the largest U.S. Air Force aircraft in its class. Lockheed S-5 Galaxy is capable of carrying 6 helicopters or 2 large tanks in its cargo hold. The total weight that a plane can carry delivers more than 118 tons. The wingspan is 68 meters.
If we talk about combat equipment, the aircraft can carry two main combat tanks M-1 Abrams through the air. The aircraft can take on board 363 fully equipped fighters, 10 LAV-25 armored personnel carriers, 6 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters or 2 sealed containers with Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.
1. An-225 “Mriya” (84 meters)
The An-225 is currently the largest aircraft in the world. The wingspan is 88 meters. Mriya has a super-large payload capacity and can lift about 250 tons into the air. Initially, the An-225 was designed and built to carry components of the Energia rocket carrier and the reusable Buran spacecraft.
The An-225 is a 6-engine turbojet high-plane with a arrow-shaped wing and two keel plumage. Unlike Ruslan, Mriya has only one cargo hatch located in the bow of the aircraft. Like its predecessor, Mriya can change the clearance and tilt angle of the fuselage, which is extremely convenient for loading and unloading.