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LARGEST
AIRCRAFT

 
Largest aircraft throughout aviation history. Includes, pictures, accomplishments, specifications, and a guide to rc aircraft.


The building of the largest aircraft has involved air forces, governments, and aviation companies addressing the benefits vs. the risks involved. The shape of the largest aircraft, keeping drag to a minimum while increasing payload, and even the maneuverability of the largest aircraft, both on the ground and in the air, factor into their design. In addition, the largest aircraft must be produced to meet the needs of the ultimate buyers, whether it is to deliver large payloads, weapons at supersonic speeds, parachute troops and their equipment behind enemy lines, or comfortably transport passengers across an ocean. The space that the largest aircraft occupy while on the ground is yet another consideration. All of these factors must be considered before a design turns into an aircraft.

Manufacturing the largest aircraft is no easy matter. Operating costs per mile per passenger or cargo weight may be lower if a given aircraft can be made larger while maintaining near the efficiency of a smaller design. Modern construction materials and methods help bring costs of the largest aircraft down, while the challenges of incorporating the materials into the construction of the largest aircraft may offset any savings by adding to development costs.

Engineers have tried to develop the largest aircraft by using existing designs whenever possible. A fuselage or wing may be made longer or wider, while the cockpit design and avionics can remain relatively unchanged. Advances in engine design and efficiency have helped make it practical to fly the largest aircraft. Generally, as aircraft grow in size, they gain weight. The structure needed to incorporate the weight efficiently becomes more difficult to produce. At a given point it may be more economical not to produce the largest aircraft.

Yet another consideration is the size of the facility in which the largest aircraft are to be manufactured. One such facility is owned by Boeing. The mass of its Everett, WA manufacturing plant is the greatest of any single facility in the world. They are responsible for the construction of some of the largest aircraft in the world, including the Boeing 747 and Boeing 777.

One of the questions most often asked of Aviation Trivia is to name the largest aircraft.  That brings up more questions. What factors should be used to determine which are the largest aircraft? Would they have the longest wingspan, the longest length, or the heaviest weight?  Should they be the largest ever built, or the largest during a certain era?  Maybe they should be classified by the number of engines, or number of wings, or even the size of their propellers. Or, should we list the largest aircraft by their type, such as fighters, bombers, seaplanes, or transports?

We have tried to answer all your possible questions in the following list that shows the largest aircraft listed by wingspan, and in a separate list, alphabetically.  If we need to add a category, just let us know.

Don't hesitate to email us if we left out your favorite largest aircraft.














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Largest Aircraft:


TO FIND YOUR FAVORITE LARGEST AIRCRAFT ON THIS PAGE: Enter "Ctrl F" on your computer. A box will open on your screen that says "Find." Type in the aircraft that you are looking for and it will be highlighted on the page.


By Wingspans:

Boeing ULTRA

The Boeing ULTRA largest aircraft (Ultra Large Transport Aircraft), are concept aircraft being developed as high capacity cargo transports. Rather than it flying high in the sky, similar to the the Russian Ekranoplanes, they are designed to use ground effect to skim over water or the ground at an altitude as low as 20 feet, adjusting their altitude according to sea conditions or obstacles for a smooth ride.
500' wings, 2,800,000#



SPRUCE GOOSE

If largest aircraft are determined by wingspan, one is the Hughes H-4 Spruce Goose. Although current aircraft weigh more than the Hughes H-4 Hercules, more commonly known as the Spruce Goose, no other seaplane or land based airplane produced has a longer wingspan.  You can rank the Spruce Goose in the category of largest prop plane, largest seaplane, and largest passenger plane.
320.1' wings, 300,000#



ANTONOV AN-225

The Antonov An-225 belongs on our list of largest aircraft if you judge it by weight and longest wingspan of any plane flying today.  It is the largest jet plane, by weight.
291.1' wings, 1,179,500#



AIRBUS A380

Airbus A380 The Airbus A380 are the largest aircraft as the biggest commercial airliners, and largest passenger aircraft in their class.  It is the largest passenger aircraft now flying. The Russian An-225 cargo aircraft is larger overall.
261.7' wings, 608,400#


ANTONOV AN-124

Antonov An-124's are among the largest aircraft, being the second largest jet aircraft ever mass produced after the A380. However, unlike the A380 passenger jet, the An-124 is used for hauling cargo.
240.5' wings, 385,00#


B-36 Convair B-36 Peacemakers were the largest aircraft flown as a United States bombers.  The B-36 is the world's largest bomber that was ever produced, if you go by wingspan.
230.1' wings, 171,000#



CONVAIR XC-99

The Convair XC-99 was a one of a kind experimental cargo transport based on the B-36 and can certainly be counted among the largest aircraft. It was the world's largest cargo plane ever built to operate from land, that was driven by propellers. Although very successful, the U.S.A.F. felt that they didn't need such large cargo carriers at the time and no other aircraft of its type were produced.
230' wings, 135,230#

Boeing 747 The Boeing 747 makes our list of largest aircraft because it was the largest passenger plane from 1970 to 2005. The 747-8 is the world's longest mass produced aircraft at 250.1'.
224.6' wings, 472,900#



LOCKHEED C-5 GALAXY

The still deployed Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is among the largest aircraft. They have the ability to carry all air certified cargo and have among the greatest cargo capacity of any aircraft.

The Air Mobility Command Museum in Deleware is still anxiously awaiting the arrival of the only C-5 that will be put on permanent museum display. Although it was scheduled to arrive in 2013, it should now arrive before the end of 2014. Dover AFB has been a home to the C-5 Galaxy since they first took to the sky in 2006.

Some of the facts and trivia which make the C-5 an interesting museum display are its ability to fly great distances on internal fuel. Its tail rises some 65 feet in height, and its wingspan is over the length of two football fields. When fully loaded, the C-5 weighs about as much as five Washington Monuments, and a single engine of the C-5 can generate enough power to lift 43,000 lbs. straight up.
222.7' wings, 380,000#



SAUNDERS ROE PRINCESS

Saunders Roe Princess The Saunders-Roe Princess qualifies for our list of largest aircraft because they were the largest all-metal seaplanes ever built.
219.5' wings, 190,000#




Douglas XB-19 largest aircraft built as U.S. bombers when first produced.
212' wings, 140,250#



ANTONOV AN-22

Antonov An-22 is the largest aircraft being mass produced with turboprop power, and one of the heaviest aircraft ever to fly.
211.3' wings, 251,350#

Airbus A340-600 Airbus A340-600's are among the largest aircraft.  They are the second longest mass produced aircraft currently produced.
208' wings, 392,000#

G10N Nakajima G10N Fugaku's were to be the largest aircraft that Japan intended to produce as a long range heavy bombers, able to attack the U.S. mainland from Japan. The war ended before they could be built.
206.7' wings, 96,600#



TUPOLEV ANT-20

ANT-20 The Tupolev ANT-20 were the largest aircraft of their time.
206.7' wings, 62,700#

Mars The Martin Mars water bombers are the largest aircraft that are active prop driven water bombers, and the largest production seaplanes. The aircraft, which was produced in 1945, are still going strong today.
202.5' wings, 76,600#, 202.5'


BOEING 777

Boeing 777's are the largest aircraft for twin jets. They are larger than three jet engine powered aircraft.  They are, however, smaller than the largest Boeing 747 jets.
199.9' wings 367,000#

Blohm & Voss BV 238 The BV 238 was a one of a kind Luftwaffe WW II seaplane. It was their largest aircraft ever built during World War II.
197.4' wings, 120,600#

747 Supertanker The Boeing/Evergreen 747 Supertanker, a converted Boeing 747-200, is the largest aircraft used as an air tanker.  It has a capacity of 24,000 gallons.
195.7' wings, 358,000#



LOCKHEED R6V CONSTITUTION

Lockheed R6V Constitution are the largest aircraft ever deployed by the U.S. Navy. Two of the land based aircraft were built and flown as passenger and cargo transports from 1948 to 1953.
189.1' wings, 113,780#, 189.1'

B-52 The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress are the largest aircraft used as U.S. jet bombers and the backbone of today's U.S. heavy bomber fleet.
184.9' wings, 185,000#

Me-323 Messerschmidt Me-323's largest aircraft were essentially gliders fitted with motors. They were used as Luftwaffe WW II transports.
183.1' wings, 34,000#

Tu-160 Tupolev Tu-160's are the largest aircraft flown as the world's heaviest bombers.
182.8' wings, 242,500#



Myasishchev 3MT

Two Myasishchev 3MT aircraft were built. They were the largest aircraft used by the Soviet Union as transports until the An-225 went into service.
174.4' wings, 167,000#

XB-35 Two Northrop XB-35's were produced. They were the largest prop driven aircraft ever manufactured as flying wings. They never went into production.
172.1' wings 90,000#

Ju 390 Junkers Ju 390's were among the largest aircraft that Germany built as long range WW II bomber prototypes.
165.1' wings, 87,100#



Aero Spacelines Super Guppy

The Super Guppy is a Boeing C-27J with a lengthened fuselage and larger diameter cargo compartment. It is among largest aircraft in its ability to carry the most massive cargo. It has been used to carry cargo for the International Space Station.
156.3' wings, 101,500#

DC-10 McDonnell Douglas DC-10 are among the largest aircraft flying today as airliners, water bombers, and USAF air-to-air refueling aircraft.
155.3' wings, 267,000#

Blohm & Voss BV 222 Viking aircraft were mass produced and flew during WWII. They were the largest aircraft used by the Luftwaffe as production seaplanes deployed during the War.
151' wings, 67,575#

Airbus A300's are among the largest aircraft flown as passenger carriers. They are the first ever two engine wide cabin aircraft to fly.
147.1' wings, 198,500#

Ki-20 Mitsubishi Ki-20's were the largest aircraft that Japan produced as WW II bombers.
144.3' wings, 32,875#



Boeing B-29 Superfortress

B-29 Boeing B-29 Superfortresses were the largest aircraft flown as U.S. World War II bombers.
141.2 wings, 70,000#


Caspian Sea Monster

The Russian Caspian Sea Monster KM Ekranoplan makes our list of largest aircraft because it is the second heaviest aircraft to fly, and the heaviest and largest airplane to fly in ground effect.
141,1' wings, 839,594#

Linke-Hofman R.II Largest aircraft, single propeller driven biplanes. Two bomber prototypes of the aircraft were produced during WW1. They each had four engines linked together turning a single huge propeller.
138.3' wings, 17,640#

Tupolev TB-3s largest aircraft were the first monoplane four engine heavy bombers of the Soviet Union.
137.1' wings, 24,700#

A-40 Beriev A-40's are the largest aircraft currently flying as jet powered seaplanes. Thus far two prototypes have been produced.
135.5' wings, 127,270#

Mi-26  The Mil Mi-26 is the largest helicopter now flying. It is currently in production and makes our largest aircraft page.
131.4' long, 62,170#

Tarrant Tabor The Tarrant Tabor largest aircraft of the time, when produced.
131.1' wings, 24,750#

CANT Z511 largest aircraft built as seaplanes during WW II.
130.8' wings, 45,000#

DC-7   Largest aircraft with piston engines built by the Douglas Aircraft Co.
72,760#, 127.5' wings



Felixstowe Fury

The Felixstowe Fury largest aircraft triplane seaplane ever built. It performed well, flying for seven hours without landing during its testing. The aircraft flew from Nov. 11, 1918 to Aug. 11, 1919 when it was damaged beyond repair during take off.
123' wings, 18,550#

Mi-12 The Mil Mi-12 is the largest helicopter. Two prototypes were produced, therefore we added it to our list of largest aircraft.
121.3' long, 152,000#

C-46  Curtiss C-46 Commandos twin engine U.S. transports were among the largest aircraft with twin engines to serve as transports during World War II.

108' wings, 33,000#


The Sikorsky Ilya Murometz were the largest aircraft used as four engine strategic bombers, when first deployed.
97.8' wings, 6,930#

Tu-144 Tupolev Tu-144's largest aircraft Russian supersonic airliners.
95.5' wings, 187,400#

ANT-4  Tupolev ANT-4's largest aircraft Soviet all-metal bombers of their time.
94.1' wings, 9,965#

The Sikorsky Russky Vityaz largest aircraft with four engines when first flown.
88.6' wings, 7,500#

Short Bombers, largest aircraft produced as single engine biplanes. They had a longer wingspan than any single engine monoplanes. They were deployed during World War I as both land based bombers and torpedo bomber seaplanes.
84' wings, 5,000#


BRISTOL BRAEMER
The Bristol Braemer largest aircraft was the largest triplane bomber ever produced. During World War I, two Braemer aircraft were tested. Their test flights were successful, but the war ended and they did not go into mass production.
81.7' wings, 10,650#

SA 321 The Aerospatial SA 321 Super Frelon is the largest European production helicopter on our largest aircraft list.
75.5' long, 27,558#



PZL M-15
PZL M-15 largest aircraft that are jet powered biplanes dedicated as  agricultural aircraft.
73,5' wings, 6,812#

CH-53 The Sikorsky CH-53 is the largest United States helicopter ever produced, thus making our list of largest aircraft.
73.3' long, 33,200#

A-3 The Douglas A-3 Skywarriors, know as "the whale," are the largest aircraft ever to be US Navy carrier-based. Their original missions were as strategic bombers.
72.5' wings, 39,400#

P-61 Northrop P-61 Black Widows largest aircraft with twin engines flown as a  USAAF WW II night fighters.
66.1' wings, 21,000#

CH-37 The Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave was the largest U.S. military helicopter from 1953 through 1961 thus making our largest aircraft list.
64.2' long, 20,830#

AF-2 The anti submarine Grumman AF-2 Guardian largest aircraft were the U.S. Navy's biggest single engine aircraft.
60.7' wings, 14,580#

The Pemberton-Billings P.B.31e Nighthawks were the largest aircraft of their type.  The quadraplane fighters were built to intercept Zeppelins during WW1,
60' wings, 3,680#



ANTONOV AN-2 COLT

Antonov An-2 Colt largest aircraft are the largest biplanes of their type, by weight. Popular with bush pilots, as parachuting aircraft, and as crop dusters, they have been in production since 1947 and are still being produced to this date.
59.7' wings, 7,600#

The Tupolev Tu-28 largest aircraft are the world's largest all-weather interceptors.
59.5' wings, 55,125#

AT-802 The Air Tractor AT-802 largest aircraft are the biggest currently produced dedicated single engine agricultural and fire fighting aircraft.
58' wings, 6,300#

A-1 Douglas Skyraider's were the largest propeller driven attack aircraft ever produced. Their huge ordnance payload made them major ground support aircraft.
50.7' wings, 10,550#

P-47 Thunderbolts were the largest aircraft with a single engine flown as WW II fighters. Their missions included bomber escort and ground support.
40.8' wings, 9,500#

F-105 Republic F-105 Thunderchiefs are the largest aircraft with a single seat, and a single engine.  They were used primarily as bombers during the Vietnam war.
34.9' wings, 28,100#



LARGEST AIRCRAFT -  A

North American A-5 Vigilante 37,500#, 53' wings

Beriev A-50 165,350#, 165.5' wings

Airbus A300-600F 200,000#, 147.1' wings

Airbus A320 93,000#, 111.9' wings

Airbus A330 264,000#, 197.9' wings

Airbus A400M 140,000#, 139.1' wings

Lockheed AC-130 Gunship 75,600#, 132.6' wings

Martin AM-1 Mauler 14,500#, 50' wings

Antonov An-70 146,000#, 144.5' wings

Tupolev ANT-25 9,260#, 111.6' wings

Arado Ar 234 Blitz 11,450#, 46.2' wings


LARGEST AIRCRAFT - B

Boeing 707 146,400#, 145.8' wings

Boeing B-1 Lancer 192,000#, 137' wings

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit 158,000#. 172' wings

Boeing B-9 8,360#, 76' wings

Martin B-10 9,680#, 70.5' wings

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress 38,100#, 103.8' wings

Consolidated B-24 Liberator 38,500#, 110' wings

Boeing B-47 Stratojet 80,800#, 116' wings

Convair B-58 Hustler 55,600#. 56.8' wings

Boeing B-314 Clipper 50,300#, 151.9' wings

Boeing 377 Stratocruiser 83,500#, 141.1' wings

Boeing 757-300 142,400#, 124.9' wings

Boeing 767 181,600#, 156' wings

Boeing 787 Dreamliner 242,000#, 197' wings

Boeing E-3 AWACS 185,000#, 145.8' wings

Boeing E-767 188,700#, 156.1' wings

Airbus Beluga 269,100#, 170.8' wings

Bristol Belvedere 11,350#, 54.3' long

Bristol 167 Brabazon 145,000#, 230' wings


LARGEST AIRCRAFT - C

Boeing C-17 Globemaster III 172,000#, 147.1' wings

Alenia C-27J Spartan 37,480#, 94.2' wings

Curtiss C-46 Commando 33,000#, 108' wings

Douglas C-74 Globemaster, 86,200#, 124.1' wings

Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter 82,500#, 141.2' wings

Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar 40,000#, 109.1' wings

Douglas C-124 Globemaster 100,000#, 174' wings

Lockheed C-130 Hercules 76,000#, 132.6' wings

Douglas C-133 Cargomaster 109,400#, 179.7' wings

Transall C-160 62,700#, 131.1' wings

Caproni Ca.60 55,100#, 98.5' wings

Caproni Ca.90 33,000#, 159.9' wings

Aerospatiale-BAE/Concorde 173,500#, 83.8' wings


LARGEST AIRCRAFT - D

Douglas DC-4, 43,300#, 117.5' wings

Douglas DC-6 55,360#, 117.5' wings

Dornier Do X 62,300#, 157.5' wings

Dornier Do 328 19,670#, 68.9' wings


LARGEST AIRCRAFT -  E to G

Grumman E-2 Hawkeye 37,700#, 80.6' wings

Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star 69,000#, 123.1' wings

Farman F60 Goliath 5,500#, 86.9' wings

Gotha G Bomber 6,050#, 77.8' wings

Mitsubishi G4M Betty 18,400#, 82' wings

Kawanishi H8K seaplane 40,450#, 124.7' wings


LARGEST AIRCRAFT - H

Handley Page Halifax 39,000#, 104.1' wings

Heinkel He-111Z Zwilling 47,000#, 115.5' wings

Heinkel He-177 37,000#, 103.1' wings.


LARGEST AIRCRAFT - I to L

Ilyushin IL-38 74,1400#, 122.8' wings

Ilyushin IL-76 159,000#, 165.7' wings

Ilyushin IL-86 253,500#, 157.6' wings

Ilyushin IL-96 269,400#, 197.1' wings

Junkers Ju52 14,325#, 95.9' wings

Junkers Ju 290 72,600#, 137.8' wings

Kalinin K-7 53,800#, 173.9' wings

Mitsubishi Ki-20 32,875#, 144.3' wings

Lockheed L-188 Electra 61,000#, 99.1' wings

Avro Lancaster 36,900#, 102' wings


LARGEST AIRCRAFT -  M to P

Myaseshchev M-4 175,700#, 165.6' wings

Mil Mi-24 Hind 26,500#, 21.2' wings

BAE Nimrod MRA4 114,000#, 126.8' wings

Grumman OV-1 Mohawk 18,900#, 48' wings

Lockheed P-3 Orion 61,510#, 99.7' wings

Petlyakov Pe-8 40,900#, 128.3' wings


LARGEST AIRCRAFT - S

Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane 19,250#, 88.5' long

Savoia-Marcheti SM.79 17,000#, 66.1' wings

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird 67,499#, 55.5' wings

Short Suderland 37,000#, 112.7' wings

Siemens-Schukert R.VIII 23,100#, 157.5' wings


LARGEST AIRCRAFT -  T and U


Tupolev TB-3 24,700#, 137.1' wings

Ford Trimotor 7,840#, 77.9'wings

Tupolev Tu-16 82,000#, 108.2' wings

Tupolev Tu-22M3 119,000#, 112.5' wings

Tupolev Tu-95 Bear 198,100#, 167.7' wings

Tupolev Tu-114 200,600#, 167.3' wings

Lockheed U-2 Dragon Lady 15,000#, 102.9' wings


LARGEST AIRCRAFT -  V and W

Handley Page V1500 17,600#, 126' wings

Handley Page Victor 89,000#, 110' wings

Vickers Vimy 7,100#, 68" wings

Myaseshchev VM-T 167,000#, 174.4' wings

Avro Vulcan 106,100#, 111' wings

Vickers Wellington 18,560#, 86.1' wings

White Knight 2,600#, 93.1' wings


LARGEST AIRCRAFT -  X to Z

North American XB-70 Valkyrie 210,050#, 105' wings

Witteman-Lewis XNBL1 26,130#, 120' wings

Northrop YB-49 88,450#, 172' wings

Convair YB-60 153,000#, 206' wings

Boeing YC-14 117,500#, 129.1' wings

Zeppelin-Staaken R Bombers 17,425#, 138.5' wings











                           

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