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Today we take a look at the “big planes”. Beluga, Mriya, A380… find out which are the biggest planes in the world, both in wingspan and in take-off weight. These impressive planes always make us admire the science and technology that make these aerial monsters take off.
Why do we need really big planes?
How do you transport an airplane wing? With an even bigger plane… There are several reasons why we need very large and big airplanes:
Increased capacity: Larger planes can carry more passengers or cargo, which can help airlines meet the growing demand for air travel. This can result in lower costs per passenger, as the fixed costs of operating an aircraft are spread over a larger number of passengers.
Long-haul operations: Larger aircraft are capable of flying longer distances, allowing more cities to be connected by non-stop flights. This saves passengers time and makes air travel more convenient.
More efficient operations: Larger aircraft are often more fuel efficient, as the economies of scale associated with their size allow for more efficient engines and optimized aerodynamics. This can result in lower operating costs for airlines and reduced emissions per passenger.
Improved passenger experience: Larger aircraft often feature spacious cabins with more legroom and other amenities, providing passengers with a more comfortable and relaxing travel experience.
Cargo Operations: Larger cargo aircraft can carry large, bulky items, such as industrial equipment, vehicles and aircraft parts, that would not fit in a standard cargo hold. This makes it possible to efficiently transport goods around the world.
Overall, large aircraft play an important role in meeting the demands of the aviation industry and improving the efficiency and convenience of air travel. They offer significant benefits to both airlines and passengers, and will continue to play a key role in the future of aviation.
The Airbus Beluga is a large transport aircraft specifically designed to carry oversized cargo, such as aircraft parts and sections, within the Airbus production network. The Beluga was developed by Airbus to meet its internal transportation needs, as its existing aircraft were not capable of carrying large, bulky cargo.
The Beluga has a distinctive appearance, with a large, bulbous fuselage that earns it its popular nickname of “Beluga Whale.” This design allows the aircraft to carry large items that would not fit in a standard cargo hold, such as aircraft wings and fuselage sections.
The Beluga is based on the Airbus A300-600ST (Super Transporter) airframe and is equipped with two General Electric CF6-80C2 turbofan engines, giving it a maximum takeoff weight of 141,000 kg. The aircraft has a range of about 2,200 km, which allows it to carry cargo between Airbus production sites in Europe.
The Beluga has a spacious cargo hold, with a volume of 1,400 cubic meters and a height of 4.4 meters, which allows it to carry items 6.70 meters high, 3.70 meters wide and 44 meters long. The cargo bay is equipped with a loading system that allows for fast and efficient loading and unloading of cargo.
In total, Airbus has built five Belugas as part of its internal transport network, carrying parts and sections between its production sites in Europe. The Beluga has proven to be an extremely reliable and efficient transport aircraft, and its distinctive appearance has made it a popular and recognizable symbol of Airbus and the aerospace industry.
The Antonov An-225 Mriya (which means “Dream” in Ukrainian) is a large six-engine cargo aircraft designed and built by the Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer Antonov. The An-225 is the world’s largest aircraft in terms of weight, with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 metric tons.
The An-225 was designed as a strategic transport aircraft, capable of carrying extremely heavy and bulky cargo, such as large industrial equipment, generators and even complete sections of aerospace and land vehicles. The aircraft was originally developed to carry the Soviet space shuttle, Buran, and its Energia rocket booster, but was never put into service for that purpose.
The An-225 has a unique and distinctive design, with a long, slender fuselage, a high-mounted wing and six powerful turbofan engines. The aircraft’s cargo bay is one of the largest in the world, with a volume of 1,300 cubic meters and a height of 4.4 meters. The cargo bay is equipped with a loading system that can accommodate a wide range of cargo sizes and weights.
The An-225 is powered by six Ivchenko-Progress D-18T turbofan engines, which provide a maximum thrust of 229 kN each. The aircraft has a range of about 5,400 km and is capable of flying at a maximum altitude of 12,000 meters.
Mriya was destroyed in the first hours of the war in Ukraine.
The Airbus A380 is a large commercial long-range passenger aircraft developed and produced by Airbus, a major European aircraft manufacturer. The A380 is the world’s largest passenger aircraft, with a maximum take-off weight of 1,234,000 kg and a capacity of up to 853 passengers (depending on configuration).
The A380 was developed in response to the growing demand for larger and more efficient passenger aircraft, and was designed to provide airlines with a high-performance, spacious aircraft capable of carrying large numbers of passengers on long-haul routes. The A380 has a unique and distinctive design, with a wide and spacious fuselage, a high wing and four powerful turbofan engines.
The A380 is powered by four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 or Engine Alliance GP7000 turbofan engines, each providing a maximum thrust of approximately 335 kN. The aircraft has a range of approximately 8,000 nautical miles, allowing it to fly non-stop on long-haul routes. The A380’s spacious cabin offers passengers a comfortable and relaxing travel experience, with plenty of legroom, in-flight entertainment and room to move around.
Since its introduction in 2007, the A380 has been operated by several airlines around the world, and has proven to be a popular and successful aircraft. Its spacious cabin, efficient engines and advanced technologies have made it a popular choice for airlines and passengers alike. However, despite its success, the A380 program was officially halted in 2021 due to low demand, and production of the aircraft was discontinued.
Antonov An-124 Ruslan
The Antonov An-124 Ruslan (which means “Eagle” in Russian) is a large four-engine cargo aircraft designed and built by the Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer Antonov. The An-124 is one of the largest military transport aircraft in the world, with a maximum take-off weight of over 400 metric tons.
The An-124 was developed to meet the military airlift needs of the Soviet Union, and was designed to carry heavy, oversized cargo such as tanks, artillery and other military equipment. The aircraft features a unique and distinctive design, with a large and spacious cargo bay, a high-mounted wing and four powerful turbofan engines.
The An-124 is powered by four Ivchenko-Progress D-18T turbofan engines, which provide a maximum thrust of 229 kN each. The aircraft has a range of about 5,000 km and is capable of flying at a maximum altitude of 12,000 meters.
The An-124 has proven to be a very capable and reliable aircraft, and has been used by military and civilian operators around the world. Its large cargo hold and powerful engines make it ideal for heavy airlift operations, and it has been used to transport a wide range of cargo, including disaster relief supplies, humanitarian aid and industrial equipment.
Despite its size and complexity, the An-124 is considered one of the most cost-effective heavy cargo aircraft in the world, and has been widely praised for its versatility and reliability. The An-124 continues to be operated by several airlines and military organizations, and it remains one of the most recognizable and iconic aircraft in the world.
The Boeing 747, also known as the “Queen of the Skies,” is a large, long-range commercial passenger airplane that was launched in 1970. The 747 is one of the most recognizable and iconic aircraft in the world, and has played a major role in the development of modern air travel.
The 747 was developed by Boeing in response to the growing demand for larger, more efficient passenger aircraft, and was designed to provide airlines with a high-performance, spacious aircraft capable of carrying large numbers of passengers on long-haul routes. The 747 has a distinctive design, with a wide and spacious fuselage, a high wing and four powerful turbofan engines.
The 747 is powered by four Pratt & Whitney JT9D or General Electric CF6-80C2B1F turbofan engines, which provide a maximum thrust of approximately 215 kN each. The aircraft has a range of approximately 8,000 nautical miles, allowing it to fly non-stop on long-haul routes. The 747’s spacious cabin offers passengers a comfortable and relaxing travel experience, with plenty of legroom, in-flight entertainment and room to move.
Since its introduction, the 747 has been operated by many airlines around the world, and has proven to be a popular and successful aircraft. Its spacious cabin, efficient engines and advanced technology have made it a popular choice for airlines and passengers. Despite the development of newer, more advanced aircraft, the 747 is still operated by many airlines and remains a symbol of the aviation industry.
The Boeing 747 has had a huge impact on the aviation industry and air travel, and it remains one of the most recognizable and iconic aircraft in the world.
List of the world’s largest aircraft by wingspan
Antonov An-225 Mriya – built in 1988, this is the largest cargo plane in existence, with a wingspan of 88.4 m and a length of 84 m.
Airbus A380 – one of the largest commercial aircraft, with a wingspan of over 80 meters and a length of 73 meters.
Antonov An-124 – this titanic aircraft has a huge wingspan of 73.3 m and a length of 69.1 m.
Boeing 747 – this iconic jumbo jet has a huge wingspan of 68.5 m and a length of 70.6 m.
Boeing 777-300 ER – its wingspan is 64.8 m and length is 73.9 m.
Airbus A350-900 – with a wingspan of 64.8 m and a length of 67.9 m, this medium-sized jumbo jet was designed for long-haul flights.
Antonov An-22 Antheus – also known as “Cock”, it has a wingspan of 64 meters and an overall length of 71 meters.
Airbus A340-600 – measuring 61.95 meters by 75 meters, this long-haul airliner was launched in 2002.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner – another medium-sized wide-body airliner with a wingspan of 60 m and a length of 63 m.
Boeing C-17 Globemaster III – with a wingspan of 51.75 m and a length of 53.10 m, it is one of the most versatile cargo aircraft in service today
McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender – this widely used refueling and transport aircraft has a wingspan of 51 meters and an overall length of about 15 meters.
Ilyushin Il-76 – its wingspan reaches 50 meters while its overall length is 46 meters
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 – This tri-jet has a wingspan of almost 50 meters and an overall length of almost 55 meters
Boeing 767 – It has a wingspan of about 48 meters and an overall length of about 51 meters
Boeing 707 – With a wingspan of 45 meters and a length of 46 meters, this commercial airliner was launched around 1955.
Airbus A400M Atlas – With a 41.45 meter wingspan and 46 meter length.
Lockheed C-130 Hercules – another popular transport aircraft with a wingspan of 40.4 meters and a length of 32 meters.
List of the largest aircraft by take-off capacity:
Airbus A380-800 – 1,234,000 kg
Boeing 747-8 – 987,000 kg
Boeing 747-400 – 875,000 kg
Antonov An-124 Ruslan – 840,000 kg
Boeing 747-100 – 833,000 kg
Boeing 747-200B – 833,000 kg
Boeing 747-300 – 833,000 kg
Antonov An-225 Mriya – 640,000 kg
Airbus A340-600 – 401,000 kg
Airbus A340-600 – 401,000 kg
Lockheed C-5 Galaxy – 381,000 kg
Boeing 777-300ER – 351,000 kg
Boeing 777-200LR – 351,000 kg
Airbus A350-1000 – 280,000 kg
Airbus A350-900 – 251,000 kg
Airbus A330-300 – 246,000 kg
Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner – 227,000 kg
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner – 227,000 kg
Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner – 227,000 kg
Airbus A400M Atlas – 141,000 kg
Ilyushin Il-76 – 140,000 kg
Airbus A321neo – 97,000 kg
Airbus A320neo – 77,000 kg
Airbus A319neo – 72,000 kg
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