The most important facts about the “Largest aircraft in the world”
- The largest passenger aircraft in the world is the Airbus A380-800.
- With a variable seating configuration, the A380-800 can carry up to 850 passengers.
- The Boeing 747-8, Boeing 777-9, Airbus A350-1000 and Airbus A340-600 are also among the best-known and largest passenger aircraft.
- The largest transport aircraft in the world is the Antonov An-225 Mriya.
- Specially developed for transporting heavy freight, the An-225 has a maximum take-off weight of around 640 tonnes.
- The best-known and largest cargo aircraft include the Airbus Beluga XL, Airbus Beluga ST, Antonov An-124, Lockheed C-5 Galaxy and Boeing 747-8F.
- In the event of a flight cancellation or delay, travellers are entitled to compensation under certain circumstances.
- In case of difficulties, legal assistance from Flightright is recommended.
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A look into the skies reveals a fascinating variety of aircraft, from small propeller-driven aeroplanes to gigantic jets that transport passengers and freight all over the world. In the midst of this impressive fleet of aircraft, one particular category stands out – the world’s largest aeroplanes. Although they are rarely encountered, these giants exert an immense fascination on aviation enthusiasts, engineers and travellers. This article is dedicated to these impressive aircraft, and we will look at aspects of both the largest passenger aircraft and the largest cargo aircraft.
Immerse yourself in the world of superlatives and learn all about the technology, size, history and impressive performance of these unique aircraft. Let’s take off together and explore the limits of what is possible – welcome to the fascinating world of the world’s largest aircraft!
The largest aeroplane in the world – Antonov An 225 Mrija (Mrija)
Largest aeroplane in the world – what is the largest aeroplane in the world? The largest aeroplane in the world is the Antonov An-225 Mrija. It was developed and built by the Ukrainian company Antonov Design Bureau. This impressive Ukrainian cargo plane was specially designed to transport heavy and bulky cargo. The An-225 was first built in the 1980s and is an enlarged version of its predecessor, the An-124.
How big is the largest aeroplane in the world?
The Antonov An-225 Mrija is the largest aeroplane in the world. The dimensions of this giant aeroplane are impressive. The Antonov An-225 has a length of about 84 metres, a wingspan of about 88 metres and a height of about 18.1 metres, making it a truly gigantic aircraft. Its maximum take-off weight can be up to 640 tonnes. The Antonov An-225 is undoubtedly a unique and impressive aircraft that more than deserves its role as the largest aircraft in the world. It is a symbol of engineering and progress in the aviation industry.
What is the largest aircraft in the world Passengers?
Largest aircraft in the world Passengers – The largest passenger aircraft in the world is the Airbus A380-800. The A380-800 can carry up to around 850 passengers, depending on the seating configuration. The A380-800 is a double-decker aircraft and offers a wide range of seating options and service facilities on two levels to meet the comfort and needs of passengers on long-haul flights. It is an impressive aircraft with a wingspan of over 79 metres and a length of around 73 metres.
How big is the world’s largest passenger aircraft?
The A380 is very popular with passengers due to its high level of comfort and imposing appearance. Flying the Airbus A380 yourself doesn’t have to be a dream. The dimensions of this impressive aircraft are as follows:
- Wingspan: approximately 79.75 metres
- Length: approximately 72.72 metres
- Height: approx. 24.09 metres
- Cabin width: about 6.58 metres
What is the largest transport aircraft in the world?
The largest transport aircraft in the world is the Antonov An-225 Mriya. It was developed in the Soviet Union and is still in service. The An-225 was built specifically for transporting heavy and oversized cargo and has a maximum take-off weight of around 640 tonnes. It has six engines and, with a wingspan of approximately 88.4 metres, is the largest aircraft ever produced. The An-225 holds the record for the heaviest cargo ever transported, at around 253 tonnes.
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What are the largest passenger aircraft?
The largest passenger aircraft in the world, the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747-8, are used by various airlines around the world. The Airbus A380 is operated by Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Lufthansa and other airlines. The Boeing 747-8 is operated by Lufthansa, Korean Air, Air China and other airlines. The Boeing 777-300ER is operated by airlines such as Emirates, Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific, while the Airbus A340-600 is operated by airlines such as Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic. The Airbus A350-1000 is operated by airlines such as Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific.
The largest aircraft in the world: Passenger aircraft
Airbus A380-800 (about 853 passengers)
With no serious competition, the Airbus A380-800, an improved version of the A350-1000, takes first place among the world’s largest passenger aircraft. The Airbus A380-800 is a four-engine passenger aircraft and the largest commercial aircraft in the world. It has a maximum capacity of over 800 passengers in a typical three-class configuration. The A380-800 was developed by Airbus and launched in 2005.
The aircraft has an impressive range of up to 8,000 nautical miles (approx. 14,800 kilometres) and offers a comfortable and spacious interior with various amenities for passengers. It is powered by four powerful engines and offers high efficiency and low operating costs per seat. The Airbus A380-800 has revolutionised the aviation industry and is used by many major airlines worldwide.
- Manufacturer: Airbus
- Leading airlines: Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Qantas
Boeing 747-8 (about 660 passengers)
The Boeing 747-8 is a long-haul aircraft and the latest version of the legendary Boeing 747 series. It was developed by Boeing and is one of the largest passenger aircraft in the world. The first flight took place in 2010. The 747-8 is available in two variants: the 747-8 Intercontinental, which is designed for passenger flights and offers increased range and capacity, and the 747-8 Freighter, which serves as a cargo aircraft and can transport large loads. The aircraft is equipped with the latest technology and offers improved fuel efficiency and performance compared to previous versions.
Boeing 777-9 (about 450 passengers)
The Boeing 777-9 is the largest aircraft in the Boeing 777X family and a long-haul passenger aircraft from the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing. It has a maximum range of around 14,075 kilometres and can carry up to 426 passengers in a typical three-class configuration. The 777-9 is characterised by advanced technology and improved fuel efficiency and is equipped with powerful General Electric GE9X engines. The aircraft also offers a spacious cabin and modern passenger amenities.
- Manufacturer: Boeing
- Leading airlines: Emirates, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines
Airbus A350-1000 (about 400 passengers)
The Airbus A350-1000 is a twin-engine wide-body aircraft and the largest model in the Airbus A350 XWB family. It offers space for around 400 passengers in a typical three-class configuration and has a maximum range of around 14,800 kilometres. The A350-1000 is characterised by its advanced technology, including lightweight composite materials, efficient engines and innovative wing designs that result in significant fuel savings. The aircraft is powered by modern Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines and offers high reliability, improved passenger comfort features and increased environmental friendliness.
- Manufacturer: Airbus
- Leading airlines: Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, British Airways
Airbus A340-600 (about 475 passengers)
The Airbus A340-600 is a long-haul aircraft from the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. It is a four-engine long-haul commercial aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 368 tonnes. It is the longest version of the A340 family and offers space for around 350 to 475 passengers, depending on the seating arrangement. The first flight took place in April 2001.
The A340-600 is characterised by its impressive range of around 13,900 kilometres, which makes it ideal for long-haul flights. The aircraft is equipped with the latest technology, a spacious cabin and a high level of comfort and is used by airlines worldwide for their long-haul routes.
- Manufacturer: Airbus
- Some of the leading airlines that have operated or still operate the Airbus A340-600 are: Lufthansa, Emirates, Thai Airways, Iberia, South African Airways
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What are the largest cargo aircraft in the world?
A cargo aircraft is an aircraft designed specifically for the transport of goods and freight. Unlike passenger aircraft, which are primarily designed to carry people, cargo aircraft are designed to transport goods efficiently and safely over long distances. Cargo aircraft come in a variety of sizes and types, from small propeller aircraft to large wide-body aircraft. The best-known and largest cargo aircraft include the following:
Antonov An-225 Mrija – “The king of cargo planes”
The Antonov An-225 Mrija is the largest cargo aircraft in the world and is often referred to as a “flying miracle”. It was developed by Antonov Design Bureau in Ukraine and is capable of transporting heavy cargo such as construction machinery, aircraft engines and other large loads. The An-225 has a maximum payload of 250 tonnes and can reach a top speed of 850 km/h. Find out more about the world’s fastest aircraft here.
It has six engines and a wingspan of over 88 metres. Originally developed to transport the Soviet space shuttle programme, the An-225 is now used worldwide for various cargo transport tasks and is an impressive example of engineering and aviation technology.
Airbus Beluga XL – “The majestic cargo transporter of the skies”
The Airbus Beluga XL is a cargo aircraft developed by Airbus to transport large cargo and aircraft components. It is based on the Airbus A330-200 and has a unique, voluminous upper deck that opens forward to facilitate the loading process. With a length of around 63 metres, a wingspan of around 60 metres and a maximum payload of around 53 tonnes, the Beluga XL is one of the largest cargo aircraft in the world.
Its impressive capacity enables the transport of wings, fuselages and other bulky components between the various Airbus factories in Europe. The first flight of the Beluga XL took place in July 2018 and since then it has successfully entered service to optimise the logistics of aircraft parts for Airbus.
Airbus Beluga ST – “The flying whale of aviation”
The Airbus Beluga ST, also known as the Airbus A300-600ST Super Transporter, is a specially modified cargo aircraft developed by Airbus to transport bulky cargo and aircraft parts. Its characteristic design with an enlarged upper surface gives it a whale-like appearance and enables the transport of wings, fuselages and other large components between the various Airbus factories in Europe.
The Beluga ST has a payload of around 47 tonnes and can fly at a maximum speed of around 800 km/h. This unique cargo aircraft plays a crucial role in the logistical support of Airbus production and helps to ensure the smooth manufacture and assembly of commercial aircraft.
Antonov An-124 – “The giant of air freight”
The Antonov An-124 is an impressive cargo aircraft developed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. With a maximum take-off mass of around 405 tonnes and a payload capacity of up to 150 tonnes, the An-124 is one of the largest and most powerful cargo aircraft in the world. Its characteristic nose can be opened to accommodate bulky cargo such as vehicles or turbines.
The An-124 first entered service in 1982 and has since proven its versatility and robustness in various humanitarian and military missions. Thanks to its ability to land on unpaved runways and cover long distances, the Antonov An-124 plays an important role in global cargo transport.
Lockheed C-5 Galaxy – “The giants of the skies”
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a major cargo aircraft and one of the largest military transport aircraft in the world. It was first put into service by the US Air Force in 1968 and has been used for heavy strategic airlifts ever since. The C-5 Galaxy has an impressive payload capacity of up to 122 tonnes and can carry a variety of cargo, including tanks, helicopters and other military equipment.
With a range of over 7,000 kilometres and the ability to operate on short unpaved runways, the C-5 Galaxy is a critical component for global operations and humanitarian missions. Its imposing design and diverse capabilities have made it a cornerstone of the US Air Force and other armed forces around the world.
Boeing 747-8F – “Setting new standards in cargo aviation”
The Boeing 747-8F is a major cargo aircraft developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is a further development of the legendary Boeing 747 family and is characterised by its impressive capacity and efficiency. The jet has a maximum payload of around 140 tonnes and a range of over 8,000 kilometres. Its characteristic feature is the extended upper deck, which distinguishes it from earlier versions. With state-of-the-art technology and aerodynamic improvements, the Boeing 747-8F offers operators an optimal solution for global cargo transport and remains an essential workhorse in the air cargo industry.
The list of the largest cargo aircraft may change over time as new models are developed and older aircraft may no longer be in production.
Where can you see the largest aircraft?
The largest aircraft can usually only be observed at larger international commercial airports, especially those with high passenger and cargo volumes that have the appropriate infrastructure and capacity. In addition, runways must be long and wide enough for the giant aircraft. If you don’t necessarily want to fly yourself, but would still like to see one of the world’s largest aeroplanes take off and land with your own eyes, you can do so at some airports. Here are some of the best-known airports where you can see large aeroplanes:
- Frankfurt am Main Airport (FRA) – Germany
- Hamburg Airport (HAM) – Germany
- London Heathrow Airport (LHR) – United Kingdom
- Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) – France
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) – USA
- Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) – China
- Sydney Airport (SYD) – Australia
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) – USA
- Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) – Hong Kong
- Dubai International Airport (DXB) – United Arab Emirates
Largest aircraft in the world – Technical data of the world’s largest aircraft at a glance
An overview of the top 10 largest aircraft in the world
Antonov An-225 Mriya (Mrija)
- Wingspan: 88.40 m
- Length: 84 m
- Height: 18.20 m
- Wing area: 905 m²
- Cruising speed: 800 km/h
- Range: 4500 km (with payload of 200,000 kg)
Hughes H-4 “Spruce Goose”
- Wingspan: 97.54 metres
- Wingspan: 97.54 metres
- Length: 66.50 metres
- Height: 24.18 metres
- Wing area: 1059 m²
- Range: 9451 km
- Cruising speed: approx. 400 km/h
- Wingspan: 79.80 metres
- Length: 72.80 metres
- Height: 24.10 metres
- Wing area: 845 m²
- Range: 14,816 km
- Cruising speed: Mach 0.8
Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental
- Wingspan: 68.50 metres
- Length: 76.3 metres
- Height: 19.4 metres
- Wing area: 554 m²
- Range: 14800 km
- Cruising speed: 917 km/h
Antonov An-124 Ruslan
- Wingspan: 73.30 metres
- Length: 69.10 metres
- Height: 21.08 metres
- Wing area: 628 m²
- Cruising speed: 800 km/h
- Range: 4800 km (with maximum payload)
Lockheed C-5M Super Galaxy
- Wingspan: 67.88 metres
- Length: 75.54 metres
- Height: 19.85 metres
- Wing area: 576 m²
- Cruising speed: 833 km/h
- Range: 9723 km (with 60 tonnes payload)
Saunders-Roe SR.45 Princess
- Wingspan: 66.90 metres
- Length: 45.1 metres
- Height: 16.99 metres
- Wing area: 466 m²
- Range: 9205 km
- Cruising speed: 579 km/h
Stratolaunch Carrier Aircraft
- Wingspan: 117 m
- Length: 73 m
- Height: 15 m
- Maximum speed: 853 km/h
- Range: 1852 km with external loads (up to 4630 km without)
McDonnell Douglas MD-11
- Wingspan: approx. 51.64 metres
- Length: approx. 61.30 metres
- Height: approx. 17.60 metres
- Wing area: approx. 356.6 square metres
- Range: approx. 11,000 kilometres
- Wingspan: approx. 63.45 metres
- Length: approx. 75.36 metres
- Height: approx. 17.37 metres
- Wing area: approx. 437 square metres
- Range: approx. 14,600 kilometres
The mobility sector has made enormous progress in recent years. The An-124’s big brother is the world’s heaviest and longest aircraft, the Antonov An-225 Mrija. Antonov Airlines is a major player in the mobility sector and operates an impressive fleet of cargo aircraft.
The only airworthy example of the Antonov An-225 was destroyed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine (war in Ukraine) in February 2022 at its home base Hostomel in Ukraine. Source: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonow_An-225
How can Flightright help you?
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