Below is a list of the largest Bomber
Aircraft by length, wingspan and bomb
Tu-160, length 177 ft,
wingspan 189 ft, 1,380 mph, bomb
load 49 tons.
The Tupolev Tu-160 is a supersonic,
heavy bomber of the Soviet Union
that entering service in 1987. This
is the largest variable wing, and
the largest jet powered combat
aircraft so far.
Although a few civil and
military transport aircraft are
larger, the Tu-160 has more thrust
than any other military aircraft,
and can carry one of the largest
The Tu-160 also has the highest
top speed of any bomber to enter
service so far at 1,380 mph, a
speed only a few top aircraft
fighters can acheive, or
Valkyrie, length 185 ft, wingspan
105 ft, 2,056 mph, bomb load ?
Although this fast bomber never made it
into service, the thought of its
existence led to the Soviets building
exceptionally fast fighters such as the
MiG-25 Foxbat capable of
matching its performance.
North American Aviation's B-70
Valkyrie was designed to carry nuclear
weapons, had six engines, and was able to
fly Mach 3 at high altitudes.
The escalating cost of the aircraft,
along with the Soviets designing new high
altitude anti-aircraft missiles, led to
the cancellation of this bomber program
in 1961, although the first aircraft was
used for other military tests.
On the 4th of February 1969, Valkyrie
number one taken out of service and flown
to the National Museum of the United
States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air
Force Base near Dayton/ Ohio.
The British Concorde and Russian
Tupolev Tu-144, supersonic
passenger jets, entered service in
1975, with a similar design and
around the same size, capable of
length 162 ft, wingspan 230 ft, 230 mph,
load 36 tons.
The Convair B-36 "Peacemaker" was a
strategic bomber built by Convair for the
United States Air Force from 1949 to
1959. The B-36 was the largest mass
produced piston engine aircraft ever
made. It had the longest wingspan of any
combat aircraft ever built, although
there have been larger military
length 162 ft, wingspan 167 ft, 575 mph,
load 17 tons.
The Tupolev Tu-95 (Bear) is a large,
four-engine turboprop strategic Soviet
Union bomber that entered service in
1956. It is expected to remain in the
Russian Air Force until at around
This aircraft was the Russian
equivalent of the U.S. Convair B-36
"Peacemaker". Vast numbers of these
aircraft were in the sky all the
time during the early years of the
Cold War, ready for the start of
Stratofortress, length 159 ft,
wingspan 185 ft, 650 mph, bomb load 35
The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a
long-range, subsonic, jet powered
strategic bomber that entered service for
the United States Air Force in 1955.
The B-52 Stratofortress replaced
the Convair B-36 as the US
strategic nuclear bomber. Although
used in a number of wars, the
Stratofortress has so far, only
dropped conventional bombs.
length 146 ft, wingspan 137 ft, 830 mph,
bomb load 37 tons.
The Rockwell (now part of Boeing) B-1
Lancer is a strategic bomber designed for
the United States Air Force in the 1960s,
entering service in 1986.
The aircraft is supersonic with with
the range and payload of the B-52
Stratofortress, the aircraft it was
intended to replace. The B1 was designed
for low level, long range flights at
Tu-22M, length 139 ft, wingspan
112 ft, 1520 mph, bomb load 23 tons.
The Tupolev Tu-22M (Backfire) is a
supersonic, swing wing, long-range
strategic and strike bomber that entered
service for the Soviet Union in 1972.A
large number are still used by the
Russian Air Force.
The Tu-22M was first used in
Afghanistan from 1987 to 1989, and
in Chechnya in 1995.
Victor, length 114 ft, wingspan
110 ft, 650 mph, bomb load 17 tons.
The Handley Page Victor was a British jet
bomber built by the Handley Page Aircraft
Company during the Cold War, largest ever
This was the third and final of the "V
bombers" Britain's nuclear deterrent. The
other two V-bombers were the Avro
Vulcan and the Vickers
After the Royal Navy acquired
nuclear powered submarines with
Polaris nuclear missiles in 1969,
many of these bombers were
converted to aerial refueling
tankers. The last Victor was
retired from service on the 15th of
length 114 ft, wingspan 108 ft, 650 mph,
bomb load 10 tons.
The Tupolev Tu-16 (Badger) was a
twin-engine jet bomber used by the Soviet
Union for over 50 years, it is still in
service with the Chinese air force.
A total of 1,507 aircraft were built
from 1954-1962. A civilian version, the
'Camel', was used a passenger
aircraft by Aeroflot until 1986.
The Tu-16 was also exported to
Egypt, Indonesia, and Iraq. It was
used by the Soviet Union and Russia
Superfortress, length 99 ft,
wingspan 141 ft, 357 mph, bomb load 10
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was a
four-engine propeller driven heavy bomber
of the United States from May 1944, used
in World War II and the Korean War.
Largest bomber to see action during
The B-29 remained in service
throughout the 1950s. After WWII, the
British Royal Air Force used the B-29
under the name the Washington, and the
Soviet Union built an copy as their
This was the main aircraft in
the American firebombing campaign
against Japan in the final months
of World War II, and dropped the
atomic bombs on Hiroshima and
Fortress length 74 ft, wingspan
103 ft, 287 mph, bomb load 2 - 4
The B-17 Flying Fortress was the main
U.S. bomber used for daylight bombing
throughout World War II against Germany.
The B-17 dropped more bombs than any
other U.S. aircraft in World War II. The
Flying Fortress was heavily armoured and
carried up to 13 machine guns, this
meaning their bomb loads were less than
other aircraft of a similar size.
Of the 1.5 million metric tons of
bombs dropped on Germany by U.S.
aircraft, 640,000 tons were from
There were 12,732 B-17 Flying
Fortress produced between 1935 and
1945, 4,735 were lost in combat,
many during daytime raids over
Germany. They were slightly larger
than their British equivalent, the
Other WWII, U.S. bombers by size
Dominator and the B-24
Lancaster, length 69 ft, wingspan
102 ft, 280 mph, bomb load 7 tons.
The Avro Lancaster was a British
four-engined, WWII heavy bomber that
entered service in 1942, along with the
Halifax, were the main heavy bombers
of the RAF, the RCAF and other
Commonwealth and European countries.
Although the Lancaster was normaly
used as a night bomber, it was also used
for daylight precision bombing, and
became famous as the "Dam Buster" after
the 1943 raids on Germany's Ruhr Valley
This aircraft dropped 608,612
tons of bombs in 156,000 sorties
during WWII, 3,249 were lost in
Only 35 Lancasters completed
more than 100 operations. The
longest survivor completed 139
operations, surviving the war only
to be scrapped in 1947.