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 designed by the Soviet
Union, entering service in 1987. It
is both the largest variable-wing
and the largest jet-powered combat
aircraft ever built.
Although several civil and
military transport aircraft are
larger, the Tu-160 has the greatest
total thrust, and the heaviest
takeoff weight of any combat
aircraft, as well as one of the
largest payloads of any current
The Tu-160 also has the highest
top speed of any bomber to enter
service at 1,380 mph, a speed only
a few of the top aircraft fighters
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 a
nuclear-armed, six-engined bomber
aircraft able to fly Mach 3 at high
The proposed cost of the
aircraft, along with the
introduction of the first effective
anti-aircraft missiles, led to the
cancellation of the program in
1961. February 4th 1969, Valkyrie
number one was retired and flown to
the National Museum of the United
States Air Force at
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
near Dayton/ Ohio.
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 (NATO reporting name:
Bear) is a large, four-engine turboprop
powered strategic bomber and missile
platform. First flown in 1952, the Tu-95
was put into service by the former Soviet
Union in 1956. It is expected to serve
the Russian Air Force until at least
This aircraft was the Russian
equivalent of the U.S. Convair B-36
"Peacemaker". Vast numbers of each
aircraft were in the sky's during
the early years of the Cold War,
ready to strike should a nuclear
war have began.
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 operated by the United
States Air Force (USAF) since 1955.
Built to carry nuclear weapons
for Cold War-era deterrence
missions, the B-52 Stratofortress
replaced the Convair B-36. Although
a veteran of a number of wars, the
Stratofortress has dropped only
conventional munitions in
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 used by the
United States Air Force. First envisioned
in the 1960s as a supersonic bomber with
sufficient range and payload to replace
the B-52 Stratofortress, it developed
primarily into a low-level penetrator
with long range and supersonic speed
capability, entering service in 1986.
Tu-22M, length 139 ft, wingspan
112 ft, 1520 mph, bomb load 23 tons.
The Tupolev Tu-22M (NATO reporting name:
Backfire) is a supersonic, swing-wing,
long-range strategic and maritime strike
bomber developed by the Soviet Union,
entering service in 1972. Significant
numbers remain in service with the
Russian Air Force.
The Tu-22M saw its first combat
use in Afghanistan from 1987 to
1989, dropping large tonnages of
conventional ordnance. The Russian
Federation used the Tu-22M3 in
combat in Chechen in 1995, carrying
out strikes near Grozny.
Victor, length 114 ft, wingspan
110 ft, 650 mph, bomb load 17 tons.
The Handley Page Victor was a British jet
bomber aircraft produced by the Handley
Page Aircraft Company during the Cold
War, largest ever british bomber.
It was the third and final of the "V
bombers" which provided Britain's nuclear
deterrent. The other two V-bombers were
Vulcan and the Vickers
After the Royal Navy assumed the
nuclear deterrence mission using
submarine-launched Polaris missiles
in 1969, many surviving bombers
were converted into aerial
refueling tankers. The last Victor
was retired from service October
length 114 ft, wingspan 108 ft, 650 mph,
bomb load 10 tons.
The Tupolev Tu-16 (NATO reporting name:
Badger) was a twin-engine jet bomber used
by the Soviet Union. It has flown for
more than 50 years and remains in service
with the Chinese air force.
A total of 1,507 aircraft were
constructed in three plants in the
Soviet Union from 1954-1962. A
civilian adaptation, the Tu-104
'Camel', saw passenger service
with Aeroflot. The Tu-16 was also
exported to Egypt, Indonesia, and
Iraq. It continued to be used by
the Air Forces and naval aviation
of the Soviet Union and
subsequently Russia until 1993.
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
that was flown by the United States from
May 1944, seeing action in World War II
and the Korean War. Largest bomber to see
action during WWII.
The B-29 remained in service in
various roles throughout the 1950s. The
British Royal Air Force flew the B-29,
named the Washington in RAF service, and
the Soviet Union produced an unlicensed
copy as the Tupolev
This was the primary aircraft in
the American firebombing campaign
against the Empire of Japan in the
final months of World War II, and
carried the atomic bombs that
destroyed Hiroshima and
Fortress length 74 ft, wingspan
103 ft, 287 mph, bomb load 2 - 4
The B-17 Flying Fortress was the primary
U.S. bomber used in the daylight bombing
campaign of World War II against Germany.
The B-17 was an effective weapons system
dropping 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 dropped from
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
first saw active service in 1942, and
together with the Handley Page
Halifax, was one of the main heavy
bombers of the RAF, the RCAF and
squadrons from other Commonwealth and
European countries serving within RAF
Although the Lancaster was primarily a
night bomber, it excelled in many other
roles including daylight precision
bombing, and gained worldwide renown as
the "Dam Buster" used in the 1943
Operation Chastise raids on Germany's
Ruhr Valley dams.
This aircraft delivered 608,612
tons of bombs in 156,000 sorties
during WWII, 3,249 were lost in
Only 35 Lancasters completed
more than 100 successful
operations. The greatest survivor
completed 139 operations, surviving
the war only to be scrapped in