Below is a list of the largest Cargo
Aircraft by length, wingspan and load in
tonnes. The tonne, or metric ton (U.S.)
is a unit of mass equal to 1,000 kg
(2,204.62262 lb) or approximately the
mass of one cubic metre of water at four
Hercules, length 218 ft,
wingspan 320 ft.
The Hughes H-4 Hercules ("Spruce
Goose") was a prototype heavy
transport aircraft designed and
built by the Hughes Aircraft
company. The aircraft made its only
flight on November 2, 1947. It had
to be built from wood because of
wartime raw material restrictions
on the use of aluminum.
An-225, length 275 ft, wingspan
290 ft, load 250 tonnes.
The An-225 is a strategic airlift
transport aircraft built by the Antonov
Design Bureau, USSR. It is the world's
largest fixed-wing aircraft that first
flew in 1988. The aircraft was built to
transport the Buran
Orbiter, the Russian equivalent of
the U.S. Space Shuttle.
The Antonov An-225 is
commercially available for flying
over-sized payloads due to the
unique size of its cargo deck.
Currently there is only one
length 240 ft, wingspan 261 ft, load 150
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck,
wide-body, four-engine airliner
manufactured by the European corporation
Airbus. The largest passenger airliner in
the world, the A380 made its maiden
flight April 27th 2005 from Toulouse,
France, and made its first commercial
flight October 25th 2007 from Singapore
to Sydney with Singapore Airlines.
An-124, length 226 ft, wingspan
240 ft, load 150 tonnes.
The Antonov An-124 Ruslan was the largest
airplane in production from 1986 until
the Antonov An-225 was built. Over forty
are currently in service.
Externally, the An-124 is
similar to the American Lockheed
C-5 Galaxy, but has a 25% larger
payload. Up to 150 tonnes of cargo
can be carried in a military
An-124; it can also carry 88
passengers in an upper deck behind
the wing centre section.
length 250 ft, wingspan 224 ft, load 134
The Boeing 747 is a widebody commercial
airliner, often referred to by the
nickname Jumbo Jet. It is among the
world's most recognizable aircraft, the
first widebody ever produced. The
original version of the 747 was two and a
half times the size of the Boeing 707,
one of the common large commercial
aircraft of the 1960s.
First flown commercially in
1970, the 747 held the passenger
capacity record for 37 years. The
freight version followed soon after
the passenger airliner. A 747 was
also converted to transport the
U.S. Space Shuttle.
length 247 ft, wingspan 222 ft, load 122
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large,
military transport aircraft designed to
provide strategic heavy airlift over
intercontinental distances and to carry
outsize and oversize cargo. The C-5
Galaxy has been operated by the United
States Air Force (USAF) since 1969.
There will be no more C-5
Galaxy's built. Many will be
upgraded to extend their service
life. The U.S. Air Force is looking
to replace them with the U.S. C-17
Globemaster III or Airbus A380
length 190 ft, wingspan 211 ft, load 80
The Antonov An-22 was the world's largest
aircraft from entering service in 1967,
until the advent of the American C-5
Galaxy in 1969. Powered by four
contra-rotating turboprops, the design
remains the world's largest
turboprop-powered aircraft. It first
appeared outside the Soviet Union at the
1965 Paris Air Show.
Approximately 45 remained in
service by the mid-1990s, mostly
with the Russian Air Force, but
these are slowly being replaced by
the bigger turbofan-powered Antonov
An-124. As of 2004, there had been
8 accidents with a total of 83
III, length 174 ft, wingspan 169
ft, load 77 tonnes.
The Boeing (formerly McDonnell Douglas)
C-17 Globemaster III is a large military
transport aircraft developed for the
United States Air Force from the