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Largest Bomber Aircraft

Below is a list of the largest Bomber Aircraft by Length, Wingspan and Bomb Load.
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Tupolev Tu-160

Tupolev 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 payloads.

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 better.


XB-70 Valkyrie

XB-70 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 was 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 Mach 2.


Convair B-36

Convair B-36, 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 transports.

The B-36 was the first Bomber capable of carrying Nuclear Weapons inside the bomb bay, without modifications.


Tupolev Tu-95

Tupolev Tu-95, 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 2040.

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 WW3.


B-52 Stratofortress

B-52 Stratofortress, length 159 ft, wingspan 185 ft, 650 mph, bomb load 35 tons.

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.


B-1 Lancer

B-1 Lancer, 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 supersonic speed.

The B-1 has so far been involved in the Wars in Iraq, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.


Tupolev Tu-22M

Tupolev Tu-22M, length 139 ft, wingspan 112 ft, 1,520 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.


Handley Page Victor

Handley Page 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 British Bomber.

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 Valiant.

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 October 1993.


Tupolev Tu-16

Tupolev Tu-16, 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 Tu-104 '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 until 1993.


WWII Bombers

B-29 Superfortress

B-29 Superfortress, length 99 ft, wingspan 141 ft, 357 mph, bomb load 10 tons.

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 WWII.

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 Tupolev Tu-4.

This was the main Aircraft in the American firebombing campaign against Japan in the final months of World War II, and dropped the Atomic Aombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 Flying Fortress length 74 ft, wingspan 103 ft, 287 mph, bomb load 2 - 4 tons.

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 B-17s.

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 Avro Lancaster.

Other WWII, U.S. bombers by size were, B-32 Dominator and the B-24 Liberator.


Avro Lancaster

Avro 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 Handley Page Halifax, were the main heavy Bombers of the RAF, the RCAF, and other Commonwealth and European countries.

Although the Lancaster was normally used as a Night Bomber, it was also used for daylight Precision Bombing, becoming famous as the "Dam Buster" after the 1943 raids on Germany's Ruhr Valley Dams.

This Aircraft dropped 608,612 tons of Bombs in 156,000 sorties during WWII, 3,249 were lost in action.

Only 35 Lancaster's completed more than 100 operations. The longest survivor completed 139 operations, surviving the war only to be scrapped in 1947.


For all bomber aircraft. visit: wiki/List_of_bomber_aircraft.

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