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 degrees Celsius.
Hercules, length 218 ft,
wingspan 320 ft.
The Hughes H-4 Hercules (Spruce Goose)
was a prototype heavy transport
Aircraft built by the Hughes Aircraft
company. The Aircraft made its only
short flight on the 2nd of November
1947. It had to be built from wood
because of wartime raw material
restrictions on the use of
This Aircraft has fascinating
dimensions, even compared to the
largest modern aircraft.
The Spruce Goose is now on display
at the Evergreen Aviation & Space
Museumin, McMinnville, Oregon.
An-225, length 275 ft, wingspan
290 ft, load 250 tonnes.
The An-225 is a transport Aircraft
built by the Antonov Design Bureau of
the USSR. It is the world's largest
fixed wing Aircraft that first flew in
1988. This Aircraft was built to
transport the Buran
Orbiter, the Russian equivalent of
the U.S. Space Shuttle.
The Antonov An-225 is now used to
transport large loads for companies
around the world. There is only one of
these Aircraft still operating.
A380F, length 240 ft, wingspan
261 ft, load 150 tonnes.
The Airbus A380 is a double deck, wide
body, four engine Aircraft built by the
European corporation Airbus. As the
largest passenger Airliner in the
world, the A380 first flew on the 27th
April 2005 from Toulouse in France, and
set off on its first commercial flight
on the 25th October 2007 from Singapore
to Sydney with Singapore Airlines.
The A380F is the cargo version of
An-124, length 226 ft, wingspan
240 ft, load 150 tonnes.
The Antonov An-124 Ruslan was the
largest Aircraft in production from
1986 until the Antonov An-225 entered
service in 1988. Over forty are in
The An-124 is similar to the
American Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, but with
a 25% larger payload. Up to 150 tonnes
can be carried in a military version,
along with 88 passengers in an upper
747-8F, length 250 ft, wingspan
224 ft, load 134 tonnes.
The Boeing 747 is a wide body
commercial Airliner, often referred to
as a Jumbo Jet. It is one of the
world's most famous Aircraft, the first
widebody Aircraft ever produced. The
first 747s were about two and a half
times larger than other commercial
Aircraft of the late 1960s.
First flown commercially in 1970,
the 747 held the passenger capacity
record for 37 years.
The freight version entered service
soon after the passenger Airliner. A
747 was also converted to transport the
U.S. Space Shuttle.
length 247 ft, wingspan 222 ft, load
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large,
military transport Aircraft designed
for heavy airlifts over long distances,
and carry oversized cargo. The C-5
Galaxy has been operated by the United
States Air Force since 1969.
There are no more C-5 Galaxy's to be
built. Many have to be upgraded to
extend their service life, and many
will be replaced by the U.S. C-17
Globemaster III, or Airbus A380
An-22, length 190 ft, wingspan
211 ft, load 80 tonnes.
The Antonov An-22 was the world's
largest Aircraft from entering service
in 1967, until the American C-5 Galaxy
entered service in 1969. Powered by
four contra rotating turboprops, the
design is the world's largest turboprop
powered Aircraft. A prototype was flown
at the 1965 Paris Air Show.
About 45 were still in service in
the mid-1990s with the Russian Air
Force, but are being replaced by the
larger Antonov An-124. As of 2004, 8
have been involved in accidents with a
III, length 174 ft, wingspan 169
ft, load 77 tonnes.
The Boeing (formerly McDonnell Douglas)
C-17 Globemaster III is a military
transport Aircraft used by the United
States Air Force from the 1980s.
The C-17 is operated by the US Air
Force, United Kingdom, Australia,
Canada, NATO, and Qatar.