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Largest Cargo Aircraft

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.
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Hughes H-4

Hughes H-4 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 aluminum.

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.


Antonov An-225

Antonov 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.


Airbus A380F

Airbus 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 this Airliner.


Antonov An-124

Antonov 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 service.

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 deck.


Boeing 747-8F

Boeing 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.


C-5 Galaxy

C-5 Galaxy, length 247 ft, wingspan 222 ft, load 122 tonnes.

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 freighters.


Antonov An-22

Antonov 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 83 fatalities.


C-17 Globemaster III

C-17 Globemaster 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.


Listed below are some other specialized Cargo Aircraft.

Boeing_Dreamlifter - 154 tonnes

Airbus Beluga - 47 tonnes

Antonov An-70 - 47 tonnes

Ilyushin Il-76 - 45 – 47 tonnes

C-141 Starlifter - 45 tonnes

Aero Spacelines Super Guppy - 25 tonnes

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