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The Largest Airplanes Ever to Fly - Part 2

 

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8. Airbus A340-600
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Country of Origin: Multinational  

Type: Commercial  

Number Built: 75

The A340-600 is the largest of the A340 range of airplanes. It’s 13 feet longer than an A380 and is designed to carry 379 passengers. Seven airlines around the world currently have A340-600s in their fleets, however the model is set to be replaced in future by the A350-1000, which is expected to enter service in 2017.

 
7. Boeing 777-300ER 
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Country of Origin: United States  

Type: Commercial  

Number Built: 1,346 777s in Total

The ER acronym stands for “Extended Range”. This is because the 777-300ER was designed to have even longer range than other 777 models. It can fly continuously for 7,370 nautical miles. It’s also the best-selling variant of the 777 airplane.

 
6. Lockheed C-5 Galaxy 
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Country of Origin: United States

Type: Military Airlifter

Number Built: 131

This veteran of the US Air Force has been in service since 1969, and is expected to still be in service after 2040. C-5s first saw military action in the Vietnam War, and continue to be used to offer support to military allies of the United States.

 

5. Antonov AN-124

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Country of Origin: Russia

Type: Military Transport Plane

Number Built: 55

 The AN-124, which served as the inspiration for the largest airplane ever built, was designed in the 1970s and first flew in 1982. It is a heavy-lift transport plane, with the latest versions able to carry up to 150 tonnes. Production was resumed in 2009, but halted again following the escalations of tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

4. Caspian Sea Monster 
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Country of Origin: Russia

Type: Experimental Military Ekranoplan  

Number Built: 1

Ekranoplans were designed by the Soviet Union to skim the surface of the ocean at high speed, remaining undetected by radar. The Caspian Sea Monster’s wings were placed low down on its fuselage in order to harness ground effect, a phenomenon that allows wings to give extra lift thanks to the compressed air flowing underneath it. The sole Caspian Sea Monster was lost in a crash in 1980.

 
3. Airbus A380 
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Country of Origin: Multinational

Type: Commercial

Number Built: 170+ (Still in production)

The A380 is the largest commercial airliner ever built. It can seat 850 passengers if the entire plane is configured in an all-economy class layout. Dubai-based Emirates is the airline with the most A380s on order – it currently has 67 of them in its fleet, with a further 140 due to be delivered in the next few years.

2. Hughes H-4 Hercules “Spruce Goose”

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Country of Origin: United States

Type: Prototype Military Flying Boat   

Number Built: 1

The H-4 Hercules was designed and built with the intention of transporting military equipment across the Atlantic Ocean during World War II, however the project was only completed two years after the war ended. The Spruce Goose, as the flying boat was nicknamed, was made almost entirely of birch. The only Hercules built is now on display at a museum.

 

1. Antonov AN-225

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Country of Origin: Russia

Type: Military Airlifter (Original)/Transporter (Current)  

Number Built: 1

The AN-225 is a gigantic airlifter that was designed and built in the 1980s as a launching platform for the reusable Buran spaceplane (the Soviet Union’s version of a Space Shuttle). It is the longest and heaviest airplane ever built. Just a single AN-225 was built, although a second one was planned.

Content Sources: The Register, Popular Mechanics, Flight Global, Jalopnik
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