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15 Great Giant Airplanes

 I know there are some big planes out there, but I had no clue about how unusual some of the largest ones are! Here are the 15 largest airplanes ever to fly, ranked according to Global Aircraft's table, which grades planes based on an average of length and wingspan. Check them out:
 
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15. Tupolev Tu-160 
Country of Origin: Russia
Type: Military Bomber  
Number Built: 35
The Tu-160 was the very last bomber designed in the Soviet Union before it fell in 1991. Although almost 30 years have passed since its introduction, the airplane first saw combat action when it was deployed to Syria in November 2015. About half of the number produced are currently airworthy.
14. Boeing 767 
Country of Origin: United States  
Type: Commercial  
Number Built: 1,082
Over 30 years have passed since the 767 first entered service, with over 1,000 built to date. Seven variants of the airplane have been created so far. Some governments also use the 767 for transporting government officials and as military test beds. Delta Air Lines is the airplane’s largest commercial operator.
13. Lun-Class Ekranoplan MD-160
Country of Origin: Russia
Type: Experimental Military Ekranoplan
Number Built: 3 (1 preserved)
The Soviet Union’s Lun-class ekranoplans were monsters, just like their predecessor, the Caspian Sea Monster. The MD-160 had no less than eight engines and six anti-ship missiles. One of the three models built was preserved after they were retired at the end of the 1990s, however it now lies in a dilapidated state at a Russian naval base.
12. Convair B-36 Peacemaker 
Country of Origin: United States
Type: Military Bomber  
Number Built: 384
Designed as a nuclear bomber for the post-World War era, the B-36 is the largest mass-produced piston-engine aircraft in history. Its active service life as part of the US Air Force was only ten years long because it was rendered obsolete at the start of the jet age.
 
11. Airbus A330-300
Country of Origin: Multinational  
Type: Military Commercial  
Number Built: 621
The A330-300 is based on a stretched Airbus A300. It measures over 208 feet long. New versions of the airplane were offered in 2010, allowing more cargo to be loaded onboard than their predecessors. Newer versions of the plane also have more flying range.
10. Boeing 777
Country of Origin: United States
Type: Commercial  
Number Built: 1,346
The 777 first went into commercial service in 1995. In the time since, Boeing has produced no less than six variants of the airplane. The 777 was the manufacturer’s first-ever fly-by-wire commercial aircraft, replacing conventional manual flight controls with a more precise electronic system.
9. Boeing 747-8 
Country of Origin: United States
Type: Commercial
Number Built: 97 (Still in production)
Although the 747 (jumbo jet) has been in production for almost 50 years now, the latest iteration of the airplane, the 747-8, was introduced in 2011. It is over 18 feet longer than its predecessor, making it the longest passenger airliner in the world. Furthermore, it’s the heaviest aircraft of any kind currently in production in the United States.
8. Airbus A340-600
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 the near future by the A350-1000, which is expected to enter service in 2017.
7. Boeing 777-300ER
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 
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
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 
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 
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”
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
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.
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