ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Worlds Largest Commercial Aircraft

Updated on June 6, 2011

The Worlds Largest Airplanes

Everybodys been in that 180 seater 737 on that business trip or family vacation. Well there are some airplanes in the world that are so large, you wonder how that thing can even fly. Its amazing Technology along with superpower turbofan engines that power these beasts into the sky. These aircraft are so large they can only land at airports with long, wide runways like New York JFK International. In this lense you'll see the countdown of the top 10 largest aircraft ever to be made.

10th- Boeing 777-200

The Boeing 777 is the worlds largest twin jet aircraft. It is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from 5,235 to 9,380 nautical miles (9,695 to 17,370 km), depending on model. Its distinguishing features include the largest-diameter turbofan engines of any aircraft, six wheels on each main landing gear, a circular fuselage cross-section, and blade-shaped tail cone. Developed in consultation with eight major airlines, the 777 was designed to replace older wide-body airliners and bridge the capacity difference between the 767 and 747. As Boeing's first fly-by-wire airliner, it has computer mediated controls; it is also the first entirely computer-designed commercial aircraft.

The 777 is produced in two fuselage lengths. The original 777-200 model first entered service in 1995, followed by the extended-range 777-200ER and then the 777-200LR. The 777-200LR holds the record for the longest distance flown by an unrefuled commercial aircraft.

Boeing 777 take off

A Boeing 777 taking off

9th- Boeing 747

The Boeing 747 is a widebody commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first widebody ever produced. Manufactured by Boeing's Commercial Airplane unit in the United States, the original version of the 747 was two and a half times the size of the Boeing 707,one of the common large commercial aircraft of the 1960s. First flown commercially in 1970, the 747 held the passenger capacity record for 37 years, until largest aircraft were made in the late 1990s and 200s.

The four-engine 747 uses a double deck configuration for part of its length. It is available in passenger, freighter and other versions. Boeing designed the 747's hump-like upper deck to serve as a first class lounge or (as is the general rule today) extra seating, and to allow the aircraft to be easily converted to a cargo carrier by removing seats and installing a front cargo door. Boeing did so because the company expected supersonic airliners (whose development was announced in the early 1960s) to render the 747 and other subsonic airliners obsolete, while believing that the demand for subsonic cargo aircraft would be robust into the future.The 747 in particular was expected to become obsolete after 400 were sold but it exceeded its critics' expectations with production passing the 1,000 mark in 1993. As of June 2010, 1,418 aircraft have been built, with 109 more in various configurations remaining on order.

The 747-400, the latest version in service, is among the fastest airliners in service with a high-subsonic cruise speed of Mach 0.85-0.855 (up to 570 mph, 920 km/h). It has an intercontinental range of 7,260 nautical miles (8,350 mi or 13,450 km). The 747-400 passenger version can accommodate 416 passengers in a typical three-class layout or 524 passengers in a typical two-class layout. The newest version of the aircraft, the 747-8, is in production and flight testing in late 2010. Deliveries of the 747-8F freighter version are scheduled to begin in mid-2011, with the 747-8I passenger version to follow in late 2011. The 747 is to be replaced by the Boeing Y3 (part of the Boeing Yellowstone Project) in the future. The boeing 747-400 is the most used 747 today, as many of the eariler models have been replaced.

Delta Airlines Boeing 747-400 Landing

8th-Airbus A340-600

Designed as an early generation Boeing 747 replacement, the A340-600 is capable of carrying 379 passengers in a three-class cabin layout. 7,500 nautical miles (13,900 km). It provides similar passenger capacity to a 747 but with 25 percent more cargo volume, and at lower trip and seat costs. First flight of the A340-600 was made on 23 April 2001. Virgin Atlantic began commercial services in August 2002. The most direct Boeing equivalent to the A340-600 is the 777-300ER.The A340-600 will eventually be replaced by the A350-1000, which will also compete with the 777-300ER.The A340-600 is 12 metres (39 ft 4.4 in) longer than a basic , more than four metres longer than the Boeing 747-400 and 2.3 metres (7 ft 6.6 in) longer than the A380. It held the record for being the world's longest commercial aircraft until February 2010 with the first flight of the Boeing 747-8. The A340-600 is powered by four 56,000 lbf (249.1 kN) thrust Rolls-Royce Trent 556 turbofans and uses the Honeywell 331-600 APU. It also has an additional four-wheel undercarriage on the fuselage centre-line to cope with the increased MTOW. Airbus has made provisions for freeing additional upper deck main cabin space by providing optional arrangements for additional facilities such as crew rest areas, galleys, and lavatories upon the "stretched" A340 aircraft's lower deck.

Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340-600 Takeoff

7th-Boeing 777-300ER

The 777-300ER ("ER" for Extended Range) is the B-market version of the 777-300. It features raked and extended wingtips, a new main landing gear, reinforced nose gear, and extra fuel tanks. The −300ER also has a strengthened fuselage, wings, empennage, and engine attachments. The standard GE90-115B turbofans are the world's most powerful jet engines in service, with a maximum thrust of 115,300 lbf (513 kN). The maximum range is 7,930 nautical miles (14,690 km), made possible due to a higher MTOW along with the increased fuel capacity.The 777-300ER can fly approximately 34 percent farther than the 777-200with a full load of passengers and cargo.] Following flight testing, the implementation of engine, wing, and weight modifications produced an added 1.4 percent reduction in fuel consumption.

PIA Boeing 777-300ER landing and take off

6th- C-5 Galaxy

The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large military transport aircraft built by Lockheed. It was designed to provide strategic heavy airlift over intercontinental distances and to carry outsize and oversize cargo. The C-5 Galaxy has been operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) since 1969 and is among the largest military aircraft in the world. The C-5M Super Galaxy is an upgraded version with new engines and modernized avionics designed to extend its service life beyond 2040. The C-5 Galaxy is know for its bad maintenance/reliability issues and large consumption of fuel.

Loud C-5 Galaxy Takeoff

5th- Antonov An-124

The Antonov An-124 Ruslan (Ukrainian and Russian: (NATO reporting name: Condor) is a strategic airlift jet aircraft. It was designed by the Soviet Union's Antonov design bureau. It is the world's largest ever serially-manufactured cargo airplane and world's second largest operating cargo aircraft. During development it was known as Izdeliye 400 in house, and An-40 in the West. First flown in 1982, civil certification was issued on 30 December 1992. Over forty are in service (26 civilian models with airlines and 10 firm orders as of August 2006) and 20 were in commercial use in 1998 in Ukraine, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Libya.

An-124 Takeoff

4th-Caspian Sea Monster

In the 1960s, American spy satellites photographed a peculiar object floating about in the Caspian Sea within the borders of the then Soviet Union. First, it was aeroplane-shaped-- sort of. Second, it was gigantic-- something on the order for 310 feet long and weighing up to 540 tons. Third, its wings were much too short to get it into the air. The Americans scratched their heads, dubbed the thing the "Caspian Sea Monster," and puzzled over what the heck the Soviets were doing for the next twenty years. What they were doing is testing what was then the world's heaviest flying machine, but which was not an aeroplane: the KM Ekranoplan.

Though it looked something like a seaplane, it was what is known as a Ground Effect Vehicle, or Wing in Ground by those who wish to be contrary. A GEV exploits an interesting trait of winged aircraft; when one flies very close to the ground its lift increases remarkably. This is because an aircraft flying very low traps air between the wings and the ground and if the machine has wings with a very large surface area, it can lift incredible loads with very little effort.

About the Caspian Sea Monster

3rd- Airbus A380

The A380 is the worlds largest passenger aircraft. The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. Designed to challenge Boeing's monopoly in the large-aircraft market, the A380, the largest passenger airliner in the world, made its maiden flight on 27 April 2005 from Toulouse, France, and made its first commercial flight on 25 October 2007 from Singapore to Sydney with Singapore Airlines. The aircraft was known as the Airbus A3XX during much of its development phase, but the nickname Superjumbo has since become associated with it.

The A380's upper deck extends along the entire length of the fuselage, and its width is equivalent to that of a widebody aircraft. This allows for an A380-800's cabin with 5,146 square feet (478.1 m2) of floor space; 49% more floor space than the current next-largest airliner, the Boeing 747-400 with 3,453 square feet (320.8 m2), and provides seating for 525 people in a typical three-class configuration or up to 853 people in all-economy class configurations. The A380-800 has a design range of 15,200 km (8,200 nmi; 9,400 mi), sufficient to fly from New York to Hong Kong for example, and a cruising speed of Mach 0.85 (about 900 km/h or 560 mph at cruising altitude).

A380 Takeoff

2nd- HK-4 Spruce Goose

The Hughes H-4 Hercules (registration NX37602) ("Spruce Goose") was a prototype heavy transport aircraft designed and built by the Hughes Aircraft company. The aircraft made its only flight on November 2, 1947 and the project was never advanced beyond the single example produced. Built from wood because of wartime raw material restrictions on the use of aluminium, it was nicknamed the "Spruce Goose" by its critics, despite being made almost entirely of birch, rather than spruce. The Hercules is the largest flying boat ever built, and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in history It survives in good condition at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, USA.

H-4 Spruse Goose

1st- An-225

The Antonov An-225 Mriya is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft, designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s. It is the world's heaviest aircraft. The design, built in order to transport the Buran orbiter, was an enlargement of the successful An-124 Ruslan. The An-225's name, Mriya (Мрiя) means "Dream" (Inspiration) in Ukrainian.

One An-225 was completed in 1988 and a second An-225 has been partially completed. The one An-225 is in commercial operation carrying oversized payloads. Both the earlier and later takeoff weights establish the An-225 as the world's heaviest aircraft, being heavier than the double-decker Airbus A380 even though Airbus plans to pass the An-225's maximum landing weight with 591.7 tonnes (1,304,000 lb) for the A380. The Hughes H-4 Hercules, known as the "Spruce Goose", had a greater wingspan and a greater overall height, but was 20% shorter, and due to the materials used in its construction, also lighter. In addition, the Hercules only flew once, making the An-225 the largest aircraft in the world to fly multiple times. The An-225 is larger than the Airbus A380 airliner, and also bigger than the Antonov An-124, Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter, and Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, the nearest equivalent heavy cargo aircraft.

An-225 Takeoff

Let me know what you think

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have no words to explain my admiration for this airplane. My congratulations to the Ukrainian people that could put this flying machine in the air. In my next reincarnation I want to come as an Antonov 225.