THIS IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST MILITARY PLANE
By Buddy Blouin
The ability to fly continues to be a marvel of engineering and is a true miracle when you really think about it. Ever since December 17, 1903, we’ve been improving the capabilities of flight for commercial use, personal use, and, of course, the military. The first plane to pull off this impressive feat weighed just over 600 pounds. Today, aircraft weighing several hundred tons can soar high above to complete their missions. The largest military plane in the world may not belong to the U.S., but it’s a testament to the innovation brought about by American creativity all those years ago.
Read next:These are the Largest U.S. Military Bases in the World
Introducing the Largest Military Plane in HistoryThe largest military plane in the world belongs to Russia. It’s the Antonov An-124, and it gained this designation thanks to the destruction of the previous placeholder, the An-225 Mriya. The An-225 Mriya was the world's largest plane; however, it was destroyed due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
How Many Antonov An-124 Are There?There have been 55 made in total, with 26 being used by civilians today. The transport aircraft is capable of carrying a maximum payload of 150 tons, which is why it’s one of the largest planes ever created.
Go Big or Go HomeFor the 10 largest military transport aircraft ever built, it’s about more is more. Transporting people, weapons, supplies, or whatever else you need through the air is easier now than ever. Don’t get us wrong; there are still plenty of logistics to account for and amazing engineering feats that make it all possible, but today, you can carry literally tons of stuff through the air with comparative ease to any other time in history. We’ve already discovered the Antonov An-124, but there are many other large aircraft to explore. Here are some other considerations when looking for the largest plane in the world:
C5M Super Galaxyis the largest U.S. military plane. Due to its size, it should come as no surprise that it’s also the largest military cargo plane used by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
- When it comes to the
C-17 Globemaster III, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) can count on the aircraft to get the job done in a variety of ways under even the most hostile conditions.
- If you didn’t think China would show up here, you haven’t been paying attention. The
Xian Y-20isn’t as large as the largest U.S. military plane, but it can still carry a lot inside, including even the largest of tanks.
Kawasaki C-2presents one of the most unique features of any aircraft. As one of the world’s largest military planes, it can fit an entire helicopter inside of it.
What Is the Largest Cargo Plane in the U.S. Military?The C-5M Super Galaxy remains the U.S. largest military plane and cargo aircraft in the USAF’s impressive fleet. A vital part of keeping Americans safe here, there, and everywhere, it’s the largest military plane available to the U.S. Armed Forces. It’s only a matter of time before innovation pushes these aircraft to the boneyard and away from the battlefield. Newer, better models will emerge, and a new aircraft will eventually lay claim to the largest military plane available. But for now, these, among others, are the biggest examples you can find anywhere in the sky.
Suggested read:Which Armed Forces Branch Has the Hardest Military Training?
Image: gordzam - stock.adobe.com
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
Get the latest news and military discounts