World’s Biggest Airplanes 2024: Know the Largest and Heaviest Airplanes still Operating

Ever since their introduction in the early 20th century, Airplanes have revolutionized the way we transport. They can cover up the distance of thousands of kilometers within a few hours. This much distance can take multiple days to be covered by trains. Earlier, the planes used to be small and they used to carry only a small number of passengers. Now, things have changed. Today, a lot of big planes are available around the world. But, have you ever wondered which are the world’s Biggest Airplanes in 2024?

Having bigger planes provides a large of benefits over having multiple small aircraft. The most important of them is that bigger planes are more economical. They can carry a large number of passengers and you need not increase the number of crew. To maintain multiple small planes you need more crew and ground staff.

Top 10 largest Airplanes in the world 2024

Let’s go through our list of the 10 biggest planes in the world. Please note that all these planes are huge and have their own features.

  1. Boeing C – 17 Globemaster III

Manufacturer – McDonnell Douglas/ Boeing

National Origin – United States

Role – Strategic and tactical airlifter

First Flight – 15th September 1991

Produced – 1991 to 2015

Number Built – 279

Length – 174 ft (53 m)

Wingspan – 169 ft 9.6 in (51.755 m)

Height – 55 ft 1 in (16.79 m)

Overview – Developed by McDonnell Douglas/ Boeing, C- 17 Globemaster III is one of the most popular military transport aircraft in the world. Initially, it was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF). Today, many air forces are also using this plane extensively for example Indian Air Force, Royal air force, etc. The size of this plane is humongous. Its length is around 174 ft and its height is around 55 ft.

  1. Lockheed C – 5 Galaxy

Manufacturer – Lockheed Corporation, Lockheed Martin

National Origin – United States

Role – Strategic Airlifter

First Flight – 30th June 1968

Produced – 1968 to 1989

Number Built – 131

Length – 247 ft 1 in (75.31 m)

Wingspan – 222 ft 9 in (67.89 m)

Height –  65 ft 1 in (19.84 m)

Overview – The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large military transport aircraft designed and developed by Lockheed martin. It is one of the largest military planes in the world. The aircraft has played an instrumental role in supporting the US military in conflicts like the Vietnam war, Iraq war, etc. The maximum takeoff weight of this plane is around 417, 305 Kg.

Check most expensive things in the world

  1. Boeing 747 Dreamlifter

Manufacturer – Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corporation

National Origin – United States

Role – Outsize cargo freight aircraft

First Flight – 9th September 2006

Produced – 2006

Number Built – 4

Length – 235 ft 2 inches

Wingspan – 211 ft

Height – 70 ft

Overview – Boeing 747 Dreamlifter wide-body cargo aircraft modified extensively from the Boeing 747-400 airliner. The aircraft played an important role in transporting medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three out of four 747 dreamlifters become operational by June 2008 and the fourth become operational in February 2010.

  1. Boeing 747-8

Manufacturer – Boeing Commercial Airplanes

National Origin – United States

Role – Wide Body Jet Airliner

First Flight – 9th February 1969

Produced – 1968 to present

Number Built – 1566

Length – 250 ft

Wingspan – 224 ft 7 in

Height –  63 ft 6 inches

Overview – This one is an absolute classic. Boeing 747 is one of the most popular airline planes on the planet. Till June last year, 1556 aircraft of this type had been built. The size of this airplane is huge. Its length is around 250 ft and its wingspan is 224 ft and 7 inches. The latest version of the Boeing 747 is 747-8. This variant can carry 16% more payload capacity than its predecessor, allowing it to carry seven more standard air cargo containers, with a maximum payload capacity of 154 tons (140 tonnes) of cargo.

  1. Antonov An – 124 Ruslan

Manufacturer – Antonov

National Origin – Soviet Union

Role – Heavy Transport Aircraft

First Flight – 1986

Produced – 1982

Number Built – 55

Length – 69.1 m (226 ft 6 in)

Wingspan – 240 ft 8 inches

Height – 69 ft 2 inches

Overview – Antonov AN – 124 Ruslan is a huge aircraft designed and developed in the Soviet Union by Antonov. During the development stage, the name of this airplane was izdeliye (400) or product 400. In July 2013, 26 An-124s were in commercial service with 10 on order. Externally, the An-124 is similar to the American Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, having a double fuselage to allow for a rear cargo door. According to many pilots, An – 124 is light on the controls and easy to handle for an aircraft of its size.

Check best Payroll services for small business

  1. Antonov An – 22

Manufacturer – Antonov

National Origin – Soviet Union

Role – Strategic Airlifter

First Flight – 27th February 1965

Produced – 1966 to 1978

Number Built – 68

Length – 190 feet

Wingspan – 211 feet

Height – 41 feet

Overview – An – 22 is one of the earliest transport planes to serve the Russian Air Force (Soviet Union Air Force). It is a heavy transport aircraft designed and developed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the Soviet Union in the early 1960s. It has the capability to takeoff from austere, unpaved, and short airstrips, allowing airborne troops to perform air-landing operations. The improved version of this aircraft is known as An – 22 PZ. Ukraine also used this plane for civil aviation purposes.

  1. Airbus A340 – 600

Manufacturer – Airbus

National Origin – Multi-national

Role – Wide body jet airliner

First Flight – 25th October 1991

Produced – 1991 to 2011

Number Built – 380 (377 delivered to airlines)

Length – 247.24 ft (75.36 m)

Wingspan – 208.17 ft/ 63.45 m

Height – 17.93 m / 58.84 ft

Overview – Airbus is a long-range wide-body passenger air craft that is huge in size. It is around 12 meters longer than its previous version i.e. Airbus A340 – 300. The airplane is powered by four 250 kN thrust Rolls – Royce Trent 556 turbofans and uses the Honeywell 331 –  600 APU. This aircraft is also used by many heads of the states like the Chancellor of Germany.

  1. Boeing 747-8

Manufacturer – Boeing Commercial Airplanes

National Origin – United States

Role – Wide body Jet Airliner

First Flight – 747-8F: February 8, 2010, 747-8I: March 20, 2011

Produced – 2008 – present

Number Built – 147

Overview – Boeing 747-8 is a heavily modified version of the classic Boeing 747. The first flight of this aircraft was in the year 2010. This airliner version can carry around 467 passengers in a typical three-class configuration over 7, 790 nmi (14, 430 km). As compared to the 747-400, the main change in this aircraft is its wings.

  1. Airbus A380

Manufacturer – Airbus

National Origin – Multi-national

Role – Wide-body airliner

First Flight – 27 April 2005

Produced – 2003 – Present

Number Built – 251

Length – 72.72 m (238 ft 7 in)

Wingspan – 79.75 m (261 ft 8 in)

Height –  24.09 m (79 ft 0 in)

Overview – This aircraft is the world’s largest passenger airliner. Singapore Airlines in the first airline to receive this plane in the year 2007. It is powered by four Engine Alliance GP7200 or Rolls-Royce Trent 900 turbofans providing a range of 8,000 nmi (14,800 km). Currently, Emirates is the biggest customer of Airbus A380 with 123 ordered aircraft out of which 121 have been delivered.

  1. AN – 225

Manufacturer – Antonov

National Origin – Soviet Union

Role – Outsize cargo freight aircraft

First Flight – 21st December 1988

Length – 84 m (275 ft 7 in)

Wingspan – 88.4 (290 ft 0 in)

Height – 18.1 m (59 ft 5 in)

Produced – 1985

Number Built – 1

Overview – Antonov An-225 Mriya is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft that is designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the Ukrainian SSR within the Soviet Union during the 1980s. Initially, it was developed for Soviet Union’s military operation. Please note that only one aircraft of this type was built. It also has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service.

Leave a Comment