There are large airplanes, and other huge ones. An airplane, to fly well, must be as light as possible, but sometimes engineers look for so much capacity ... We have already seen that there are really big planes but many of these devices are exclusively for military use, or for cargo. It will be rare that you see them live except in some exhibition. What are the biggest planes that you can fly , just by buying a ticket? Let's see them ...
1. Airbus A380-800
The Airbus A380 was the great European project for a high-capacity, double-deck aircraft. It is capable of carrying up to 850 passengers although the usual configurations have remained at 450 to 550, with greater spaciousness and luxury. Its initial success was slowed by the change in commercial policy of the airlines, looking for lighter aircraft, in addition to the fact that in some airports the transit of the A380 was complicated by its size. That braking has ended up closing the project definitivelyand once the last orders have been delivered, Airbus will no longer build A380s. It is the largest passenger plane in the world with its 80-meter wingspan and between 68 and 72 meters in length (depending on version). Its curb weight is between 267 and 282 tons and it mounts four Rolls Royce Trent reactors with more than 300 kN of thrust. The use of non-metallic materials in its structure stands out ( 40 percent is carbon fiber ). Its first flight was in 2005 and the first commercial in 2007. It flies at about 900 km / h with a range of 14,800 kilometers.
2. Boeing 747-8
The popular "Jumbo", with its particular hump in the front area where it has two floors, has been the largest commercial aircraft in the world for many years . With 68 meters of wingspan and 76 meters in length, its arrival in 1970 was a revolution that is now easy to understand. It was the first widebody (for several rows of seats) and the first to use turbofan jets, now common, with lower consumption, emissions and noise than the previous generation. It was developed in the 1960s and was first flown by Boeing in February 1969, for commissioning in January 1970, and the "8" is the latest and most modern version. Can carry up to 700 passengersin one class or 600 in two, with a range of 15,000 kilometers and a cruise of 913 km / h. In these years there have been different versions and configurations anyway, according to the company, but the 747 is always identified by the shape of its fuselage.
3. Boeing 747-400
This aircraft was Boeing's “best seller” for many years and the most viewed “Jumbo” in the world. A version developed from the first 747s, the big “400” would allow carrying 660 passengers in a single class (they are usually configured for two or three). The 747-400D is precisely like that, with a maximum capacity but intended only for local flights in Japan. With wings of 65 meters of wingspan, it mounts four engines (which can be P&W, GE or RR) and can reach, depending on the model, up to 14,000 kilometers in one flight.
4. Boeing 777-300
Boeing's “triple seven” capable of carrying up to 550 passengers in a single class, has a 74-meter wingspan. It is the "elongated" version of the 777 given its longer fuselage (and slightly larger wings than its brothers) precisely to accommodate a greater number of passengers. Its range is between 11,000 and 14,000 kilometers. In 2020 the 777X was released , bigger still and when it enters service it will be the largest twin engine on the market.
5. Airbus A340-600
With a wingspan of 63 meters and a length of no less than 75 meters, the “elongated” Airbus 340-600 is another large commercial aircraft. It mounts four jets of about 250 kN of thrust to fly at 900 km / h with a range of 14,000 kilometers. The first version of the A340 entered service in 1993 but due to low demand they stopped manufacturing it in 2011. The 600 version, the longest (and only surpassed by the last Boeing 747-8) can carry 419 passengers (in two classes).
6. Boeing 777-200LR
This twin-engine of American origin is the largest of its kind and can carry 500 passengers up to 15,000 kilometers. It entered service in its first version in 1995 and the largest 300 in 1998. It continues its development and one version with another has outsold the 747, a milestone at Boeing. It holds the record for the longest non-stop flight , hence its acronym LR (Long Range). It flew for 22 hours and 42 minutes from Hong Kong to London, more than 21,000 kilometers, more than half a round the world ...
7. Airbus A350-900
This modern twin-engine hit the market in 2015, and can carry up to 325 passengers . A new generation aircraft with different possible configurations and capable of flying up to 19 hours, to go practically further than any other: 19,000 kilometers. Its wings are 65 meters wide and it is particularly efficient thanks to the use of advanced plastics that lighten it by up to 25 percent.
8. Airbus A340-500
An intermediate version of the four-engine Airbus A340, the “500” was launched in 2006. It can carry up to 372 passengers and its wings are 68 meters wide. Its strong point is the long range it has: more than 16,000 kilometers. Until the Boeing 777-200 “LR” arrived, it was the longest-range in the world.
9. Airbus A340-300
Like the other Airbus, the A340-300 incorporated new features such as fly-by-wire or indirect electrical controls. This is safer, lighter and cheaper than traditional controls and has already been implemented in all modern aircraft. It is a four-engine aircraft capable of carrying up to 375 passengers up to a range of 14,000 km, with a wingspan of 60 meters. Germany's Lufthansa uses them the most, and has 62 units of the 300 as well as 32 of the larger 600 model we saw earlier.
10. Airbus A330-300
This Airbus is a long-haul mid-range twin-engine. There are variants capable of traveling from 7,000 to 13,400 kilometers, with capacity for up to 335 passengers . Its origin was the A300, from the 1970s, and it shares many components with the A340 although it was developed as a twin engine. Its two turbofan engines allow it a cruise of 850 km / h and it measures 60 meters of wingspan.