Air­planes have made trav­el­ing the world more afford­able as it is the fastest way to move large num­bers of pas­sen­gers. The larg­er the air­craft, the more pas­sen­gers and car­go it can car­ry. Today we’re going to take a look at gigan­tic planes that are so big it begs the ques­tion, “How does it even fly?”

large passenger plane

We will not include US mil­i­tary car­go air­craft, or the world’s largest trans­port air­craft, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, but only heavy-lift, max­i­mum take-off weight (MTOW) pas­sen­ger air­craft.

10. Airbus A330-300

The Air­bus A330 is a twin-engine medi­um to long range jet air­lin­er man­u­fac­tured by Air­bus. The A330 shares many frame com­po­nents with the A340, except for the num­ber of engines.

Airbus A330-300

Two Gen­er­al Elec­tric CF6-80E1, Pratt & Whit­ney PW4000 or Rolls-Royce Trent 700 jet engines were installed on the A330, and four CFM or Rolls-Royce Trent series engines were installed on the A340. The A330-300 was devel­oped at the same time as the four-engined A340. It is equipped with two tur­bo­fan engines, has a wingspan of almost 30 meters and a cruis­ing speed of 856 km/h.

Air­bus recent­ly devel­oped a car­go car­go air­craft based on the A330 air­lin­er called the Bel­u­ga XL (Air­bus A330-743L). On July 19, 2018, Air­bus began flight test­ing the Bel­u­ga XL to receive cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. On Jan­u­ary 9, 2020, Air­bus Trans­port entered ser­vice with the air­craft as a replace­ment for the Air­bus Bel­u­ga.

9. Airbus A340-300

The A340-300, like all mem­bers of the Air­bus fam­i­ly, has many key inno­va­tions, includ­ing an improved flight con­trol sys­tem to improve safe­ty, reduce weight and cost, advanced car­bon fiber mate­ri­als and aero­dy­nam­ics to save fuel.

Airbus A340-300

Stan­dard vari­ants of this largest pas­sen­ger air­craft can car­ry up to 375 pas­sen­gers. The A340 has a range of 6,700 to 9,000 nau­ti­cal miles, which varies by mod­el. Its fea­tures are four high-speed tur­bo­fan engines and a tri­cy­cle land­ing gear. The Air­bus A340-300 is 209 meters long and has a wingspan of 198 feet. As of June 2019, Lufthansa, the largest A340 user, has acquired 62 A340-300s.

8. Airbus A340-500

Air­bus launched the A340-500 in 2006, how­ev­er ini­tial deliv­er­ies began in 2002. This is an air­craft with a capac­i­ty of 372 pas­sen­gers. The air­craft is about 223 feet long and has a range of up to 10,358 miles. The A340-500 was the longest-range com­mer­cial air­craft until it lost its crown to the Boe­ing 777–200LR. The A340’s fuse­lage cross-sec­tion offers air­borne air­lines the ver­sa­til­i­ty to meet mar­ket demands, from ultra-high com­fort pre­mi­um seat­ing to econ­o­my lay­outs.

See also
Sights of Florence. Top 21 historical monuments

Airbus A340-500

It is the ide­al pas­sen­ger air­craft for ultra-long haul flights. The four-engine, wide-body, twin-engine lin­er offers some of the longest non-stop routes in the world, up to 9,000 nau­ti­cal miles.

7. Airbus A350-900

The A350-900 was unveiled on Jan­u­ary 15, 2015 and first oper­at­ed by Qatar Air­ways. The Air­bus A350-900 is a 325-seat wide-body pas­sen­ger air­craft that is part of the next-gen­er­a­tion Air­bus series. A350-900 serves routes up to 19 hours. It is believed to be capa­ble of fly­ing far­ther than any oth­er com­mer­cial air­craft. The max­i­mum capac­i­ty is 440 pas­sen­gers and the wingspan is 64.75 meters.

Airbus A350-900

The list of com­pa­nies using the lin­er: Qatar Air­ways, Cathay Pacif­ic, Sin­ga­pore Air­lines and Philip­pine Air­lines. The air­craft offers sev­en cab­in tem­per­a­ture ranges for more pre­cise onboard cli­mate con­trol, along with improved fuel effi­cien­cy. Thanks to plas­tic com­po­nents, this mod­el is 25 per­cent lighter than some of the old­er ver­sions.

6 Boeing 777–200LR

Mod­el 777–200LR (Long-Range) is one of the com­mer­cial long-range lin­ers that entered ser­vice in 2006. The Boe­ing 777–200LR boasts the world record for the longest non-stop com­mer­cial air­line flight. It can seat 400 pas­sen­gers in a two-class sys­tem, and its sin­gle-class ver­sion can seat a max­i­mum of 440 peo­ple. The wingspan is 64 meters. Jet tur­bo engines JGE90-110B1 or GE90-115B are installed. Delta Air Lines and Emi­rates are the main oper­a­tors of the LR ver­sion.

Boeing 777-200LR

5. Airbus A340-600

The Air­bus A340-600 is the super-elas­tic ver­sion of the A340 fam­i­ly of air­craft and is the largest of the Air­bus jet­lin­ers. It has a capac­i­ty of 380 (or 475 in high-den­si­ty seats) pas­sen­gers with a range of 13,900 km. This is one of the largest pas­sen­ger air­craft in the world.

Airbus A340-600

The first flight of the A340 was made in a 2000-hour test test of six air­lin­ers on Octo­ber 21, 1991. The A340 was type cer­ti­fied by EASA Air­craft in June 2002 and first flew on 23 April 2001. It launched in August 2002 when it made its first com­mer­cial flight from Lon­don Heathrow Air­port to JFK New York with Vir­gin Atlantic (the com­pa­ny ordered 20 air­craft as an ini­tial cus­tomer). This air­craft has a wingspan of 63 meters. The A340-600 is pow­ered by four 250 kN Rolls-Royce tur­bo engines.

See also
10 most beautiful mosques in the world

4 Boeing 777–300

The Boe­ing 777–300 seats 550 peo­ple in a sin­gle-class cab­in and 451 in a two-class cab­in. The max­i­mum route dis­tance is 6013 miles and the max­i­mum speed is 590 miles per hour. Boe­ing designed this large pas­sen­ger air­craft to increase capac­i­ty by 20%, result­ing in 60 to 75 extra seats (depend­ing on class).

Boeing 777-300

3 Boeing 747–400

The Boe­ing 747–400 series is Boe­ing’s best-sell­ing mod­el. The largest com­mer­cial air­craft with a mas­sive body was built on the basis of one of the ear­li­er 747s. Air­lines can accom­mo­date 416 pas­sen­gers in a three-class con­fig­u­ra­tion, 524 in a two-class ver­sion and 660 in an econ­o­my con­fig­u­ra­tion.

Boeing 747-400

Boe­ing 747–400 has a length of 71 meters and a wingspan of 64 meters. Despite the huge body, the 747 can reach a top speed of up to 614 mph and has a range of up to 7,260 miles. Pratt & Whit­ney PW4056, Gen­er­al-Elec­tric CF6-80C2B1F and Rolls-Royce RB211-524G/H are new fuel effi­cient jet engines. There is a high-den­si­ty seat mod­el 747–400D designed for domes­tic short Japan­ese flights with high traf­fic vol­umes.

2 Boeing 747–8

The 747–8 is a wide-body air­lin­er man­u­fac­tured by Boe­ing Com­mer­cial in the Unit­ed States. With its two-deck con­fig­u­ra­tion and wide fuse­lage body, the mod­el has eclipsed all com­mer­cial pas­sen­ger air­craft. The design has been improved, and over the years its capac­i­ty has steadi­ly increased. The Air­bus A380 is larg­er than the 747, but tech­nol­o­gy-wise, Boe­ing is ahead of its Euro­pean coun­ter­part. When using a sin­gle class sys­tem, the Boe­ing 747–8 can accom­mo­date 700 pas­sen­gers and 600 pas­sen­gers for a dual class sys­tem.

Boeing 747-8

The flight range of the air­craft is 12,800 kilo­me­ters. It entered ser­vice in 2011 and since then over 150 air­craft have been pro­duced. 747 has two vari­ants; 747–8I (inter­con­ti­nen­tal) and 747–8F (car­go). The Freighter ver­sion with a short­er upper deck is capa­ble of car­ry­ing 137 tons of car­go. The F is also 23t lighter than the Inter­con­ti­nen­tal, with an oper­at­ing weight (OEM) of 197.13t.

See also
Cuisine of Italy: 16 dishes from different regions of the country

1. Airbus A380-800

Air­bus A380 is the largest pas­sen­ger air­craft in the world. When the Air­bus A380 was launched in 2007, it caused a stir among the pub­lic. Because of its sheer size, the inter­na­tion­al media called it a super-giant air­craft. The stan­dard Air­bus A380-800 Emi­rates can accom­mo­date up to 853 pas­sen­gers in a sin­gle-lev­el econ­o­my class cab­in and 644 pas­sen­gers in a two-lev­el cab­in. A wide-body air­craft can cov­er a dis­tance of 12,874 kilo­me­ters. It is also the heav­i­est pas­sen­ger air­craft in the world (MTOW: 575 t) and, sur­pris­ing­ly, the fastest (max­i­mum design speed: 1185 km/h). The Qan­tas A380’s first-class cab­in and styl­ish inte­ri­or con­sis­tent­ly rank among the most lux­u­ri­ous in the world.

Airbus A380-800

In terms of com­mer­cial suc­cess, a decade lat­er, the A380 mar­ket is very dif­fer­ent. What promised great com­mer­cial suc­cess is now try­ing to sur­vive. The A380 is one of the most expen­sive and com­plex air­craft with a price tag of $436 mil­lion. On Feb­ru­ary 14, 2019, Air­bus announced it would end pro­duc­tion by 2021 with Emi­rates Air­lines cut­ting back on its lat­est orders in favor of the A350 and A330neo.

At the 2017 Paris Air Show, Air­bus unveiled the A380Plus. PLUS is an improved ver­sion of the A380 with increased capac­i­ty and reduced pas­sen­ger costs. With­out chang­ing its per­for­mance char­ac­ter­is­tics, Air­bus tweaked oth­er aspects of the A380-800 stan­dard. Although the A380 is cer­ti­fied to fly with approx­i­mate­ly 850 pas­sen­gers, it typ­i­cal­ly accom­mo­dates 497 pas­sen­gers on board. This capac­i­ty has been increased to 575 seats in the new mod­el thanks to the redesigned inte­ri­or of the A380plus.