What is the biggest plane in the world?

Out of all the birds in the sky, the steel planes that streak across our skies are surely the most impressive. What airplanes are truly the most extraordinary, though? Let's take a look at the biggest plane in the world.

The Airbus 777X is not the biggest plane in the world, but it is an extraordinary one!
The Airbus 777X is not the biggest plane in the world, but it is an extraordinary one!  © IMAGO/ABACAPRESS

With nothing but a pair of aerodynamically shaped wings and some incredibly powerful engines, jet airplanes are one of humanity's greatest inventions. Technologically complicated, it's extraordinary that these incredibly heavy and huge lumps of steel can move so fast and can almost seem lighter than air. Some planes, though, are more impressive than others.

The world record holder for the world's biggest plane is a truly impressive bird, with six engines and the ability to carry a spaceship on its back. What other giant airplanes are there, though? What is the biggest passenger plane, or military jet?

What's the biggest airplane in the world?

The Antonov AN-225 is an extraordinary plane and is the biggest ever built.
The Antonov AN-225 is an extraordinary plane and is the biggest ever built.  © IMAGO/Ritzau Scanpix

The Antonov AN-225 is widely believed to be the largest plane ever built, housing six enormous engines and a wingspan of almost 300 feet. A strategic airlift cargo aircraft, the Antonov was a remarkably huge piece of machinery designed by the Soviets to carry a Buran-class orbiter on its back.

This remarkable airplane is not only massive in terms of wingspan but also the heaviest, making it even more extraordinary that a group of ten Ukrainian men managed to pull it 15 feet along the tarmac using nothing but their own physical strength. Having seen this wonderful aircraft destroyed in the Battle of Antonov Airport during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, there are seemingly infinite things to say about the Antonov AN-225.

Born to lift the Buran (the Soviet's answer to the space shuttle, and far more impressive), the Antonov AN-225 was entered into service in 1988. The Buran itself only ever made one journey into orbit, launching on November 15, 1988, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Joke of the Day for July 13, 2024: The best jokes for Caturday
Joke of the Day Joke of the Day for July 13, 2024: The best jokes for Caturday

The Antonov AN-225 is without a doubt the biggest plane ever built, at around 640 tons, and is unlikely to ever be beaten.

Is it the biggest plane ever?

When you look at the Antonov AN-225 both in terms of its wingspan and in terms of its weight, it becomes increasingly clear that it was the biggest plane ever made. That being said, the Stratolaunch actually has a bigger wingspan, at about 383 feet, so this is a topic of much debate among the aviation community.

The Airbus A380-800 is a staple of commercial passenger air travel.
The Airbus A380-800 is a staple of commercial passenger air travel.  © IMAGO/Action Pictures

What is the biggest passenger plane?

There is nothing better than the musky comfort of a good ol' Airbus A380-800. With two decks, 250 feet in length, 80 feet in height, a maximum takeoff weight of 552 tons, and the capability to carry up to 850 passengers, the A380 is by far the world's biggest passenger airplane.

A favorite of airlines like Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Qantas but not widely used in the United States, the A380 has dominated the air since it first took flight in 2005. With few safety problems under its belt and one of the best records in aviation, this enormous plane is perfect for long-haul and high-density routes. If you ever want a treat, jump on one of these bad boys, they're extraordinary!

There's nothing quite like the thrill of being in such an enormous plane as it rolls down the runway and takes flight. The closest rival to the A380 for the biggest passenger plane is the Boeing 747 series, but it hardly comes close to just how sleek and cool these bad boys are!

What is the biggest military plane?

There are some massive military planes out there, and the Lockheed C5 Galaxy is the biggest.
There are some massive military planes out there, and the Lockheed C5 Galaxy is the biggest.  © IMAGO/Scanpix

The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is the world's largest military transport airplane and is used widely by the United States Air Force. Capable of strategically airlifting cargo, equipment, and personnel between continents, the C-5 Galaxy features four giant TF39 turbofan engines mounted beneath its wings. It can lift the nose up for convenient loading and has a range of more than 7000 miles. Still, it's not as impressive as the Antonov AN-225!

There are many big commercial airplanes in the world

We have barely scraped the surface of aviation and have missed many remarkable airplanes. For starters, while the Airbus A380-800 is certainly the biggest passenger jet in service, the classic Boeing 747 series doesn't come in too far behind, also featuring four engines and multiple stories.

My personal favorite, the incredible Boeing 777X, is one of the most beautiful and fuel-efficient airplanes in the world. Sure, its size doesn't compare to the likes of the 747 or the A380, but nothing beats its sleek and slender design - the true queen of the skies!

Cover photo: IMAGO/ABACAPRESS

More on World Records: