With the official launch of mass air cargo operations somewhere around the 1970s, there has been no looking back for the mile-high freight industry, with the innovations and services provided by them have considerably made the lives of a lot of people much easier.
Cargo companies are employing more planes to their growing operations, with more industries like e-commerce, logistics and supply chain companies in India and around the world implementing them. While it may not sound like it is an interesting job, but the planes currently under use for cargo transportation may just make you rethink your opinion! Here are the top 5 biggest planes in use in the air freight industry.
Antonov An-225 Mriya
Probably the biggest plane around, bigger than even the largest passenger plane, the Antonov An-225 Mriya is also the largest space shuttle transporter. Considering it was made in the 1980s in Ukraine, it shows the immense engineering and designing prowess of its creators who made a plan that is still part of the record books now. Only a single example has been made, and apart from holding the previous records, it also has the biggest wingspan and is the heaviest plan ever made. It made history by carrying the single biggest payload on an aircraft ever, almost 190,000 kilograms!
From having the largest payload capacity to the largest cargo hold, the Boeing Dreamlifter gives a new definition of exclusivity. While most cargo airplanes have been used for a number of different uses over their lifetime, the Dreamlifter was sanctioned solely carry and transport parts for Boeing’s passenger aircraft the 787 Dreamliner. The cargo plane itself is a modified 747 Jumbo Jet and can hold three times the cargo weight of its cargo freight counterpart, the Boeing 747-400F.
Antonov An-124 Condor
While the An-225 may be the largest aircraft in the world, Antonov’s other creation, the An-124 Condor is the largest aircraft used by any military ever. It was launched after the An-225 and its unique nose door has caught the fancy of many aircraft enthusiasts. It is currently in service for the Russian Air Force and commercially has been acquired by companies based out of the UAE, Libya, Russia, and Ukraine.
The Antonov’s biggest rival, the 747-8F was the successor of the hugely popular 747-400. While the latter carried almost half of the cargo of the entire world and was a key component in multimodal logistics, the 747-8F succeeded in making it even more adored and admired by cargo companies. Its payload weight may not be as much as a dream lifter but it ranks among the largest cargo spaces when it comes commercial aircraft that are not used in the military or for any other use.
Airbus A400M Atlas
The A400M is one of the most versatile aircraft in use today. Its ability to conduct aerial refueling and medical evacuation while fully loaded has made it a favorite for military services. It has also been slowly replacing Boeing C-17s and Lockheed C-130s to provide a faster, lighter and overall better performance as a cargo lifter.