Largest Cargo Planes: Aircraft are usually ranked by weight, the maximum takeoff weight. The world’s largest plane is the Antonov An-225 Mriya built in former Soviet Union. It’s maximum takeoff weight is over 1.3 million pounds (600,000 kg). It is commercially available for carrying ultra-heavy and oversize freight, up to 250,000 kg (550,000 lb) internally or 200,000 kg (440,000 lb) on the upper fuselage. Cargo on the upper fuselage can be 70 m long. A second An-225 was partially built during the late 1980s for use by the Soviet space program. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 and the cancellation of the Buran space program, the second An-225 was placed in storage.

First Fastest Airplane: The Tupolev Tu-144 was the first commercial airplane to exceed Mach 2. In 1969, July 15th, this supersonic transport aircraft became the fastest commercial airline ever. In the sixties the engineers of the British/French “Concorde” and the Russian Tupolev TU-144 were competing for first place in getting a supersonic commercial plane airborne. On December 31, 1968 the first prototype of the Tupolev TU-144 took flight, before the Concorde did. After two severe crashes the flights were discontinued. The last regular flight of a Tu-144 took place on June 1, 1978. Tupolev Tu-144 was nicknamed Concordski, which sounds like a Russian surname, but very similar to Concorde. The only Tu-144 on display outside the former Soviet Union was acquired by the Auto & Tech Museum in Sinsheim, Germany, in 2001 and that’s where it now stands, in its original Aeroflot livery, on display next to an Air France Concorde.

Extreme Aircraft To be continued …


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