TOP 10 LARGEST MILITARY AIRPLANES - RUSSIAN ANTONOV An-225 MRIYA - #1
Designed for “strategic airlift” and first flown in December 1988, the Antonov An-225 Mriya is the largest and heaviest plane ever constructed. This gigantic hauler weighs a monumental 705 tons and can carry at least 275 tons of cargo – which is more than the Statue of Liberty weighs. The Mriya is also over 275 feet long, while its wings span a distance of 290 feet.
The huge aircraft was originally designed to carry the Buran space shuttle. However, when the Soviet Union split apart in 1991, the program was shelved, and in 1994 the An-225 was put into storage. Yet this wasn’t the end of the story. The plane was re-engined in the late ‘90s, re-certified in 2001 and flew its first commercial flight in January 2002.
Today, the airplane continues to set records, including hauling the largest single piece of cargo ever transported by air: four battle tanks weighing in at nearly 280 tons. Even the US has occasionally hired the An-225 for military transport. Size, it seems, does matter.