The last decade has brought us travelers a wide range of airplanes to travel in, some faster than others and some larger than others. And as each new plane emerges, we become even more interested in the aircraft we fly in as we embark to our next destination.
Between Boeing (American) and Airbus (European), we’ve seen a drastic movement in aircraft technology—from the Airbus A380 superjumbo in 2007 to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in 2011.
But that’s just a snippet. In fact, there have been other amazing airplanes that have made their way into the air such as the Boeing Dreamlifter or the Antonov, however, almost none of us will ever be able to set foot in any of them, let alone see one in action. (Unless, of course, we are extremely lucky!)
So for those of you who are curious, here are the top amazing airplanes we all wish we could fly on just once in our lifetime.
(Image source: Air Team Images)
You can now see a Beluga flying above the clouds, rather than just in the sea. 😉
The A300-600ST Super Transporter, nicknamed Beluga, is the biggest non-military cargo aircraft designed by Airbus that you can find soaring above the clouds today. There are currently five Belugas, which are used to carry aircraft parts like wings, tails and more. Most of the Belugas are A300s that have been retrofitted, however, Airbus has recently launched the Beluga XL, which is a modified version of the A330.
(Image source: Aircraft Recognition)
Airbus has Beluga, and Boeing has Dreamlifter, which is a 747 jumbo jet that has been transformed to transport sections of the 787 Dreamliner. Currently, there are four Dreamlifters flying around. As you can see from the image, it’s not a very beautiful-looking plane, which Scott Carson, the president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, apologized for the late Joe Sutter (who designed the 747s) for ruining his original creation.
Antonov An-225 Mriya
(Image source: Planespotters.net)
The Antonov An-225 Mriya puts all aircraft to shame in its size and weight. Built by the Soviet Union, Antonov has been flying since 1988 and can be seen all over the world—especially at airshows. This beast can carry 640 tonnes (equivalent to placing 50 cars inside), has six engines, and has a wingspan of 288.7 feet (88 meters). It was initially constructed to transport the Buran spaceplane but is now used for commercial transport.
(Image source: GTA5 Mods)
The Concorde is a supersonic jet that was created to travel from the US to Europe in three hours. Unfortunately, the Concorde was short-lived, flying for only 34 years from 1969 to 2003. In 2000, there was a fatal crash of an Air France Concorde, which marked the beginning to an end of an era for this jet.
(Image source: GrummenCat)
The Hughes H-4 Hercules, nicknamed the Spruce Goose, was designed by Howard Hughes, an American businessman and pilot in the 1930s. The Spruce Goose was built for transport during World War II, however, due to the war, it’s completion date was delayed. It wasn’t until 1947 when it took it’s first and last test flight for a distance of 1.2 miles (2 kilometers)—it never went any further than that.
Made almost entirely of birch due to the lack of aluminum during the time (thanks to the war), Spruce Goose was the biggest flying boat ever constructed and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in history. If you’re a sucker for airplanes, you can go see it at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.
(This article first appeared on TravellerAU.)