The aviation world has certainly come a long way since the first Wight Brothers plane took flight in 1903. Since then, aerospace engineers have been actively pushing the boundary of flight. As technological advancements developed, so did more innovative designs, resulting in bigger, faster and more sophisticated airplanes than the world has ever seen. Air transportation has transformed from flimsy gliders to massive machines capable of carrying hundreds of passengers.
With the development of new models, airplanes and jets were adapted for military use. World War II, in particular, pushed aircraft designers from both sides to switch into high gear and crank out impressive flying machines, with the stake of the human race at hand. After the war ended, the aerospace industry continued to boom. The result? Some of the biggest planes to ever grace the Earth’s atmosphere. Here are the top 10 largest planes in history:
Length: 92 ft 4 in (28.2 m )
Height: 33 ft 3.5 in (10.15 m)
Wingspan: 181 ft 0 in (55.2 m)
Speed: 177 mph (585 km/h)
During World War II, Nazi Germany pushed out incredibly powerful weapons and their aircrafts were no different. Along with jet development, the Third Reich led the way in developing large military aircrafts. The ME-323 transport, whose nickname is the “Giant” for good reason, was the largest aircraft ever built at the time. With the capacity of carrying 130 troops and light vehicles or around 10 tons of cargo, the ME-323 wasn’t exactly something you could miss flying overhead. Its size was ultimately its downfall as it became an easy target for enemy fight planes, despite being armed with machine guns. Although the design itself was resilient and could absorb large amounts of enemy fire, ME-323 loaded with barrels of fuel were quickly sent into a fiery end.