This page contains a list of future Selected Aircraft articles, and the nominations for ones beyond those. For past selected aircraft, please see the archive
Future Selected Aircraft
When 41 different aircraft are written, the monthly rotation will be updated with a weekly rotation.
The Airbus A400M is a four-engine turboprop aircraft, designed by Airbus Military to meet the demand of European nations for military airlift. Since its formal launch the aircraft has also been ordered by South Africa, Chile and Malaysia.
- Span: 42.4 m (139 ft 1 in)
- Length: 45.1 m (148 ft)
- Height: 14.7 m (48 ft 3 in)
- Engines: 4 EPI TP400-D6 (8,250 kW power)
- Cruising Speed: 780 km/h (480 mph, 420 knots)
- First Flight: 11 December 2009
- Number built: 4 (174 on order)
[[File:|right|250px|The two YC-130 prototypes; the blunt nose was replaced with radar on later production models.]] The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop cargo aircraft and the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. Over 40 models and variants of the Hercules serve with more than 50 nations. On December 2006 the C-130 was the third aircraft (after the English Electric Canberra in May 2001 and the B-52 Stratofortress in January 2005) to mark 50 years of continuous use with its original primary customer (in this case the United States Air Force).
Capable of short takeoffs and landings from unprepared runways, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation and cargo transport aircraft. The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship, and for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refuelling and aerial firefighting. The Hercules family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. During more than 50 years of service the family has participated in military, civilian and humanitarian aid operations.
The Boeing 747 is a widebody commercial airliner, often referred to by the nickname Jumbo Jet. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first widebody ever produced. Manufactured by Boeing's Commercial Airplane unit in the United States, the original version of the 747 was two and a half times the size of the Boeing 707, one of the common large commercial aircraft of the 1960s. First flown commercially in 1970, the 747 held the passenger capacity record for 37 years.
The four-engine 747 uses a double deck configuration for part of its length. It is available in passenger, freighter and other versions. Boeing designed the 747's hump-like upper deck to serve as a first class lounge or (as is the general rule today) extra seating, and to allow the aircraft to be easily converted to a cargo carrier by removing seats and installing a front cargo door. Boeing did so because the company expected supersonic airliners (whose development was announced in the early 1960s) to render the 747 and other subsonic airliners obsolete; while believing that the demand for subsonic cargo aircraft would be robust into the future. The 747 in particular was expected to become obsolete after 400 were sold but it exceeded its critics' expectations with production passing the 1,000 mark in 1993. As of June 2009, 1,416 aircraft have been built, with 107 more in various configurations remaining on order.
The 747-400, the latest version in service, is among the fastest airliners in service with a high-subsonic cruise speed of Mach 0.85 (567 mph or 913 km/h). It has an intercontinental range of 7,260 nautical miles (13,450 km; 8,350 mi). The 747-400 passenger version can accommodate 416 passengers in a typical three-class layout or 524 passengers in a typical two-class layout. The next version of the aircraft, the 747-8, is in production and scheduled to enter service in 2010. The 747 is to be replaced by the Boeing Y3 (part of the Boeing Yellowstone Project) in the future.
The Pregnant Guppy was a large, wide-bodied cargo aircraft built in the USA and used for ferrying outsized cargo items, most notably NASA's components of the Apollo moon program. The Pregnant Guppy was the first of the Guppy line of aircraft produced by Aero Spacelines, Inc. The design also inspired similar designs such as the jet-powered Airbus Beluga, and the Boeing 747 LCF designed to deliver Boeing 787 parts.
- Span:141 feet, 3 inches.
- Length: 127 feet.
- Height: 31 feet, 3 inches.
- Engines: 4 3500hp P&W R-4360.
- Cruising Speed: 250 mph
- First Flight:September 19, 1962
- Number built: 1
The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was a delta-winged interceptor aircraft, designed and built by Avro Aircraft Limited (Canada) in Malton, Ontario, Canada, as the culmination of a design study that began in 1953. Considered to be both an advanced technical and aerodynamic achievement for the Canadian aviation industry, the CF-105 held the promise of Mach 2 speeds at altitudes exceeding 50,000 ft (15,000 m), and was intended to serve as the Royal Canadian Air Force's primary interceptor in the 1960s and beyond. Not long after the 1958 start of its flight test program, the development of the Arrow (including its Orenda Iroquois jet engines) was abruptly and controversially halted before the project review had taken place, sparking a long and bitter political debate. The controversy engendered by the cancellation and subsequent destruction of the aircraft in production, remains a topic for debate among historians, political observers and industry pundits. "This action effectively put Avro out of business and its highly skilled engineering and production personnel scattered... The incident was a traumatic one... and to this day, many mourn the loss of the Arrow."
- Span: 50 ft 0 in (15.24 m)
- Length: 77 ft 9 in (23.71 m)
- Height: 20 ft 6 in (6.25 m)
- Engines: 2×Pratt & Whitney J75-P-3
- Cruising Speed: Mach 0.91 (607 mph, 977 km/h) at 36,000 ft (11,000 m)
- First Flight: 25 March 1958
- Number built: 5
The VZ-9 Avrocar (full military designation VZ-9-AV) was a Canadian VTOL aircraft developed by Avro Aircraft Ltd. as part of a secret U.S. military project carried out in the early years of the Cold War. The Avrocar intended to exploit the Coandă effect to provide lift and thrust from a single "turborotor" blowing exhaust out the rim of the disk-shaped aircraft to provide anticipated VTOL-like performance. In the air, it would have resembled a flying saucer. Two prototypes were built as "proof-of-concept" test vehicles for a more advanced USAF fighter and also for a U.S. Army tactical combat aircraft requirement. In flight testing, the Avrocar proved to have unresolved thrust and stability problems that limited it to a degraded, low-performance flight envelope; subsequently, the project was cancelled in 1961.
- Diameter:18 ft (5.486 m)
- Height: 3 ft 6 in (1.1 m)
- Engines: 3 x Turbomeca Marboré Continental J69-T-9
- Max Speed: 300 mph (482 km/h)
- First Flight: 12 November 1959
- Number built: 2
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic fighter-bomber originally developed for the U.S. Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. Proving highly adaptable, it became a major part of the air wings of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force. It was used extensively by all three of these services during the Vietnam War, serving as the principal air superiority fighter for both the Navy and Air Force, as well as being important in the ground-attack and reconnaissance roles by the close of U.S. involvement in the war.
First entering service in 1960, the Phantom continued to form a major part of U.S. military air power throughout the 1970s and 1980s, being gradually replaced by more modern aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon in the U.S. Air Force; the F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet in the U.S. Navy; and the F/A-18 in the U.S. Marine Corps. It remained in use by the U.S. in the reconnaissance and Wild Weasel roles in the 1991 Gulf War, finally leaving service in 1996. The Phantom was also operated by the armed forces of 11 other nations. Israeli Phantoms saw extensive combat in several Arab–Israeli conflicts, while Iran used its large fleet of Phantoms in the Iran–Iraq War. Phantoms remain in front line service with seven countries, and in use as an unmanned target in the U.S. Air Force.
Phantom production ran from 1958 to 1981, with a total of 5,195 built. This extensive run makes it the second most-produced Western jet fighter, behind the F-86 Sabre at just under 10,000 examples.
- Span: 38 ft 4.5 in (11.7 m)
- Length: 63 ft 0 in (19.2 m)
- Height: 16 ft 6 in (5.0 m)
- Engines: 2× General Electric J79-GE-17A axial compressor turbojets, 17,845 lbf (79.6 kN) each
- Cruising Speed: 506 kn (585 mph, 940 km/h)
- First Flight: 27 May 1958
- Number built: 5,195
[[File:|right|250px|]] The Tupolev TB-3 (Russian: Тяжёлый Бомбардировщик, Tyazholy Bombardirovschik, Heavy Bomber, civilian designation ANT-6) was a heavy bomber aircraft which was deployed by the Soviet Air Force in the 1930s and during World War II. It was the world's first cantilever wing four-engine heavy bomber. Despite obsolescence and being officially withdrawn from service in 1939, TB-3 performed bomber and transport duties through much of WWII. The TB-3 also saw combat as a Zveno project fighter mothership and as a light tank transport.
- Span: 41.80 m (137 ft 2 in)
- Length: 24.4 m (80 ft 1 in)
- Height: 8.50 m (27 ft 11 in)
- Engines: 4× Mikulin M-17F V12 engines, 525 kW (705 hp) each
- Maximum Speed: 196 km/h (106 knots, 122 mph) at 3000 m (9,840 ft)
- First Flight: 22 December 1930
The Avro Lancaster was a British four-engine Second World War bomber aircraft made initially by Avro for the British Royal Air Force (RAF). It first saw active service in 1942, and together with the Handley-Page Halifax it was one of the main heavy bombers of the RAF, the RCAF and squadrons from other Commonwealth and European countries serving within RAF Bomber Command. The "Lanc" or "Lankie," as it became affectionately known, became the most famous and most successful of the Second World War night bombers, "delivering 608,612 tons of bombs in 156,000 sorties." Although the Lancaster was primarily a night bomber, it excelled in many other roles including daylight precision bombing, and gained worldwide renown as the "Dam Buster" used in the 1943 Operation Chastise raids on Germany's Ruhr Valley dams.
- Span: 102 ft (31.09 m)
- Length: 69 ft 5 in (21.18 m)
- Height: 19 ft 7 in (5.97 m)
- Engines: 4× Rolls-Royce Merlin XX V12 engines, 1,280 hp (954 kW) each
- Maximum Speed: 240 knots (280 mph, 450 km/h) at 15,000 ft (5,600 m)
- First Flight: 8 January 1941
- Number built: 7,377
Concorde had a cruise speed of Mach 2.02 (around 2170 km/h or 1,350 mph) and a maximum cruise altitude of 60,000 feet (18 300 metres) with a delta wing configuration and a reheat-equipped evolution of the engines originally developed for the Avro Vulcan strategic bomber. The engines were built by Rolls-Royce. Concorde was the first civil airliner to be equipped with an analogue fly-by-wire flight control system. Commercial flights, operated by British Airways and Air France, began on January 21, 1976 and ended on October 24, 2003, with the last "retirement" flight on November 26 that year.
Construction of the first two prototypes began in February 1965. Concorde 001 was built by Aerospatiale at Toulouse and Concorde 002 by BAC at Filton, Bristol. Concorde 001 took off for the first test flight from Toulouse on March 2, 1969 and the first supersonic flight followed on October 1. As the flight programme of the first development aircraft progressed, 001 started off on a sales and demonstration tour beginning on September 4, 1971. Concorde 002 followed suit on June 2, 1972 with a sales tour of the Middle and Far East. Concorde 002 made the first visit to the United States in 1973, landing at the new Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to commemorate its opening.
- Span: 84 ft 0 in (25.6 m).
- Length: 202 ft 4 in (61.66 m)
- Height: 40 ft 0 in (12.2 m )
- Engines: 4× Rolls-Royce/SNECMA Olympus 593 Mk 610 afterburning turbojets 170 kN each.
- Cruising Speed: Mach 2.04 (1,350 mph, 2,170 km/h)
- First Flight: March 2, 1969
- Number built: 20 (including prototypes)
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is an American four-engine heavy bomber aircraft developed for the U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC). Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 planes, the airplane outperformed both the other entries and the Air Corps' expectations. Although losing the contract due to an accident, the Air Corps was so in favor of the B-17 that they ordered 13 B-17s regardless. Evolving through numerous design stages, from B-17A to G, the Flying Fortress is considered the first truly mass-produced large aircraft. From its pre-war inception, the USAAC touted the aircraft as a strategic weapon; it was a high-flying, long-ranging potent bomber capable of defending itself. With the ability to return home despite extensive battle damage, its durability, especially in belly-landings and ditchings, quickly took on mythical proportions.
The B-17 was primarily involved in the daylight precision strategic bombing campaign of World War II against German industrial targets. The United States Eighth Air Force based in England and the Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy complemented the RAF Bomber Command's night-time area bombing in Operation Pointblank, which helped secure air superiority over the cities, factories and battlefields of Western Europe in preparation for Operation Overlord. The B-17 also participated, to a lesser extent, in the War in the Pacific.
The Douglas DC-3 is a fixed-wing, propeller-driven aircraft which revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s, and is generally regarded as one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made.
The DC-3 was engineered by a team led by chief engineer Arthur E. Raymond and first flew on December 17, 1935 (the 32nd. anniversary of the Wright Brothers flight at Kitty Hawk). The plane was the result of a marathon phone call from American Airlines CEO C.R. Smith demanding improvements in the design of the DC-2. The amenities of the DC-3 (including sleeping berths on early models and an in-flight kitchen) popularized air travel in the United States. With just one refuelling stop, transcontinental flights across America became possible. Before the DC-3, such a trip would entail short hops in commuter aircraft during the day coupled with train travel overnight.
During World War II, many civilian DC-3s were drafted for the war effort and thousands of military versions of the DC-3 were built under the designations C-47, C-53, R4D, and Dakota. The armed forces of many countries used the DC-3 and its military variants for the transport of troops, cargo and wounded. Over 10,000 aircraft were produced (some as licensed copies in Japan as Showa L2D, and in the USSR as the Lisunov Li-2).
- Span: 95 ft (28.96 m)
- Length: 64 ft 5 in (19.65 m)
- Height: 16 ft 11 in (5.16 m)
- Engines: 2× Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp S1C3G 14-cylinder radial engines, 1,200 hp (895 kW) or Wright Cyclone
- Cruising Speed: 170 mph (274 km/h)
- First Flight:December 17, 1935
- Number built: 13,140 (including license built types)
NASA's Space Shuttle, officially called the Space Transportation System (STS), is the spacecraft which was used by the United States government for its human spaceflight missions. At launch, it consists of a rust-colored external tank (ET), two white, slender Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs), and the orbiter, a winged spaceplane which is the space shuttle in the narrow sense.
The orbiter carries astronauts and payload such as satellites or space station parts into low earth orbit, into the Earth's upper atmosphere or thermosphere. Usually, five to seven crew members ride in the orbiter. The payload capacity is 22,700 kg (50,000 lb). When the orbiter's mission is complete it fires its Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) thrusters to drop out of orbit and re-enters the lower atmosphere. During the descent and landing, the shuttle orbiter acts as a glider, and makes a completely unpowered ("dead stick") landing.
- Span: 78.06 ft (23.79 m)
- Length: 122.17 ft (37.24 m)
- Height: 58.58 ft (17.25 m)
- Engines: 3 Rocketdyne Block 2 A SSMEs
- Cruising Speed: 25,404 ft/s (7,743 m/s, 27,875 km/h, 17,321 mi/h)
- First Flight: August 12, 1977 (glider), April 12, 1981 (powered).
- Operational Altitude: 100 to 520 nmi (185 to 1,000 km)
- Number built: 6 (+2 mockups)
The de Havilland Canada DHC-8, popularly the Dash 8, is a series of twin-turboprop airliners designed by de Havilland Canada in the early 1980s. They are now made by Bombardier Aerospace which purchased DHC from Boeing in 1992. Since 1996 the aircraft have been known as the Q Series, for "quiet", due to installation of the Active Noise and Vibration Suppression (ANVS) system designed to reduce cabin noise and vibration levels to near those of jet airliners.
Notable features of the Dash 8 design are the large T-tail intended to keep the tail free of propwash during takeoff, a very high aspect ratio wing, the elongated engine nacelles also holding the rearward-folding landing gear, and the pointed nose profile. First flight was in 1983, and the plane entered service in 1984 with NorOntair. Piedmont Airlines (formerly Henson Airlines) was the US launch customer for the Dash 8 in 1984.
The Dash 8 design had better cruise performance than the earlier Dash 7, was less expensive to operate, and more notably, much less expensive to maintain. The Dash 8 had the lowest costs per passenger mile of any feederliner of the era. The only disadvantage compared to the earlier Dash 7 was somewhat higher noise levels, but only in comparison as the Dash 7 was notable in the industry for extremely low noise due to its four very large and slow-turning propellers.
- Length: 107 ft 9 in (32.84 m)
- Wingspan: 93 ft 3 in (32.84 m)
- Height: 27 ft 5 in (8.34 m)
- Powerplant: 2× Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150A turboprops, 5,071 shp (3,781 kW) each
- Cruise speed: 360 knots (414 mph, 667 km/h)
- Maiden Flight: June 20, 1983
The Embraer ERJ-145 is a regional jet produced by Embraer, a Brazilian aerospace company. The ERJ 145 is the largest of a family of airliners, which also includes the ERJ 135, ERJ 140, and Legacy. All aircraft in the series are powered by two turbofan engines. It is one of the most popular regional jet families in the world with primary competition coming from the Canadair Regional Jet.
The first flight of the ERJ 145 was on August 11, 1995, with the first delivery in December 1996 to ExpressJet Airlines (then the regional division of Continental Airlines). ExpressJet is the largest operator of the ERJ 145, with 270 of the nearly 1000 ERJ 145s in service. The second largest operator is American Eagle, with 206 ERJ 145 aircraft. Chautauqua Airlines also operates 95 ERJ 145s through its alliances with American Connection, Delta Connection, US Airways Express and United Express. By some accounts, the ERJ 145 has a cost of ownership of about $2,500,000 per year.
- Span: 20.04 m (65 ft 9 in)
- Length: 29.9 m (98 ft 0 in)
- Height: 6.76 m (22 ft 2 in)
- Engines: 2× Rolls-Royce AE 3007A turbofans, 33.0 kN (7,420 lbf) thrust each
- Cruising Speed: 834 km/h (518 mph, Mach 0.78)
- First Flight: August 11, 1995
- Number built: ≈1000
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt in the early 1930s. It was one of the first true modern fighters of the era, including such features as an all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, and retractable landing gear. The Bf 109 was produced in greater quantities than any other fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 units produced up to April 1945. Fighter production totalled 47% of all German aircraft production, and the Bf 109 accounted for 57% of all German fighter types produced.
The Bf 109 was the backbone of the Luftwaffe fighter force in World War II, although it began to be partially replaced by the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 from 1941. The Bf 109 was the most successful fighter of World War II, shooting down more aircraft than any of its contemporaries. Originally conceived as an interceptor, it was later developed to fulfill multiple tasks, serving as bomber escort, fighter bomber, day-, night- all-weather fighter, bomber destroyer, ground-attack aircraft, and as reconnaissance aircraft.
The Bf 109 was flown by the three top-scoring fighter aces of World War II: Erich Hartmann, the top scoring fighter pilot of all time with 352 victories, Gerhard Barkhorn with 301 victories, and Günther Rall with 275 victories. All of them flew with Jagdgeschwader 52, a unit which exclusively flew the Bf 109 and was credited with over 10,000 victories, chiefly on the Eastern Front. Hartmann chose to fly the Bf 109 in combat throughout the war, despite being offered the use of the Me 262. Hans-Joachim Marseille, the highest scoring German ace in the North African Campaign, also scored all of his 158 victories flying the Bf 109, against Western Allied pilots.
- Span: 9.925 m (32 ft 6 in)
- Length: 8.95 m (29 ft 7 in)
- Height: 2.60 m (8 ft 2 in)
- Engine: 1× Daimler-Benz DB 605A-1 liquid-cooled inverted V12, 1,475 PS (1,455 hp, 1,085 kW)
- Cruising Speed: 590 km/h (365 mph) at 6,000 m (19,680 ft)
- First Flight: 28 May 1935
The Airbus A340 is a long-range four-engined widebody commercial passenger airplane manufactured by Airbus. The latest variants (-600 & A340E) now compete with Boeing's 777 series of aircraft on long-haul and ultra long-haul routes.
The A340-600 flies 380 passengers in a three-class cabin layout (419 in 2 class) over 7,500 nautical miles (13,900 km). It provides similar passenger capacity to a 747 but with twice the cargo volume, and at lower trip and seat costs.
The A340-600 is more than 10 m longer than a basic -300, making it the second longest airliner in the world, more than four meters longer than a Boeing 747-400.
- Span: 63.45 m (208 ft 2 in)
- Length: 75.30 m n(246 ft 11 in)
- Height: 17.30 m (56 ft 9 in)
- Engines: four 56,000 lbf (249 kN) thrust Rolls-Royce Trent 556 turbofans
- Cruising Speed: Mach 0.83 (885 km/h, 550 mph)
- First Flight: October 25, 1991
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, four-engined airliner manufactured by Airbus S.A.S. It first flew on 27 April 2005 from Toulouse–Blagnac Airport. Commercial flights began in late 2007 after months of testing, with the delivery of the first aircraft to launch customer Singapore Airlines. During much of its development phase, the aircraft was known as the Airbus A3XX, and the nickname Superjumbo has also become associated with the A380.
The A380 is double decked, with the upper deck extending along the entire length of the fuselage. This allows for a spacious cabin, with the A380 in standard three-class configuration to seat 555 people, up to maximum of 853 in full economy class configuration. Two models of the A380 will be available at launch. The A380-800, the passenger model, is the largest passenger airliner in the world superseding the Boeing 747. The other launch model, the A380-800F freighter, was canceled and will not join the ranks of the largest freight aircraft such as the Antonov An-225, An-124, and the C-5 Galaxy for the foreseeable future.
- Span: 79.8 m (261 ft 10 in)
- Length: 73 m (239 ft 6 in)
- Height: 24.1 m (79 ft 1 in)
- Engines: 4 * Rolls-Royce Trent 900 or Engine Alliance GP7200 (311 kN or 69,916 lbf)
- Cruising Speed: 0.85 Mach (approx 1,050 km/h or 652 mph or 567 kn)
- First Flight: 27 April 2005
- Number built: 5 (159 ordered)
Produced by Supermarine, the Spitfire was designed by R.J. Mitchell, who continued to refine it until his death from cancer in 1937. The elliptical wing had a thin cross-section, allowing a faster top speed than the Hurricane and other contemporary designs; it also resulted in a distinctive appearance. Much loved by its pilots, the Spitfire saw service during the whole of World War II, in all theatres of war, and in many different variants.
More than 20,300 examples of all variants were built, including two-seat trainers, with some Spitfires remaining in service well into the 1950s. It was the only fighter aircraft to be in continual production before, during and after the war.
The aircraft was dubbed Spitfire by Sir Robert MacLean, director of Vickers (the parent company of Supermarine) at the time, and on hearing this, Mitchell is reported to have said, "...sort of bloody silly name they would give it." The word dates from Elizabethan times and refers to a particularly fiery, ferocious type of person, usually a woman. The name had previously been used unofficially for Mitchell's earlier F.7/30 Type 224 design.
The prototype (K5054) first flew on March 5, 1936, from Eastleigh Aerodrome (later Southampton Airport). Testing continued until May 26, 1936, when Mutt Summers (Chief Test Pilot for Vickers (Aviation) Ltd.) flew K5054 to Martlesham and handed the aircraft over to Squadron Leader Anderson of the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE).
- Length: 29 ft 11 in (9.12 m)
- Wingspan: 36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)
- Height: 12 ft 8 in (3.86 m)
- Number Built: 20,351 (excluding Seafires)
- Maximum speed: 330 knots (378 mph, 605 km/h)
- Maiden flight: March 5, 1936
- Powerplant: 1× Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 supercharged V12 engine, 1470 hp at 9250 ft (1096 kW at 2820 m)
The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from 5,235 to 9,380 nautical miles (9,695 to 17,372 km) depending on model. Its distinguishing features include the largest diameter turbofan engines of any aircraft, six wheels on each main landing gear, a circular fuselage cross-section, and blade-shaped tail cone. Developed in consultation with eight major airlines, the 777 was designed to replace older wide-body airliners and bridge the capacity difference between the 767 and 747. As Boeing's first fly-by-wire airliner, it has computer mediated controls; it is also the first entirely computer-designed commercial aircraft.
The 777 is produced in two fuselage lengths. The original 777-200 model first entered service in 1995, followed by the extended range 777-200ER in 1997; the stretched 777-300, which is 33.3 ft (10.1 m) longer, began service in 1998. The longer-range 777-300ER and 777-200LR variants entered service in 2004 and 2006, respectively, while a freighter version, the 777F, debuted in 2008. Both longer-range versions and the freighter feature General Electric GE90 engines, as well as extended and raked wingtips. Other models are equipped with either the GE90, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, or Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines. The 777-200LR ranks as the world's longest-range airliner and holds the record for longest distance flown by an unrefuelled commercial aircraft, with the demonstrated capability to fly more than halfway around the world.
United Airlines first placed the 777 into commercial airline service in 1995. As of October 2009, 56 customers have placed orders for 1,116 aircraft of all variants, with 822 delivered. The most common variant used worldwide is the 777-200ER, with 412 aircraft delivered, and Emirates operates the largest 777 fleet, with 78 aircraft. The airliner has had one hull-loss accident, with no passenger fatalities, attributed to a Trent 800 engine fuel component as of October 2009.
Through the 2000s, the 777 has emerged as one of its manufacturer's best-selling models. Because of rising fuel costs, airlines have acquired the type as a comparatively fuel-efficient alternative to other wide-body jets and have increasingly used the aircraft on long-haul, transoceanic routes. Direct market competitors include the Airbus A330-300 and the A340, with the upcoming A350 XWB and Boeing 787 programs currently in development.
- Span: 212 ft 7 in (64.8 m)
- Length: 242 ft 4 in (73.9 m)
- Height: 61 ft 5 in (18.7 m)
- Engines: 2 X GE 90-115B
- Cruising speed: 0.84 Mach (555 mph, 892 km/h, 481 kn) at 35,000 ft (11,000 m) cruise altitude
- First flight: 12 June 1994
- Number built: 649 as of August 2007
The Antonov An-225 Mriya (Антонов Ан-225 Мрія, NATO reporting name: Cossack) is a strategic airlift transport aircraft built by Antonov, and is the world's largest powered aircraft. Mriya (Мрія) means "dream" (inspiration) in Ukrainian.
With a maximum gross weight of 640,000 kg (1,400,000 lb), the An-225 is the world's heaviest aircraft. Although its wingspan is less than that of the Hughes H-4 "Spruce Goose", the latter never went beyond a single short low-altitude test flight, making the An-225 the largest aircraft in the world to take off more than once. Both the An-124 and An-225 are larger than the C-5 Galaxy, the largest aircraft in the U.S. inventory. The An-225 is also larger than the Airbus A380.
- Span: 88.40 m (291 ft 2 in)
- Length: 75.30 m n(246 ft 11 in)
- Height: 18.1 m (59.3 ft)
- Engines: 6× ZMKB Progress D-18 turbofans, 229 kN (51,600 lbf) each
- Cruising Speed: 750 km/h (400 knots, 465 mph)
- First Flight: December 21, 1988
The Convair B-36 was a strategic bomber built by Convair for the United States Air Force, the first to have truly intercontinental range. Unofficially nicknamed the "Peacemaker", the B-36 was the first thermonuclear weapon delivery vehicle, the largest piston aircraft ever to be mass-produced, and the largest warplane of any kind.
The B-36 was the only American aircraft with the range and payload to carry such bombs from airfields on American soil to targets in the USSR, as storing nuclear weapons in foreign countries was diplomatically delicate. The nuclear deterrent the B-36 afforded may have kept the Soviet Army from fighting alongside the North Korean and Chinese armies during the Korean War. Convair touted the B-36 as an "aluminum overcast," a "long rifle" to give SAC a global reach. When General Curtis LeMay headed SAC (1949-57) and turned it into an effective nuclear delivery force, the B-36 formed the heart of his command. Its maximum payload was more than four times that of the B-29, even exceeding that of the B-52.
- Span: 230 ft 0 in (70.10 m)
- Length: 162 ft 1 in (49.40 m)
- Height: 46 ft 9 in (14.25 m)
- Engines: 6× Pratt & Whitney R-4360-53 "Wasp Major" radials, 3,800 hp (2,500 kW) each
- Cruising Speed: 230 mph (200 kn, 380 km/h) with jets off
- Range: 6,795 mi (5,905 nmi, 10,945 km) with 10,000 lb (4,535 kg) payload
- First Flight: 8 August 1946
Historically, the yak-42 was competition for older Russian aircraft companies. The Yak-42 was only made in one passenger variant, but it was used in many tests of equipment.
- Crew: 3
- Span: 114 ft 5 in (34.88 m)
- Length: 119 ft 4 in (36.38 m)
- Height: 32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)
- Engines: 3× Lotarev D-36 turbofan
- Cruise Speed: 740 km/h (399 knots, 460 mph) (economy cruise)
- Range: 4,000 km (2,158 nmi, 2,458 mi) (with maximum fuel)
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