List of Largest Military Airplanes

The aircraft on this list are amongst the biggest and most spectacular ever built. These 10 giant military planes are incredible feats of engineering, and their impact on people’s lives cannot be underestimated. This topic includes such classic airplanes as World War Two’s Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the monstrous Cold War-era Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, and massive transport plane the Convair XC-99. But see for yourself.

10.  Martin JRM Mars

The Martin JRM Mars is a large, four-engined cargo transport seaplane designed and built by the Martin Company for the United States Navy during World War II. It was the largest Allied flying boat to enter production, although only seven were built. The United States Navy contracted the development of the XPB2M-1 Mars in 1938 as a long range ocean patrol flying boat, which later entered production as the JRM Mars long range transport.

9. Messerschmitt ME 323

The Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant was a German military transport aircraft of World War II. It was a powered variant of the Me 321 military glider and was the largest land-based transport aircraft of the war. A total of 213 are recorded as having been made, a few being converted from the Me 321.

8. Blohm & Voss BV 238

The Blohm & Voss BV 238 was a German flying boat built during World War II. It was the heaviest aircraft ever built when it first flew in 1944, and was the largest aircraft produced by any of the Axis powers during World War II.

7. Boeing B-29 Superfortress

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress is a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber designed by Boeing and flown primarily by the United States during World War II and the Korean War. Named in allusion to its predecessor, the B-17 Flying Fortress, the Superfortress was designed for high-altitude strategic bombing but also excelled in low-altitude night incendiary bombing. B-29s also dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which led to the end of World War II.

6. Convair B-36 Peacemaker

The Convair B-36 "Peacemaker" is a strategic bomber built by Convair and operated by the United States Air Force from 1949 to 1959. The B-36 is the largest mass-produced piston-engined aircraft ever built. It had the longest wingspan of any combat aircraft ever built, at 230 ft. The B-36 was the first bomber capable of delivering any of the nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal from inside its four bomb bays without aircraft modifications. With a range of 10,000 mi and a maximum payload of 87,200 lb, the B-36 was capable of intercontinental flight without refuelling.

 5. Boeing B-52 Stratofortress

The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is an American long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber. The B-52 was designed and built by Boeing, which has continued to provide support and upgrades. It has been operated by the United States Air Force since the 1950s. The bomber is capable of carrying up to 70,000 pounds of weapons, and has a typical combat range of more than 8,800 miles without aerial refueling.

4. Convair XC-99

The Convair XC-99, AF Ser. No. 43-52436, is a prototype heavy cargo aircraft built by Convair for the United States Air Force. It was the largest piston-engined land-based transport aircraft ever built, and was developed from the Convair B-36 Peacemaker bomber, sharing the wings and some other structures with it. The first flight was on 24 November 1947 in San Diego, California, and after testing it was delivered to the Air Force on 26 May 1949. The Convair Model 37 was a planned civil passenger variant based on the XC-99 but was not built.

3. Lockheed C-5 Galaxy

The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large military transport aircraft originally designed and built by Lockheed, and now maintained and upgraded by its successor, Lockheed Martin. It provides the United States Air Force with a heavy intercontinental-range strategic airlift capability, one that can carry outsized and oversized loads, including all air-certifiable cargo. The Galaxy has many similarities to its smaller Lockheed C-141 Starlifter predecessor, and the later Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. The C-5 is among the largest military aircraft in the world.

2. Tupolev Tu-160

The Tupolev Tu-160 is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bomber designed by the Tupolev Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It is the largest and heaviest Mach 2+ supersonic military aircraft ever built and second only to the comparable XB-70 Valkyrie in overall length. It is the largest and heaviest combat aircraft, the fastest bomber now in use and the largest and heaviest variable-sweep wing airplane ever flown.

1. Antonov An-225 Mriya

The Antonov An-225 Mriya is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft that was designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the Ukrainian SSR within the Soviet Union during the 1980s. It is powered by six turbofan engines and is the heaviest aircraft ever built, with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes. It also has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service. The single example built has the Ukrainian civil registration UR-82060. A second airframe with a slightly different configuration was partially built. Its construction was halted in 1994 because of lack of funding and interest, but revived briefly in 2009, bringing it to 60–70% completion. On 30 August 2016, Antonov agreed to complete the second airframe for Aerospace Industry Corporation of China as a prelude to AICC commencing series production.