NOTE: We will be considering 2 aircraft categories- Civil and Military.
Weight, if specified, is always going to be the empty weight of an aircraft.
All the aircraft should have a minimum seating capacity of 1.
We are only going to consider winged aircraft. This means we exclude airships and drone from this blog.
Stits SA-2A Sky Baby – In 1952, Ray Stits sent the Sky Baby into the air with Robert H. Starr at the wheel, and earned the Guinness World Record for creating the “World’s Smallest Plane,”. These days, you can’t ride in the Sky Baby, but you can visit it at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.
Stits SA-2A Sky Baby
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was the smallest military aircraft ever built. The inspiration for the aircraft was the samurai sword, and how much agile, quick and light it is. It was designed by the team of Jiro Horikoshi. This aircraft was the best dog-fighter designed for WW II.
Mitsubishi A6M Zero
The lightest aircraft in civil aviation has to be Starr BumbleBee II. It weighs just 162.7 kg. It still holds the crown since its creation in 1984. Yeah! it was made by the person who piloted the world’s smallest aircraft, Robert H. Starr.
Starr BumbleBee II
The combat aircraft are always the lightest in the military. LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) to be specific.
LCA Tejas, made by the Indian military is currently the lightest military aircraft. It weighs just 6,500 kg.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. LCA Tejas
The crown here goes to a cargo plane (we know it obviously), the Antonov AN-225 Mriya. Even saying this name feels energetic. This aircraft is totally humongous in every term, be it length or width. Mriya here means ‘dream’ or ‘inspiration’, which it surely feels like! and then of course, its one of a kind.
Antonov Airlines AN-225 Mriya
Here also Antonov takes the crown. Looks like Antonov rules the cargo sector in aviation. The AN-124 Ruslan is the biggest military carrier, currently servicing in the Russian and US military. Actually, the AN-225 Mriya above is the modified version of the AN-124. It was built to carry a space vehicle.
US Air-force escorting the newly arrived AN-124 Ruslan
Well here also the Antonov takes the crown, AN-225 Mriya being the most heaviest aircraft ever built.
Its empty weight being 285,000 kg. That’s the empty weight and astonishingly its even more than the M.T.O.W. of the airbus Beluga XL (227,000 kg).
Just a comparison of chart for you all
Well I know that you will be considering the AN-124 Ruslan to be the heaviest in the military sector. That’s not the case here as we are on considering empty weights here. The heaviest military aircraft is the Air-force One, with an empty weight of 238,000 kg. The weight is greatly increased due to the reinforcement of structure done in it.
The Air-force One (coming to service in 2022)
Which one are you thinking of, the Concorde or any private jet like Cessna Citation? Well you are wrong in both cases. The Tupolev Tu-144 was the fastest civil aircraft ever built. It was faster than most of the fighter jets of old times (achieving higher speeds is easy in large body aircraft). The speed of this aircraft – 2430 km/h. It broke the Mach 2 barrier and was the first one to do it, even months before the Concorde was introduced.
Tu-144 photographed during its first flight
X-15, the only aircraft on this list with a rocket engine was the fastest aircraft ever built. It crossed the Mach 6 barrier, making it the only one to do that.
The slowest aircraft in this world is indeed a fertilizer sprayer. Its the PZL M-15 Belphegor, with a top speed of just 200 kph. It was developed in Poland for the Soviet agriculture aviation.
PZL M-15 Belphegor at the fields
The Antonov AN-2 is the slowest aircraft servicing in military to date. It is just used for utility purposes like flying ambulances, light paratroop carriers. Top speed of this aircraft is just 258 kph. And guess what! its successor, the AN-3 just improved its top speed by 1 kph.
Antonov AN-2 of Estonian Air force
Thinking that AN-225 the most powerful aircraft in the world will only get right when it gets equipped with GE9x engines. The tests for these are currently under process. Till then the Airbus A380-800 F (now discontinued by Airbus) or Freighter will remain the most powerful aircraft in the world. It has a total thrust rating of approximately 1450 kN. The AN-225 has a thrust rating of 1380kN.
FedEx A380-800 F on its last flight
The Antonov AN-124 Ruslan, along with being the biggest, also has the highest thrust rating of 1360 kN. Its almost the same to AN-225 even though the engines used are different.
Antonov Airlines AN-124 Ruslan
The most expensive civil aircraft had to be the mighty Airbus A380, if the Prince of Saudi Arabia hadn’t cancelled the order in between. It was worth $500 million. But for now, the A340-300 owned by the Russian billionaire, Alisher Ashmanov is the most expensive civil aviation aircraft. It cost him around $500 million.
When it comes to military, the have no boundaries. In this case the the Northrop Grumman B-2 spirit bomber is the costliest military aircraft ever, with cost per each unit averaging around $2.1 Billion. It is one of a kind advanced stealth bomber and also the most aerodynamic military aircraft ever built.
The iconic B-2 spirit bomber
Pardon me if I have made any mistakes in the blog, but do tell me the mistakes i made in the comments section.
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