The aerospace industry soared over the last century. aircraft made traveling across the world a reasonable reality.
In 2016, U.S. airlines nearly eclipsed $660 billion in revenue passenger miles. As far as transportation goes, air travel is the king of convenience. Convenience is in high demand, so it’s no surprise there’s money in the aerospace industry. Money that many sought and still seek to get their hands on.
Whether the motivation is economic in nature, for a functional purpose, or in the pursuit of glory, humanity has manufactured countless creative aircraft. We’ve compiled a list some of the world’s most ambitious aircraft. They may shock you.
Are these planes mechanical masterpieces or duds? You decide.
Airbus A300-600ST Beluga
The Airbus Beluga is the ultimate oversized cargo plane carrier.
This super transporter attracted its name because of its likeness to the beluga whale. The Beluga’s design enables it to carry other Airbus aircraft components with its 37.7 metre cabin height. Two pilots and one loadmaster ship these aircraft parts from different production sites across Europe to the final assembly lines in France and Germany.
In 1994, the first A300-600ST Beluga flew. In 1995, the European Aviation Safety Agency officially approved the Beluga for service. Four more Beluga’s were created at rate of one per year. Even after two decades, the fleet of five remains in operation.
In 2014, Airbus revealed its future plans. The company plans on the addition of five new A330-based BelugaXL aircraft to the overall fleet. These significantly larger aircraft are projected for active service in mid-2019.