Click to viewThis beast is the Antonov AN-124 which, until the titanic Airbus A380 came along, was the biggest mass-produced plane in the world. Only 56 were built, but it is still the biggest cargo aircraft in the world. How big exactly? I got into its belly at the Dubai Air Show and I can tell you one thing: when you get up close, this thing is even more gigantic than you imagined it would be.
If you think that's impressive, you should see the Antonov AN-225 Mriya. I know it's not mass-produced, but it is still in service, and it's huge compared to the AN-124. When you watch it, you can't believe this hulk will ever get off the ground. Then it does, and it is a truly amazing spectacle to behold.
Built to carry the Buran (Russian Space Shuttle), the AN-225 utterly dwarfs almost every wing-based craft in the air. It's considerably larger than the A380 in every dimension, with has an unmatched length of 275 feet, beating the 747-8 by a full 25 feet. Its 290-foot wingspan is only bested by one plane: the Hughes H4 Hercules "Spruce Goose" (320 feet!).