From the giant Antonov An-225 to the Boeing 777F, some impressive cargo aircraft continue to serve the needs of the transportation industry. Aircraft in the cargo segment range for all kinds of cargo flights, short-, medium- and long-haul. Cargo aircraft vary in capacities to carry any type of cargo. They can range from smaller aircraft performing short notice flights to aircraft that specializes in carrying vital spare parts.
There are some impressive examples of large cargo aircraft that are used to transport a high volume of goods. The Antonov An-225 is a mammoth cargo aircraft and one of the world’s biggest civilian cargo planes. It has a spacious cargo area that is 43.32m-long, 6.4m-wide and 4.4m-high, which allows it to carry heavy cargo weighing up to 250t. What powers an aircraft like this? Six D-18T turbofans with a thrust of 229.7kN each. Another model of cargo plane, the Boeing 747-8 Freighter is the cargo version of the 747-8 airliner. The cargo area holds a volume of 853m3, which can accommodate a maximum revenue payload of 137t. The Boeing 747-8 Freighter is powered by four GEnx-2B67 engines. It achieves a maximum range of 7,630km (4,120nmi).
On the military side of cargo aircraft usage, there are several giant airlifters that display what is possible these days to transport heavy equipment, supplies and troops these days. The Antonov AN-124 Ruslan is an Antonov military transporter with a take of weight of 392t. It can carry a payload of 120t and easily moves heavy and oversized cargoes and military vehicles. Its power comes from four Ivchenko Progress D-18T turbofan engines developing 229.85kN thrust each. The multi-wheel landing gear allows it to land on unpaved runways. It boasts a cruise speed of 800km/h to 850km/h and a range of 7,500km.
The range and uses of cargo aircraft highly depend on the new and innovative designs introduced to the industry.