The Coolest Cargo Planes in the World
Lockheed Martin LM-100J
Lockheed Martin’s website makes the bold claim that the LM-100J is “ready to carry whatever the future holds,” and they aren’t kidding. I mean, they don’t call this plane the Super Hercules for nothing!
The LM-100J owes much of its construction to its military predecessor, the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. This new version has been updated to accommodate the transport of oversized cargo and its truck-bed height loading bay makes loading and unloading the airplane quick and easy. But it does more than just transport oversized goods too. Lockheed Martin designed the Hercules with aerial fire fighting, humanitarian relief operations, and air ambulance duties in mind.
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As you could imagine, the LM-100J’s first flight (in May of 2017) was highly celebrated. It’s safe to say that this freighter is ready to revolutionize the sky.
Yet another Ukrainian designed, Soviet cargo plane that’s stood the test of time. The Antonov An-124 was introduced to the gigantic plane market way in 1986 and, for 30 years, it was the world’s heaviest production cargo airplane.
So, what makes this behemoth so desirable? The An-124 can land on rough terrain, “kneel” to make loading easier and it even has an onboard overhead crane that can lift up to 30 tonnes of cargo! What’s more, the Antonov An-124 can carry up to 150 tonnes of cargo and up to 88 passengers in its upper-deck.
Its resume includes the 2011 transport of a Putzmeister concrete pump (from Germany to Japan) to help cool the reactors damaged in the Fukushima nuclear accident.
Airbus a300 – 600f
You don’t need to come up with a fancy name when your airplane is capable of handling all major regional shipping routes at a fraction of the cost of your competitors. A max payload of 54.6 tonnes doesn’t hurt Airbus’s cause either.
Roughly 300 Airbus a300-600f series cargo planes have been sold to date. These babies are all business. Their unrivaled efficiency and incredible range fuel international shipper FedEx and, in turn, the modern world. They are far from flashy, but it’s safe to say that without them, all of our lives would look significantly different.