airfoilsguy
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What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:02 am

What is the largest or heaviest object to be airborne? I don't mean aircraft itself but some thing carried or hoisted by an aircraft.
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:04 am

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Lemurs
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:07 am

I would guess the Space Shuttle when it's piggy-backing on the 747.
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LHStarAlliance
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:10 am

Or the Hindenburg Zepelin ...
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SCAT15F
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:11 am

Quoting LHStarAlliance (Reply 3):
Or the Hindenburg Zepelin ...

Most definitely.
 
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:15 am

Largest Wingspan: Spruce Goose (Hughes H-4 Hercules)
Heaviest: An225 Myria
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Lemurs
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:17 am

How is it that people manage to not read the entire post when it consists of two sentences and one line? He said clearly in the 2nd (obviously superfluous!) sentence:

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Thread starter):
I don't mean aircraft itself but some thing carried or hoisted by an aircraft.
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NoWorries
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:17 am

In the case of the space shuttle riding piggy-back, does it generate any lift of its own to offset its weight?

What's the maximum load for an AN-225? Has it ever carried a single object at/near it's load limit?
 
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:30 am

I think it would most definitely be the Saturn V rocket. Not the flying we are thinking about when we hear airborne. But I would say most definitely bigger than the An225. For sure by weight also bigger than the Hindenburg. Now by volume..... I don't know!

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RichardPrice
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:43 am

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 2):
I would guess the Space Shuttle when it's piggy-backing on the 747.

The Shuttle weighs about 75 tons, the An-124 routinely carries heavier loads, and indeed holds the world record for heaviest item lifted - a 120 ton (109 tonne) locamotive.

Quoting NoWorries (Reply 7):

What's the maximum load for an AN-225? Has it ever carried a single object at/near it's load limit?

The An-225 can carry about 275 tons maximum internally, but the An-124 holds the record as noted above.

The largest objects carried would be some of the external loads Soviet aircraft carried for its space program - single piece propellant tanks etc
 
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What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:47 am

I'd say both the LZ-129 Hindenburg and her sister ship, the LZ-130 Graf Zeppelin II. Both were 804 feet long and 135 feet in diameter. The Graf II was under construction when the Hindenburg was destroyed. She flew thirty missions from September 1938 until August 1939 and was scrapped in April 1940.
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Lemurs
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:00 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 9):
The Shuttle weighs about 75 tons, the An-124 routinely carries heavier loads, and indeed holds the world record for heaviest item lifted - a 120 ton (109 tonne) locamotive.

Yes, but it is much larger than anything the AN's can fit inside of them. He said "largest or heaviest" so I went after the largest. The heaviest was almost certainly going to be a piece of massiving mining equipment on a 124 or 225. (Edit: Sheepisly not reading the entire post. Go me. *sigh*) Also, even at 75tons the shuttle probably doesn't weight that much at speed, since it's generating it's own lift to a certain degree.

Quoting FlyinTLow (Reply 8):
I think it would most definitely be the Saturn V rocket. Not the flying we are thinking about when we hear airborne. But I would say most definitely bigger than the An225.

That's a good one. The upper stages at least have to count. You can't really count the first stage while it is firing because the first stage is the "aircraft" at that point. Still, even given that the first stage was ~75% of the whole weight of the thing, that still means it was pushing ~850 tons straight up in the air as dead weight payload. Impressive.

[Edited 2007-03-13 18:03:10]
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nosedive
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:04 am

Was the USSR's Space Shuttle, Buran, a bit bigger than ours?
 
eatmybologna
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:05 am

What about the Saturn multi-stage rocket where the 1st stage is lifting the enormous mass of the latter stages (fuel,) Apollo spacecraft, and crew?
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gr8slvrflt
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:11 am

The Saturn V is 363 feet tall and 33 feet in diameter and 6.7 million pounds! Definitely the heaviest but nowhere near the largest: Hindenburg and Graf Zeppelin II.
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AlexPorter
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:27 am

There is also the big tan fuel tank that goes up with the space shuttle. But other spacegoing objects may be larger.
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:33 am

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 11):
since it's generating it's own lift to a certain degree.

Not really. It's only a somewhat okay glider when there is a steap angle of attack. At the "nose down" orientation it takes sitting on the top of a 747, it wouldn't produce much lift at all. And it would be dangerous to have an uncontrolled wing surface like that generating lift. At takeoff it will contribute a little, but not during flight or landing.
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:36 am

Quoting Gr8SlvrFlt (Reply 10):
I'd say both the LZ-129 Hindenburg and her sister ship, the LZ-130 Graf Zeppelin II. Both were 804 feet long and 135 feet in diameter

That is huge. I once worked on a 614 foot ship that was 64 feet wide. That was big, but there are ships that are much larger. Around the great lakes many ships are around 800 feet. I couldn't imagine seeing something that big in the air. How cool it must have been to see a Zeppelin in real life.
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:36 am

I would say, it is the German Minister for the Environment, when he speaks about global warming.  Wow!

But talking about other flying objects. I'd say the combination of the An225 and the Soviet space shuttle took the price.
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:43 am

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 11):
Yes, but it is much larger than anything the AN's can fit inside of them. He said "largest or heaviest" so I went after the largest. The heaviest was almost certainly going to be a piece of massiving mining equipment on a 124 or 225.

According to this site, the Buran could weigh between 82-87 tons on landing, so I presume that it weighed about 80 tons empty (is that about right, after you offload everything not needed for the ferry flight?). The An-225 was designed to carry it piggy-back much like the NASA 747 does (or do. How many of them are there?).

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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:47 am

Quoting Gr8SlvrFlt (Reply 10):
I'd say both the LZ-129 Hindenburg and her sister ship, the LZ-130 Graf Zeppelin II. Both were 804 feet long and 135 feet in diameter.

To give some perspective, the Spanish aircraft carrier Principe de Asturias is only 643 feet long and 80 feet wide.
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:48 am

The AN225 delivered a IE 201 Class locomotive into SNN from Canada, circa late 90s for Irish Rail. They weigh 112 tonnes. It can be seen on the AN225 documentary on discovery / nat geo. Its was the record back then, not sure if it has been beaten.

[Edited 2007-03-13 18:51:54]
 
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:48 am

If you count Earth Orbit, I guess you could say the ISS.

[Edited 2007-03-13 18:49:03]
 
Lemurs
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:57 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 16):
Not really. It's only a somewhat okay glider when there is a steap angle of attack. At the "nose down" orientation it takes sitting on the top of a 747, it wouldn't produce much lift at all. And it would be dangerous to have an uncontrolled wing surface like that generating lift. At takeoff it will contribute a little, but not during flight or landing.

Ahh good point, I forgot about the orientation they put it in for ferrying. So it's just a big old bag'o'drag then, isn't it?

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 19):
The An-225 was designed to carry it piggy-back much like the NASA 747 does (or do. How many of them are there?).

The Buran is about a meter shorter in length, a meter shorter in height, and has a few extra centimeters of wingspan, so they're virtually identical in terms of shape/volume...as you might expect based on looks. I'd call them essentially identical loads.
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philb
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:33 am

The AN-225 currently holds all the records for lifting weight to altitude see: http://records.fai.org/general_aviation/current.asp?id1=21&id2=4

There is a claim that a 747-400F, the base type used by the US in development of laser weapons technology, holds the record for the greatest mass carried into the air - though the date listed is definitely incorrect if it implies the YAL-1 variant is the aircraft concerned and it pre-dates the first 747-400F which was not rolled out until March 1993, not to mention I can find no other claim for this record in official listings or other publications! www.military.com/soldiertech/0,14632,Soldiertech_ABL,,00.html - 52k -

As to the biggest (as opposed to heaviest) object lifted, the Shuttle plus fuel tank must be first, followed by some of the single piece items lifted inside tha AN-225 such as drilling equipment but closely followed by some of the fuselage sections that the Airbus operated Guppies, Belugas; the Boeing chartered AN-124s and the B747LCF lift.

Biggest and heaviest would once again be drilling equipment pieces closely followed by the railway engine #201 for Irish Rail lifted from Canada to Ireland by AN-124 and grossing 112 tonnes, with a length of 20.9 metres a height of 4.02 metres and a width of 2.75 metres
 
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:54 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 9):
the An-124 routinely carries heavier loads, and indeed holds the world record for heaviest item lifted - a 120 ton (109 tonne) locamotive.



Quoting EI321 (Reply 21):
The AN225 delivered a IE 201 Class locomotive into SNN from Canada, circa late 90s for Irish Rail. They weigh 112 tonnes. It can be seen on the AN225 documentary on discovery / nat geo. Its was the record back then, not sure if it has been beaten.

According to Antonov, the record is "Siemens generator of 135.2 t weight from Dusseldorf (Germany) to Delhi (India) (this operation has been recorded in the Guinness Book of Records)". It was established by an Antonov Airlines An-124.

However, the allowed payload for commercial flights on the An-124 is only 120 tonnes, so how was this possible ?

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 9):
The An-225 can carry about 275 tons maximum internally

Is that American tons ? Anyway, it can carry 250 metric tonnes, and single-piece cargoes of up to 200 metric tonnes.

However, on a record flight (on 9/11/2001 !), it lifted 5 Ukrainian battle tanks, weighing 252.5 tonnes
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:15 am

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 23):
The Buran is about a meter shorter in length, a meter shorter in height, and has a few extra centimeters of wingspan, so they're virtually identical in terms of shape/volume...as you might expect based on looks. I'd call them essentially identical loads.

In volume maybe more, since the Buran had no main engines like the Shuttle. Interesting though that despite its slightly smaller size and lack of bulky main engines and their fuel tanks, it appears to have a higher empty weight.

Another piggy-back aircraft of similar usage was the Myasishchev VM-T Atlant, a modified Myasishchev 3MN bomber, which could also carry the Buran and parts of its Energia booster.

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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:16 am

Quoting EI321 (Reply 21):
The AN225 delivered a IE 201 Class locomotive into SNN from Canada, circa late 90s for Irish Rail. They weigh 112 tonnes.

In what possible way could it have been so urgent that they had to ship this by air?

The cost must have been ... scary

AFAIK, pretty much every locomotive ever shipped overseas (except it seems, this one) go by ship.

- litz
 
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:21 am

Quoting Litz (Reply 27):
In what possible way could it have been so urgent that they had to ship this by air?

The loco was the first of a class of new loco which was ordered both by the Republic and Northern Ireland, mainly for the Belfast - Dublin service.

Apart from highlighting the significance at the time when the "peace process" was at a delicate stage, it was also used as a demonstration of the usefulness of the AN-124 for getting outsize loads even into airports with shorter runways such as Dublin and the airline and manufacturer were part of the promotion and, presumably carried part of the cost.
 
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:43 am

Quoting Philb (Reply 28):
The loco was the first of a class of new loco which was ordered both by the Republic and Northern Ireland, mainly for the Belfast - Dublin service.

Any photos of the loco inside or near the AN 225?
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philb
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:01 am

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 29):
Any photos of the loco inside or near the AN 225?

No, because EI321 has it wrong, it was an AN124, the AN-225 was not airworthy at the time.

Quoting Philb (Reply 24):
Biggest and heaviest would once again be drilling equipment pieces closely followed by the railway engine #201 for Irish Rail lifted from Canada to Ireland by AN-124 and grossing 112 tonnes, with a length of 20.9 metres a height of 4.02 metres and a width of 2.75 metres

There were photos at the time but I can't point you to any on the web - sorry.
 
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:16 am

 
RedChili
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:36 am

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 11):
The upper stages at least have to count. You can't really count the first stage while it is firing because the first stage is the "aircraft" at that point. Still, even given that the first stage was ~75% of the whole weight of the thing, that still means it was pushing ~850 tons straight up in the air as dead weight payload. Impressive.

If you're going to count this way, then I believe that the Russian N1 lunar booster would take the first prize. The first stage lifts 5,130,000 kg as opposed to the 7,648,000 lbs of the Saturn V first stage. Stage 2-5 of the N1 probably weighed more than stage 2-3 of the Saturn V.
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SCAT15F
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:56 am

Quoting NoWorries (Reply 7):
What's the maximum load for an AN-225? Has it ever carried a single object at/near it's load limit?

Absolute all time payload record set by the Antonov An-225 on Sept 11 (yes) 2001:

4 main battle tanks for a total payload of 558,404 lbs over a distance of around 4000km.
 
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:51 am

Quoting Threepoint (Reply 1):
Oprah Winfrey circa 1996, spotted flying ORD-LAX.

 checkmark 
Unable.
 
TheRonald
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:52 am

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 6):
How is it that people manage to not read the entire post when it consists of two sentences and one line? He said clearly in the 2nd (obviously superfluous!) sentence:

BRAVO SIR, BRAVO  thumbsup 

You obviously have a keen eye for detail...so many remind me of 'shoot first, ask later'  banghead ...sad  tombstone 
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:29 pm

William Shatner on the Enterprise !  Smile
 
boeingfever777
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:35 pm

I would say maybe the ISS "International Space Station.

ISS Statistics
Crew: 3 As of March 07, 2007
Perigee: 319.6 km (172.6 NM)
Apogee: 346.9 km (187.3 NM)
Orbital period: 91.20 minutes
Inclination: 51.63 degrees
Orbits per day: 15.79
Days in orbit: 3,029
Days occupied: 2,316
Total orbits: 47,466
Distance traveled: 2,000,000,000 km (1,100,000,000 NM)
Average speed: 27,743.8 km/h (17,239.2 mi/h)
Mass: 213,800 kg ( 471,444 lbs) December 19, 2006
Width: 73 m (240 ft) across solar arrays March 07, 2007
Length: 44.5 m (146 ft) along core
Height: 27.5 m (90 ft)
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OldAeroGuy
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:58 pm

Well, the USS Saratoga (CV-3) was blown aloft by an underwater A-Bomb test.

Her dimensions were:

880 ft length
36,000 tons standard displacement
53,000 tons war time displacement

Not exactly what you were looking for, but definitely the largest object to be "airborne".

[Edited 2007-03-14 08:07:01]
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scramjetter
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:32 pm

According to the official record keepers at the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, FAI:
http://records.fai.org/general_aviation/current.asp?id1=21&id2=4



Greatest payload carried to a height of 2 000 m : 253 820 kg

Date of flight: 11/09/2001
Pilot: Olexander HALUNENKO (Ukraine)
Crew: Anatolii MOISSEIEV
Course/place: Kyiv - Odesa (Ukraine) and return

Aircraft:
Antonov AN-225 "Mriya" (6 "Motor-Sich" JSC D-18T, 23 400 kg each)
Registered '01-01'
 
philb
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:39 pm

Quoting BoeingFever777 (Reply 37):
would say maybe the ISS "International Space Station.

ISS Statistics
Crew: 3 As of March 07, 2007
Perigee: 319.6 km (172.6 NM)
Apogee: 346.9 km (187.3 NM)
Orbital period: 91.20 minutes
Inclination: 51.63 degrees
Orbits per day: 15.79
Days in orbit: 3,029
Days occupied: 2,316
Total orbits: 47,466
Distance traveled: 2,000,000,000 km (1,100,000,000 NM)
Average speed: 27,743.8 km/h (17,239.2 mi/h)
Mass: 213,800 kg ( 471,444 lbs) December 19, 2006
Width: 73 m (240 ft) across solar arrays March 07, 2007
Length: 44.5 m (146 ft) along core
Height: 27.5 m (90 ft)

On a point of fact the ISS is definitely not airborne as it is outside the earth's atmosphere. As it was transported to its position in bits and assembled it would not have qualified whilst whilst within the atmosphere.
 
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:27 pm

Quoting Philb (Reply 30):
Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 29):
Any photos of the loco inside or near the AN 225?

No, because EI321 has it wrong, it was an AN124, the AN-225 was not airworthy at the time.

Your right. I presumed it was the AN225, as there was a video of it on an AN225 documentary.
 
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:27 pm

AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA..gotta love the OPRAH comment...that was brilliant.....amazing how so many people misread the post...simply amazing.
 
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:32 pm

the space shuttle is a "lifting body" craft. the wings provide very little lift -- just a tiny bit of control surface. the entire body is what provides lift.

let's put it this way -- the space shuttle would provide more lift right side up than it would right side down. it is, in essence, a flying wing. (a terrible flying wing, but a flying wing nonetheless.) so i have to assume that it is contributing something to the lifting characteristics of the 747. however, the turbulence created by the fuselage of the 747 might make the contribution negligent.

on another topic: as for saying that the first stage of a saturn rocket is "lifting" the rest of the inanimate object into flight, or saying that the booster rockets on the space shuttle are "lifting" the inanimate shuttle into flight, i think that is slicing the argument too thin.

because couldn't you say then that it is the engines on a 747 that are lifting the inanimate wing and fuselage into flight? sure, you could say that. but that would not fit the threadstarter's question.

he wants to know what object, unconnected to a flying apparatus, is the heaviest or largest ever put into flight.

my guess is that the answer to this question is something that has been fit into the belly of an antonov, or perhaps something that has been lifted by a russian helicopter.

[Edited 2007-03-14 14:36:20]

[Edited 2007-03-14 14:49:49]
 
md80fanatic
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:09 pm

Hindenburg was definitely the largest "known" craft (perhaps NASA has a black project or two that could be bigger).

Also......piggybacked shuttles (both Buran and the US equivalent) do produce lift from the wings, just as much as they would if the shuttle was flying independent of the carrier aircraft at that airspeed. Even at a nosedown attitude, a wing will produce lift......otherwise planes would be dropping out of the sky once there noses dropped below the horizon. Angle Of Attack is relative to the oncoming air.....not the ground.
 
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:34 pm

Quoting Tockeyhockey (Reply 43):
the space shuttle is a "lifting body" craft. the wings provide very little lift -- just a tiny bit of control surface. the entire body is what provides lift.

I don't doubt some lift is generated by the fus. at an angle of attack - as in all aircraft, but to my eye the shuttle really doesn't have the shape for major 'lifting body' work. In profile it's top & bottom are largely parallel except where they taper at the cockpit/nose area. I'm pretty sure the Shuttle generates most of it's lift from the wings.
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:42 pm

Quoting Tockeyhockey (Reply 43):
the space shuttle ... is, in essence, a flying wing.

Under what definition of 'flying wing' are you laboring?
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RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:54 pm

Quoting RedChili (Reply 32):
If you're going to count this way, then I believe that the Russian N1 lunar booster would take the first prize. The first stage lifts 5,130,000 kg as opposed to the 7,648,000 lbs of the Saturn V first stage. Stage 2-5 of the N1 probably weighed more than stage 2-3 of the Saturn V.

First, you leave out the point that all 4 N1 Rockets failed during launch.

Second, The first stage lifts 5,130,000 kg as opposed to the 7,648,000 lbs of the Saturn V first stage. That is the liftoff thrust not the weights.

Using the most often quoted weights. The weight of the N1 was 2,735,000kg (6,029,643lb) and the Saturn 5 was 3,038,500kg (6,698,746lb)
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:02 pm

Now, for all those talking about rockets, this thread is really the wrong place. Airborne means "borne or supported by the air". Most bodies that travel through the air as "aircraft" generate some form of temporarily sustainable lift without power, even if, like the Shuttle, it is only lift in a computable, ever sharpening glide angle before returning to earth..

Rockets, on the other hand, do not generate sustainable lift. Once/if the motor stops within the atmosphere, the rocket and its payload fall to earth in an uncontrollable way, as opposed to gilding to earth.
 
coa747
Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 3:11 pm

RE: What Is The Largest Object To Be Airborn?

Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:04 pm

The Space Shuttle flies like a rock. Descent rate of over 10,000 feet a minute at a 30 degree angle. Interestingly enough they didn't find this out right away when flight testing it. The first few separations from the 747 by Enterprise were done with the tail cone on and the glide characteristics were much better, when they took the cone off the pilots got a very big shock.

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