Two Iconic Transport Planes from Germany and Russia
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Two Iconic Transport Planes from Germany and Russia

Transport planes in particular the larger ones fascinate people of all ages. Seeing the ‘big birds’ flying in the sky or at an airport where a large transport plane will dwarf over other planes is a rousing sight. Not many know that the largest transport plane built during the Second World War was the Messerschmitt 325. Another plane which also fascinates is the Russian An 225

Transport planes in particular the larger ones fascinate people of all ages. Seeing the ‘big birds’ flying in the sky or at an airport where a large transport plane will dwarf over other planes is a rousing sight. Not many know that the largest transport plane built during the Second World War was the Messerschmitt  325. A greater surprise is that it was a German plane and over 200 were built for the Luftwaffe.

Considering the Germans neglected heavy transports and bomber’s the development of the M-323 is quite astonishing. In fact the plane developed on its own and gave excellent service in the African theatre of the war. The Germans felt after the conquest of Crete the need for a heavier glider to ferry large number of troops and weapons. This was the genesis of the Messerschmitt 323 which was derived from a large glider the M-321. The plane was six engine  and had a front loading door for cargo and troops. The M-325 could carry 130 troops or heavy trucks and tanks as well as it had a payload of 130,000 ibs. All the planes were shot down  during the war for despite 6 engines the plane was very slow when fully loaded.

Another iconic  transport plane also with 6 engines is the Antonov  An-225. This plane is on record as the heaviest transport plane in the world at a kerb weight of 640,000 Ibs making it heavier than the Airbus or comparative US planes. The plane which appeared on the scene during the dying gasps of the Soviet union  was show cased at the  Paris air show and the Farnborough  air show.

However despite its impressive parameters only one of these planes was built though 2 were ordered. The plane is presently flying as a freighter from Moscow to the Russian Far East.  One wonders why such a gigantic wonder did not set the sales charts on fire. The fact is the plane was to be part of the Buran space vehicle and once the Buran was scrapped, the use of the mammoth plane found no users. Also in the uncertainty of the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union buyers were vary of buying a plane for which spare parts may become difficult to procure at a later stage.

There are some other transport  planes also from the USA, but non match the iconic status of these two planes. It’s a pity that the M-325 is not available intact and one can glean about it only from Nazi pictures  and documentaries.

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Comments (1)

Great to know these palnes, thank you.

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