In 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first powered flight in a plane which measured some 21ft (6m). Little more than 80 years later and Soviet aircraft designers devised an aircraft – the Antonov An-225 Mriya – which measures nearly 280ft (84m) and has a wingspan of nearly 300ft. It’s longer, in fact, than the Wright Flyer’s first flight.
The evolution of transport has put bigger in the same realm as faster – one of the main tenets of design. The Soviet-era Typhoon submarine – designed to launch nuclear missiles while submerged beneath the sea – is more than 48,000 tonnes and measures is longer than one-and-a-half football pitches. The USS Nimitz class aircraft carriers are essentially a floating town, carrying nearly 6,000 people; no wonder they weigh 100,000 tonnes and measures nearly 1,100ft (33m).
BBC Future looks at some of the most sizeable designs in the world of vehicles, including the latest two additions – a new dump truck that can haul 450 tonnes, and is nearly three stories high; and the world’s largest floating vessel completed last week, Shell’s Prelude oil support facility, which weighs more than half-a-million tonnes and is longer than the Empire State building.
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