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Aviation Blog

What Are The World’s Longest Commerical Aircraft? – Simple Flying

When standing next to the engineering marvels that are modern-day aircraft, their size becomes much more impressive than when one sees them pass by way overhead in the sky. If you have come up close and personal with a 747 or an A380 from the outside, it is an experience you will not soon forget. It is, of course, hard to beat the jumbo and superjumbo jets when it comes to height. But what about the longest commercial aircraft?
When awarding the particular title of the world’s longest commercial aircraft, what we intend by ‘commercial’ is important. If we mean an aircraft currently in regular use with airlines and that you could book a ticket and travel on today, well, then there is one winner. If we allow the term to include a plane that has been developed by an OEM and has taken flight but not yet entered service, that is another matter.
If we start with the aircraft currently in operational service, then the longest plane carrying passengers on regularly scheduled routes is the Boeing 747-8. The planemaker’s latest and final version of the iconic Queen of the Skies is 250 feet and 2 inches (76.25 m) long.
The 747-8 is an increasingly rare breed with passenger airlines. There are only 24 of the type currently listed as active. According to data from ch-aviation, 17 of these belong to Lufthansa, four to Air China, and three to Korean Air.
When Boeing introduced the 747-8 in 2010, it snagged the crown from rival planemaker Airbus and the A340-600. The Airbus quadjet had held the title for six years since 2007 when its 247 feet (75.30 meters) took it away from the 239 feet and 6 inches (73 meters) of the Airbus A380.
Prior to the superjumbo’s entry into service with Singapore Airlines, the 747 held an unbroken suit all the way from the -100, with no substantial changes to the length of the fuselage. The 747-400 measures 231 feet 10 inches (70.66 meters).
So what if we were to skip a few years into the future? Even though it is difficult to predict when Boeing’s new flagship will enter service, when the time comes for airlines such as Lufthansa, Emirates, and Cathay Pacific to welcome customers on board the 777-9, it will be the longest commercial passenger aircraft in operation.
The 777-9 took its first flight in January 2020. Meanwhile, the third aircraft entered the flight testing program in August this year. It is – just barely – longer than the 747-8, and measures 251 feet and 9 inches (76.73 meters).
Boeing has proposed a stretched variant, the 777-10X. A lengthened 777X fuselage would reach a staggering 263 feet (80 meters). The manufacturer has declared it is technically feasible should there be enough interest from airlines.
Have you flown on the world’s longest aircraft? Leave a comment below and share your experience with the rest of the community and us.
Lead Sustainability Journalist – With a Masters in International Relations, Linnea has combined her love for current affairs with her passion for travel to become a key member of the Simple Flying team. With eight years’ experience in publishing and citations in publications such as CNN, Linnea brings a deep understanding of politics and future aviation tech to her stories. Based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.


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