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Interesting facts about cargo charter aircraft you might not know

Air Partner - 19 Mar 2018

With over 56 years of experience within the aircraft charter industry and thanks to an unsurpassed real-time aircraft availability database, an unbeatable global network of offices, and an unrivalled team of experts, Air Partner is perfectly placed to source any kind of aircraft for all kind of cargo, anywhere in the world.

Are you interested in finding out more about cargo aircraft we can source on the market?

If you are not sure which cargo aircraft will meet your requirements, we have highlighted some facts and information to help you. Find out more about which aircraft has the best payload capacities in its category, special loading construction benefits, good ranges, reasons for aircraft fabrication, largest wingspan and other interesting facts about cargo aircraft.



Antonov 26 (flexible & all-purpose)

Antonov AN-26

Facts: ex-military aircraft built between 1969 and 1986, payload: 5500kg, hold size: 1110x220x160cm, range: short to medium haul.

Best for: heavy cargo, bulk loading, remote destinations with short runways; perfect for ad-hoc flights.

Highlights: Ramp-loading aircraft with cabin, large enough to load a car.

Did you know: The An26 is also built under license in China by the Xian aircraft factory as the “Xian Y-7”.

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L-100 Hercules (versatile & robust)

L-100 Hercules

Facts: Military designed aircraft with max. payload of 20 tons, hold size: 1706x312x279cm; range: medium haul, largest fleet of commercially available Hercules are operated by a US airline.

Best for: heavy & outsized freight; short runways

Highlights: The only western built aircraft with rear loading ramp capability on the charter market, military variants of the aircraft as C-130 Hercules are still in active use.

Did you know: the Hercules is the largest and heaviest aircraft to land ever on an aircraft carrier.

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Airbus 300-600F (medium sized & large volume)

Airbus A300-600F

Facts: offers capacity of 46 tons which makes it perfect for higher volume freight; up to 21 aircraft pallets depending on the configuration used.

Best for: medium range flights especially from/to middle-east region require high loader for loading so involved airports have to have the suitable equipment.

Highlights: has a full lower deck available for extra capacity and higher powered engines than the original A300F.

Did you know: FedEx is the largest operator of this aircraft type with 68 airframes.

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Metro 3 (flexible & high availability)

Metro 3

Facts: built by Swearingen in USA, max. payload of 2 tons, hold size: 918 x 115 x 105cm, Euro pallets are the perfect match for this aircraft.

Best for: time critical short-haul flights.

Highlights: this aircraft has one of the best payload capacities in its category.

Did you know: the history of the Metro aircraft goes back to the 1960s and was produced until 2001, used on almost every continent.

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Learjet 60XR (fast & worldwide operation)

LearJet 60

Facts: business jet, max. speed 859 km/h, usual configuration is for 7 passengers with each one big luggage or equal to max.1,84 CBM.

Best for: super-urgent small spare parts.

Highlights: Due its good range, it can fly direct to the USA from Europe.

Did you know: The aircraft once participated in a race against Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, with the Learjet flying only a few hundred feet overhead. Hamilton won the race.

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IL76 (ramp loading aircraft & robust)


Facts: multi-purpose four-engine aircraft, first flight was in 1971, cargo hold: 2000x340x340cm, offers 48t payload.

Best for: heavy & outsized cargo to remote destinations.

Highlights: has an internal winch system that can pull the cargo inside with a max. weight of 10t. per piece.

Did you know: military versions were even used as an aerial refuelling tanker, not all types are allowed to fly to the EU due to noise restrictions.

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AN225 (heaviest aircraft ever built)


Facts: heaviest aircraft ever built is powered by six turbofan engines, only 1 aircraft of this in the world, largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service, cargo hold: 4300x640x440cm.

Best for: oversized payloads.

Highlights: only used for special missions with extraordinary cargo.

Did you know: initially developed for the task of transporting the Buran spaceplane and it was an enlargement of the successful Antonov An-124. It holds the world record for an airlifted total payload of 253,820kg and single item payload of 189,980kg.

Do you need a seamless cargo charter solution? We can find you an aircraft of any capacity, for all requirements, any hour of the day or night, 365 days a year, with expert advice and support.

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