This is a list of top 10 aerospace mega projects, i.e., extremely large-scale investment aerospace projects. All these projects cost more than US$1 billion and attract a lot of public attention because of substantial impacts on communities, environment, and budgets. The number of such projects is so large that the list may never be fully completed.
10. Rockwell B-1 Lancer
Rockwell B-1 Lancer is a four-engine supersonic variable-sweep wing, jet-powered strategic bomber used by the United States Air Force (USAF). It was first envisioned in the 1960s as a supersonic bomber with Mach 2 speed, and sufficient range and payload to replace the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. It was developed into the B-1B, primarily a low-level penetrator with long-range and Mach 1.25 speed capability at high altitude. The B-1B entered service in 1986 with the USAF Strategic Air Command (SAC) as a nuclear bomber.
9. Saab JAS 39 Gripen
The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a lightweight single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab since 1978. Estimated project cost is 19 billion USD.
8. Eurofighter Typhoon
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole fighter. The aircraft designed and built by a consortium of three separate partner companies — Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems, and EADS—working through a holding company, Eurofighter GmbH, that was formed in 1986.
7. Tupolev Tu-144
Tupolev Tu-144, the first supersonic transport aircraft, made by the Russian aircraft company Tupolev. The prototype first flew on 31 December 1968 near Moscow, two months before the first flight of Concorde and entered service on 26 December 1970. The Tu-144 was one of the last commercial aircraft with a braking parachute.
Concorde, a supersonic passenger airliner, a product of an Anglo-French government treaty that combined the manufacturing efforts of Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation, first flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for twenty-seven years.
5. Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
F-22 Raptor, a single seat, twin-engine fifth-generation fighter aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin that uses stealth technology. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles.
4. Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, the longest-running bomber program in the world with decades of service, one of the largest military aircraft ever built. The B-52 was designed and built by Boeing, and has been operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) since the 1950s. The bomber is capable of carrying up to 70,000 pounds (32,000 kg) of weapons. First flown in 1952, it is currently scheduled to be in service until at least 2040 — nearly 90 years after its first flight.
3. Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is a unique and powerful stealth aircraft, designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses. it is able to deploy both conventional and nuclear weapons. It has a crew of two and can drop up to eighty 500 lb (230 kg)-class JDAM GPS-guided bombs, or sixteen 2,400 lb (1,100 kg) B83 nuclear bombs. The B-2 is the only aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons in a stealth configuration.
2. Airbus A380
The Airbus A380 generating a lot of excitement in the airline industry, with many people wondering if the world is ready for a plane this big. It’s the largest passenger jet ever built — so huge that airports have to be redesigned to accommodate it. It can pack in more passengers and cargo than any other commercial airliner, yet its designers claim it will actually increase efficiency, use less fuel and generate less noise. The A380 made its first flight on 27 April 2005 and entered commercial service in October 2007 with Singapore Airlines.
1. Antonov An-225 Mriya
Antonov An-225 “Mriya” is the world’s longest and heaviest aircraft ever made with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes. Powered by six turbofan engines, It has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service. It was designed for the transportation of the Russian Space Shuttle “Buran” by the Antonov Design Bureau (HQ in Kiev, Ukraine) in the 1980s, which already had built good and large cargo aircraft such as the Antonov An-124 “Ruslan”. The basic configuration of the An-225 is the same as the An-124, except the An-225 is longer, has no rear ramp/door assembly, and incorporates a 32-wheel landing gear system (two nose and fourteen main wheel bogies, seven per side, each with two wheels). The airlifter holds the absolute world records for an airlifted single item payload of 189,980 kilograms.