JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
In the history of aircraft, there's big, really big, and then Hughes H-4 ("Spruce Goose") big. Then there's the ocean-going aircraft below, found on p. 529 in the 1936 volume of Popular Mechanics. The nameless aircraft would be more than 375' long and have a wingspan of 550'. By comparison, an aircraft called the "Stratolaunch" now under construction and designed by Burt Rutan, would have a wingspan of 385'. The "Spruce Goose" was 319' wide and 216' long; the 747-8 was 249'wide and 242' long; and the Airbus A 380-800 stands 262' wide and 236' long. In short, of planes having flown, this fabulous thing with the 550' wings would be twice their size.
That said, this giant aircraft was limited not by imagination but by flight of technological fancy. It was supposed to require a crew of 100, fly at only 12k feet at 300mph, and make it across the Atlantic in 11 hours. So, the size was certainly awesome by today's standards; the tech business end of it, not so much. In any event, the image is quite striking: