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Russia to build enormous supersonic cargo plane

The concept developed by Ilyushin can lift up to 200 tons on board at supersonic speed of 1200 miles per hour.

Russian aircraft manufacturer Ilyushin has unveiled designs for a new enormous military transport aircraft that could carry seven tanks (or up to 200 tons) on board at supersonic speeds of over 1,200 miles per hour to places up to 4,000 miles away. Those sorts of speeds are never achieved by bulky transporter craft - America's largest military transport plane has a top speed of 518 miles per hour, for example - so quite how Russia plans to achieve them remains to be seen.The future aircraft has a the sort of sleek design we’re more used to seeing on stealth jets, but it’s much larger. It’s currently only at the concept stage, but Russia’s Military-Industrial Commission wants a fleet of 80 of the planes ready for service by 2024.

The idea is that the aircraft could lift tanks to anywhere in the world in record time. The project is being developed by aviation company Ilyushin. The technical designs are based on the Il-106 cargo plane (80 tons) project that won a government tender in the late 1980s, but was abandoned after the collapse of the Soviet Union.