The world’s most impressive machinery

The Spruce Goose has the largest wingspan of any plane ever built // The Blue Marlin and other amazing machinery(Image © Rex Features)
The Spruce Goose has the largest wingspan of any plane ever built
Some machines are big, some huge and some out of this world. Welcome to the land of the giants.
As men we're impressed by big stuff - whether that means the universe, the meaning of life or the Pacific Ocean.
We're also impressed by machines - the ingenious devices that make our lives easier or make the seemingly impossible possible.
So it's a fair bet that many of us are particularly impressed with big machines. And the ones you'll find on the following pages aren't just big, they're mind-bogglingly humungous.
Welcome to MSN Him's trawl through some of the world's most impressive - and massive - machinery.
The ship carrier
This ship carrier (pictured above) does exactly what it says on the tin. It's like an aircraft carrier, except that it carries ships.
The Blue Marlin has a deck the size of two football pitches and can carry 75,000 tonnes of iron and steel. Next year it will actually be used to carry a huge aircraft carrier from Spain to Australia.
The supertanker
The Seawise Giant supertanker, taken out of service in 2009, is considered the largest manmade self-propelled object ever built. She was so big, in fact, that busy sea-lanes like the Channel and Suez Canal were closed to her. At just shy of 460 metres she was also the longest ship in history. In good weather, and assuming she had the room, she could make a 360-degree turn in about two miles.
The Spruce Goose
The Hughes (of Howard fame) Aircraft Company built this enormous flying (just) machine in 1947, as a prototype heavy transport boat plane. It has the largest wingspan of any plane ever built, stretching further than the length of a football field. It made just one flight.
The rocket carrier
Before the Bagger 288 mining machine came along, the Space Shuttle Conveyor was the largest land machine in the world. It did what its name suggests, taking Space Shuttles - and before that several other classes of rocket - from their assembly building to the launch complex.
The conveyor has a mass of 2,721 tonnes, and with a Shuttle on board completes the 3.5-mile journey to the launch area in around five hours.
The mining machine
The Bagger 288 is a mobile strip-mining machine built by German company Krupp and completed in 1977. At over 300 feet tall and 700 feet long the 288 is the biggest land-based machine in the world, and weighs more than the Titanic. At full capacity it can excavate 240,000 tonnes of coal a day.
The super dozer
The Komatsu D575A bulldozer is so big they call it a super dozer. It features a 24-foot wide blade that can move 90 cubic yards of material with every pass. Don't try and hire one though. The D575A is so big it has to be broken down into its component parts and transported between jobs in between six and eight trucks.
The helicopter
The Mil Mi-26 is a helicopter - but not just any helicopter. The Russian-built aircraft was initially designed to lug armoured personnel carriers and ballistic missiles around, and dwarfs the more famous Chinook, which it can carry. In its civilian guise the Mi-26 can carry up to 100 passengers.
The power shovel
They called it The Captain. When the Marion 6360 power shovel was completed in 1965, it was the heaviest land vehicle ever built. It weighed 15,000 tonnes and was over 200 feet tall, and took 18 months to construct. Its giant bucket could hold 300 tons of material.
The particle accelerator
The Large Hadron Collider, the machine that boffins built under the Franco-Swiss border to help discover the secrets of the universe, is probably the biggest machine of all. It is 27km long, and was created by the collaborative efforts of 10,000 scientists and engineers from 100 countries.
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