Currently set to Index
Currently set to Follow
Cargo Aircraft Services - Charter Flight Group

What is a Cargo Aircraft?


October 31, 2022

Jordan Brown

There are many different aircraft that serve different functions. Read below for a cargo aircraft guide and how they compare to a passenger plane. 

What is a Cargo Aircraft?

Cargo aircraft is a winged transportation propelled through the air by engines that carry goods or products. This can also be known as freight aircraft, freighter, or cargo jet. The goods are carried in a huge storage space called the cargo hold. It can be a civilian or military aircraft.

There are three types of Cargo Aircraft, the Derivatives of non-cargo aircraft, dedicated civilian cargo aircraft, and Joint civil-military cargo aircraft.

In civilian cargo aircraft, it carries only cargo or mail. The aircraft is a kind of airliner. Some civilian cargo aircraft are specially set up for carrying oversized cargo like aircraft wings, tank-trucks, rocket pieces, or in sometimes military heavy trucks and tanks. This includes Airbus A300-600ST, Antonov An-225, and Boeing 747LCF with the Antonov An-225 being the largest cargo aircraft. The large Antonov An-225 has the largest wingspan of any operational aircraft and is one of the heaviest aircraft to be ever made. 

In military cases, the cargo aircraft can carry both cargo and passengers. In this case, it is for troops and paratroopers. These aircraft typically have a sloping loading door, located at the rear of the fuselage. Some are with turbojets, others with engines. It is used to airlift troops, weapons, and other military equipment by a variety of methods to any area of military operations around the surface of the Earth. This includes Airbus A400M, Antonov An-26, Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, Casa C-295, Douglas C-47 Skytrain, Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, Short 330UTT, Transall C.160.

Most cargo aircraft travel and deliver the goods to their destination from around the world. It’s like air charter services, rendering services and providing the people in terms of air services to make more life easier to deal with.

As early as 1911, aircraft were put to use carrying cargo in the form of air mail. The earliest aircraft were not designed primarily as cargo carriers. In the mid-1920s, aircraft manufacturers designed and built dedicated cargo aircraft. The need for the aircraft was recognized as a freighter aircraft to transport troops and materials quickly to calm tribal revolts in the newly occupied territories of the Middle East. Cargo aircraft, during the early years, provided air charter services to help the people. Cargo aircraft was developed and enhanced nowadays to cater to the needs of our society. With the use of high technology, cargo aircraft are now quicker, bigger, and more competitive to fit the generation.

Cargo vs. Passenger Planes

A cargo aircraft has a special design. It has features that make them different from conventional passenger aircraft. It has a wide/tall fuselage cross-section, a high-wing to allow the cargo area to sit near the ground, a large number of wheels to allow it to land at unprepared locations, and a high-mounted tail to allow cargo to be driven directly into and off the aircraft. Some cargo aircraft are big enough to carry a helicopter. Cargo aircraft represent a proportion of the total air freight market. The majority is carried in ULD containers in the cargo holds of a normal passenger.

The CFG Jet Card Membership Program

  • Access Preferred Network of 5,700 private jets worldwide
  • Ultimate freedom of choice of FAA Part 135 approved aircraft
  • No commitment; no membership fees; cancel any time
  • Extend membership to anyone in your company or travel party
  • Prestigious executive jet concierge service available 24/7/365
  • Personalized luxury from gourmet catering to VIP ground transport
  • Get free jet upgrades based on availability

What's The Difference Between a Cargo and a Passenger Pilot?

While the differences between a cargo and a passenger plane are a lot, there are more similarities than differences between a cargo and a passenger pilot. Pilots of cargo and passenger aircraft need to go through similar extensive training for their licenses which will grant them equal FAA ratings and experience. 

In addition to the training, the number of pilots in the aircraft also remains the same. When the flight is fewer than eight hours, two pilots are required to fly in the cargo aircraft. If the flight is longer than that, three or four pilots may be needed. There is no need for flight attendants like in a passenger plane, but the number of pilots in the cockpit is very similar. 

One difference between the two pilots might be pay. Cargo pilots are often paid higher and have more competitive salaries. Also, there is more job security in times of economic turmoil. People might not fly as much when there is a weak economy, but goods will often always need to be flown from one place to another. 

Cargo aircraft are useful and important to society. It helps deliver supplies for emergency purposes; it relates to time-sensitive, valuable or perishable freight carried over long distances for it can travel and avoid traffics and it contributes to world trade.

Are you interested in flying private? Call Charter Flight Group today and we will fly you on a passenger aircraft that fits your needs. 

    We offer flights across the United States and more. Fill in your information to talk to a rep today.

    Spring Private Jet Travel
    Best Private Jet Charter Destinations for Spring
    Passport for Private Jet Travel
    Do You Need a Passport for Private Jet Travel?
    pros and cons of private jet charter
    Pros and Cons of Private Jet Charter
    Private jet charter for Valentine's Day
    Charter Privately for Valentine’s Day
    2023 Private Jet Travel
    Best 2023 Destinations for Private Jet Travel
    Lockheed Martin History
    All About Lockheed Martin