The Beriev Be-2500 Neptune is a super-heavy transport seaplane proposed by the Beriev Aircraft Company of Russia. Its maximum take-off weight should reach 2,500 tons! It would be the largest aircraft ever proposed. It might weigh four times more than the largest aircraft in the world, the Antonov An-225.
This gigantic project would range from $10 to $15 billion. The Be-2500 would be a « flying ship » able to compete with the maritime shipping and air transport industries. Its size is not clearly quoted due to a discrepancy in the figures available. However, it would nearly double the Airbus A380 size!
It is deemed to be an ekranoplane (also known as a « wing-in-ground-effect – WIG », « flarecraft », « wing-in-surface-effect ship – WISE », « sea skimmer », « ground effect vehicle – GEV » thanks to its cushion of high-pressure air provided by the aerodynamic interaction between the wings and the surface, which is known as ground effect.
Last but not least, it could fly far over the surface (airborne) like any heavy cargo. Watch what it could look below: