… what the biggest, largest, smallest and shortest things around are? VDMAimpulse has compiled a selection of machines and things.

Longest and shortest

Gotthard Base Tunnel © SBB CFF FFS
Longest tunnel: Gotthard Base Tunnel (Switzerland): 57,104 m.

One of the shortest tunnels: Tunnel in plasma membrane e.g. of the sodium-potassium exchange pump.

Biggest and smallest

Antonov © Fotolia | Günter Menzl
Biggest airship: Zeppelin Hindenburg / Zeppelin Graf Zeppelin: 245 m long, 200,000 m3 volume.

Biggest airplane: Antonov An-225: 85.3 m long, 88.4 m wing-span, maximum take-off weight 600 t.

Biggest airliner: Airbus A380-800: 72.3 m long, 79.8 m wing-span, maximum take-off weight ca. 590 t.

Largest and smallest

Harmony of the Seas © Royal Caribbean International
Largest cruise ship: The Harmony of the Seas is an Oasis-class cruise ship built by STX France at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France for Royal Caribbean International. With a gross tonnage of 226,963 GT, she is the largest passenger ship in the world. The Harmony of the Seas was floated out on June 19, 2015, began her first sea trials on March 10, 2016, and was delivered to Royal Caribbean on May 12, 2016.

Largest supertanker: The Seawise Giant, later named Happy Giant, Jahre Viking, Knock Nevis, Oppama, and finally Mont, was a ULCC supertanker that was the longest ship ever built. It possessed the greatest deadweight tonnage ever recorded. Fully loaded, its displacement was 657,019 tons, the heaviest ship of any kind, and with a laden draft of 24.6 meter, it was incapable of navigating the English Channel, the Suez Canal or the Panama Canal. Overall, it was generally considered the largest ship ever built. The Seawise Giant was the longest ship ever constructed, at 458.45 meters, longer than the height of many of the world's tallest buildings: although slightly smaller than Taipei 101's 509 meters, it was larger than the Petronas Twin Towers' 451.9 meters.
Siemens gas turbine SGT-800H © Siemens
Largest turbine: Siemens gas turbine SGT-800H. A turbine consists of more than 7,000 individual parts and has a performance of up to 1,200 highly powered sports cars: an output of 310 MW. At 280 tons, the 60-hertz gas turbine weighs slightly more than a fully fueled and loaded Airbus A340-300 with 300 passengers. It is 11 meters long and has a diameter of about five meters. The current largest possible model weighs 444 tons, just as much as a fully fueled Airbus A380, and supplies enough energy to power a city with 2.2 million inhabitants. Temperatures go up to 1,500 degrees Celsius inside the combustion chamber. The distance between turbine blades and casing is as thin as a postcard. Parts of the turbine blades exceed the speed of sound with more than 1,700 km/h. The letter "H" represents the highest current level of efficiency in gas-turbine technology.

Largest diesel engine: "Wartsila-Sulzer RTA96-C". This engine is a 108,879 hp-strong two-stroke diesel engine. It is 1 meter high, 30 meters long (the dimensions of a single-family home) and has a displacement of 25,480 liters. Every cylinder has a capacity for 1,820 liters and the maximum torque is nearly 7.6 million newton meters at 102 rotations per minute.

Smallest diesel engine: TKDI 600. The smallest diesel engine (TKDI 600, known as Hurricane) has a displacement of 0.6 liters. The two-cylinder four-stroke engine with v-alignment has 46 hp and weighs 24.9 kilograms including all fluids. The engine block is 43.5 cm long, 40 cm wide and 36 cm high.

Smallest machine: Molecular machine. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016 was awarded to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, Bernard L. Feringa for the design and synthesis of molecular machines. A molecular machine refers to a number of molecular components producing quasi-mechanical movements (output) in response to specific stimuli (input). These nanomachines may function like an elevator, a motor as well as a switch.

Highest and deepest

Crawler crane LR 1300 © Liebherr
Highest crane: The crawler crane LR 1300 is said to be the highest crane. In addition, Liebherr calls it the most powerful crane in the world. It is mainly used in power plant construction. The ability to hoist extreme component weights is a particular requirement for the latest generation of power plants. In refineries, too, there is a need to hoist industrial columns weighing 1,500 tons and measuring 100 m in length.
Crane facts:
  • Maximum load capacity: 3000 t
  • Maximum hoist height 245 m
  • Maximum radius 196 m
Deepest drill hole: The Kola Superdeep Borehole is said to be the deepest borehole (12,262 m deep) in the world in terms of true depth. It was generated as part of a scientific drilling project of the Soviet Union in the Pechengsky District, on the Kola Peninsula. The attempt was to drill as deep as possible into the Earth's crust. Drilling began on May 24, 1970. Boreholes were drilled by branching from a central hole. The deepest, SG-3, reached its 12,262 meters in 1989. It is said to still be the deepest artificial point on Earth. The borehole is 23 cm in diameter. (pu)

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