An advanced concept plane, which if built would be the largest aircraft ever to take to the skies, is being studied by Boeing.

Designed to carry huge amounts of cargo over vast distances, the Pelican’s unorthodox design would allow it to ‘skim’ about 6 metres (20ft) above the ocean, taking advantage of reduced air resistance.

With a wingspan of 500 ft and fuselage longer than a football pitch, the Pelican would dwarf all current heavy-lift aircraft, including the world’s largest aircraft, the Russian Antonov An-225.

It could carry up to 1,400 tonnes of cargo, five times the Antonov’s payload.