The big stuff moves us.
And for many folks who appreciate the world's biggest airplanes -- that statement is true both figuratively and literally.
For 23 years at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, aircraft mechanic John Taylor left his sweat and elbow grease on dozens of C-5 Galaxies -- one of the largest military aircraft on Earth.
"Even though I was on the aircraft every night, I just marveled at how the thing got off the ground," Taylor said. His wife didn't quite get it. She would ask him why he worked on C-5s all week, and then chose to spend precious weekends taking pictures of the huge planes.
"It's kind of in your blood," he explained.
The gigantic C-5s make Dover an awe-inspiring destination for aviation enthusiasts -- for sure -- but even among non-enthusiasts, big planes turn heads. The Galaxy and its successor, the Super Galaxy, are among dozens of giant aircraft models that may soar high and loud above your hometown -- prompting comments like, "What is THAT?" or "That's what I call a big plane."
They have names like the Jumbo Jet, the Mriya, the Dreamlifter and the Super Guppy.
Last year, CNN's story detailing some of the world's mind-blowing aviation destinations got a response so strong that we're doing it again. This year, we found out where to stalk and photograph some of the biggest airplanes on the planet.
One of the largest military aircraft
Now retired from the military, Taylor helps run Dover's Air Mobility Command Museum, where he answers questions about the C-5.
A few interesting tidbits:
It can fly eight school buses from Delaware to Turkey nonstop without refueling.
It's six stories tall.
Counting wings, it is wider than the White House.
When it's loaded to maximum weight, it weighs more than two Statues of Liberty.
Get this: On their historic flight, the Wright brothers flew their airplane 120 feet. The cargo hold of the C-5 measures 23 feet longer.
Whenever one of these giant planes sets up for takeoff at the end of a runway, that's the cue for aviation geeks to park their cars along the fence line and whip out their phones or other camera devices. Check out the Galaxy's distinctive whine from its four General Electric TF-39 engines.
"Taking pictures outside Air Force bases can be touchy," says amateur aviation photographer Paul Carter. But it's not against the law, he says. "If you can convince the authorities that you know the rules and understand them," they'll usually let you take photos.
He says it's well worth it. "Just watching something as big as a C-5 move so slowly and gracefully as it takes off still thrills me," says Carter, who's been photographing airplanes since 1982.
If Dover is too far away, try spotting C-5s at their other stations: Travis Air Force Base, California; Lackland Air Forc Base, Texas; Martinsburg, West Virginia; Memphis, Tennessee; and Westover Air Reserve Base, near Springfield, Massachusetts.
It's all big in Everett
At its facilities north of Seattle in Everett, Washington, Boeing clearly likes things big. It boasts the world's biggest building, the world's longest passenger airplane and the plane with the largest cargo hold --- all against the backdrop of one of America's highest peaks: Mount Rainier.
If you rank the world's buildings by volume, Boeing's Everett assembly facility is No. 1, says Sandy Ward, who helps run the Future of Flight Museum Aviation Center and Boeing Tour.
The sprawling 98-acre factory serves as a giant birthing room for some of Boeing's most iconic children -- the family of sevens.
"You've got 747s, 767s, Triple 7s, and 787s all under one roof -- along with around 42,000 workers," says Ward. Measuring 250 feet, one of these sevens holds the title of world's longest passenger aircraft: -- Boeing's 747-8 Intercontinental.