I’m looking for the most capable in terms of payload relative to own weight heavier than air vehicle of any type, size or era. Untested designs are of interest too.
Essentially, what is the most efficient way to fly?
I suppose that ultimate vehicle is probably made of top-end composite materials, uses high lift devices and is electric as batteries doesn’t count to the empty weight.
I have done a fair research on the topic from unmanned rc models to Stratolaunch, and so far the best discovery is https://www.nestofdragons.net/weird-airplanes/special-facet-opal/ with 1.73 ratio. This particular aircraft is a very old design and quoted numbers may be not realistic, so I wounder what is the modern record keeper?