Fastest Planes in the World

People have been trying to get from place to place quickly since the dawn of man.  Some of today’s aircraft can do it at truly remarkable speeds.  The following are some of the fastest planes in the world. The speed of aircraft is typically measured in relation to the speed of sound, which is about 768 miles per hour, or one mile every five seconds!  The unit of measurement is known as “Mach” and mach one is the speed of sound, mach two is twice the speed of sound and so on.

X-43A
This is the fastest jet in the world traveling at up to 9.8Mach. Powered by a hydrogen powered ramjet engine this plane is significantly faster than any other non-space shuttle plane today. With appearances more like a rocket than a plane this is one impressive plane to see in flight.

X-15
This aircraft can travel at 6.72 Mach.  It is powered by a liquid fuel rocket engine.  It burns pure oxygen and can go up to 354,330 feet above the ground.  This plane also has a rocket-like look to it and is only used by the US-Airforce and NASA.

SR-71 BlackBird
This military plane was developed in the 1960’s and can travel at 3.5 Mach.  It was used by the United States Air-force for 40 years before it retired in 1998.

Mig-25 Foxbat
This Russian fighter jet can fly at over 80,000 feet and travel at Mach 3.2.  It is powered by Tumansky R-15B-300 engines with full after-burning turbojets.

Bell X-2 Starbuster
This tragic plane was flown once in 1955 when it was the first aircraft to cross Mach 3, which it did..  Unfortunately during the flight there was a crash which took the life of pilot Lt. Col Frank K Everest.

XB-70 Valkyrie
A max speed of 3.1 Mach this aircraft is powered by 6 turbo-jet engines.  It is made in the USA.

F-15 Eagle
The F-15 Eagle is able to travel at 2.5 Mach and is powered by two Pratt & Amp Whitney F100 Axial-flow turbo fan engines.  It can produce up to 29,000 lbf of thrust.

MIG 31 Foxhound
Produced by Russia as an improved version of the MiG-25 it can travel at 2.83 Mach.

General Dynamics F-111 Ardvark
Developed in the 1960’s by the US, this jet is still in use by the Royal Australian Air-Force today.  It can travel at up to 2.5 Mach.

While many don’t consider it a regular airplane, no list of the fastest aircraft would be complete without listing the Space Shuttle.  This impressive plane travels to outer space and can reach over 20 Mach.  It uses 2 reusable solid rocket boosters to thrust itself out of the gravitational pull of the Earth.  This aircraft has also helped take man further away from the Earth than any other plan in existence.

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One Response to “Fastest Planes in the World”

  1. Alan Franzman #

    Please revise this article to past tense for all aircraft which no longer fly: X-15, XB-70, SR-71, etc.

    July 8, 2013 at 11:17 pm