Top 10 Fastest Aircraft In The World
It was a December morning in 1903 when Orville Wright piloted the first powered airplane at Kitty Hawk in North Carolina. It was more than a century ago but it is a day that will never be forgotten. A lot has changed since the 17th day of December after the first flight that lasted 12 seconds and we haven’t looked back!
Imagine over the years we have developed our techniques so much that aircraft can reach a speed of more than Mach 2, isn’t it plain amazing? These machines do all the talking with the skies, leaving us astounded so here’s to them, the fastest aircraft of today!
Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker With a NATO reporting name as Flanker, Su-27is a twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi. This Russian aircraft entered service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1985 to counter the new American 4th gen fighters. Its features of heavy aircraft ordnance, sophisticated avionics, and high maneuverability are commendable!
It is armed with a single 30 mm cannon and has up to 10 hardpoints for missiles and other weapons. You get the entire package without compromising with its speed which can escalate to 2. 35Mach, just wow!
General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark General Dynamics developed this aircraft in the 1960s and it first entered service with the United States Air Force in 1967. Later in 1973, The Royal Australian Air Force also began operating F-111Cs. Though it suffered problems in its initial development, it is considered a pioneer for several technologies including afterburning turbofan engines and sweep swings. There is no way we are forgetting the 2. 5 Mach speed that it could reach. Sadly, it retired in the 1990s after manufacturing a total of 563 units for both the armies.
McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle It was introduced in service 4 years after its first flight on July 27, 1972. Its ability to maneuver in aerial combat was its most loved feature. We can’t doubt it after knowing that F-15 is considered as the most successful fighter plane. The F-15 can load a variety of Sparrow, Sidewinder, 120-AMRAAM, drop bombs or external fuel tanks on its 11 hardpoints. It certainly is popular, keeping in mind the fact that it is used by USA, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Israel for their defense. Would you believe us if we told you that it can reach 2. 5 times the speed of sound? Wow, that is impressive!
Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxbat With a top speed of Mach 2. 83, Foxbat finds a place on this list, leaving no room for doubt. It is a supersonic interceptor aircraft developed for use by the Soviet Air Forces. Currently, it is employed by the Russian Air Force and the Kazakhstan Air Force and is expected to stay in service with Russia till 2030 at least. It’s enormous twin-engine allows it to fly at supersonic speeds at both high- and low altitudes. It has one 23 millimeter gun with 260 rounds, so no messing with it at any cost.
XB-70 Valkyrie Designed in the late 1950s by North AmericanAviation, XB-70 Valkyrie was the prototype version of the planned B-70 nuclear-armed,deep-penetration strategic bomber for the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command. This unique aircraft had six engines which together could accelerate the 240,000-kilogram aircraft to a velocity of Mach 3. Isn’t that amazing? Such high speed was expected to help the aircraft to get away from the explosion after dropping a bomb. With that speed, it could also escape interceptors, you see the double benefit.
Bell X-2 Starbuster This research aircraft was built to investigate flight characteristics in the Mach 2-3 range. It was developed by Bell Aircraft Corporation in 1945 to explore aerodynamic problems of supersonic flight and improve on the dimensions of the earlier research aircraft. It was built over a long period of time because it needed temperature resistant materials and other technology that awaited advances themselves. It was able to achieve the stunning speed of 3. 196 Mach in 1956 but right after it, the pilot lost control and with his fatal crash, the program was ended.
Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat This supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft was designed by the Soviet Union’s Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau and entered service in 1970. Mikhail Gurevich designed this plane right before his retirement and is one of the few combat aircraft built primarily using stainless steel! Though it can reach a speed of Mach 3. 2, it is operated at not more than Mach 2. 85 because the engines can be damaged. Being a symbol of the cold war, it remains in limited service in Russia and several other nations after its production ended in 1984.
Lockheed YF-12 This American interceptor prototype was a twin-seat version of the secret single-seat Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft. YF-12 never underwent mass production and only 3 of them were made which cost some$15-18 million each. Nevertheless, it was of great value as it paved the way for more advanced aircraft. It could reach a top speed of Mach 3. 35, totally amazing! Moreover, it even held speed and altitude world records before the rise of SR-71. The most amazing thing is that it is the world’s largest manned interceptor to date.
Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird This long-range, strategic reconnaissance aircraft was developed from the Lockheed A-12 in the 1960s. American aerospace engineer, Clarence Johnson gave a lot of the innovative design ideas for the aircraft. It was designed with a reduced radar cross-section and served with the U. S. Air Force from 1964to 1998. Would you believe us if we told you that it has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft since 1976? Now that’s an achievement! But more than that we love it for its Mach 3+ speed, which helped it to outrun the interceptors or surface-to-air missiles that were fired at it! Breathtaking.
North American X-15 It was a hypersonic rocket-powered aircraft operated by the United States Air Force. It set the world record for the highest speed ever recorded by a manned, powered aircraft in October 1967 and has yet not been challenged! Come on dude, with a speed of Mach 6. 7, you are certainly the best! Let’s come to the most shocking part, during the X-15 program, 13 flights by eight pilots met the Air Force spaceflight criterion by exceeding the altitude of 50 miles! You heard that right and the pilots were awarded NASA astronaut wings for this feat.