Top 10 world’s Fastest Aircrafts
The Top Ten fastest planes in the World
Before we start – here is a nice video showing you the 10 fastest planes in the world:
There are very many aircraft that has exceeded the speed of mach 2.0. Some of them are research aircraft, some are military and some are simply flying for reconnaissance purposes. But there is always something special with supersonic aircraft. Just imagine flying at an altitude of 5 kilometers, hearing a “go” from the radio and pushing that throttle backwards while feeling the 100+kN engine accelerating you to speeds higher than any other lifeform has ever been seen doing. But you are not the fast one, you are just the passenger. The aircraft that you are flying in, the machine that gives you powers to rise above the clouds in mere minutes is the true masterpiece. The masterpiece of military engineering. In this article we will look into ten of the fastest military aircraft ever flown and see what they have in the trunk.
Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker. Its top speed of 2.35 mach brings it to the very edge of USSR craftmanship with a twin engine and the first fly-by-wire control system on a Russian jet ever. It was built for air superiority to counter the new American 3.5 gen fighters such as the F-15 Eagle. It is armed with a 30 mm gun and 10 external pylons that can hold both Air-to-Air, heat-seeking, short and medium range missiles. Due to all its accomplishments and popularity it has very many different variants. Some of which are top-modern even today, 35 years after the first flight of the Flanker (1977).
9) F-15C Noble Eagle
F-15 Eagle is currently one of the most commonly used aircraft in the world. Designed in 1967 by McDonnell Douglas, countries including US, UK, France, Israel, and Japan etc. are currently using F 16 Eagle in the army. F-15 Eagle is capable of flying at a high altitude of 10,000 meters with a maximum speed of 1,650 mph. F-15 Eagle has a robust control system that makes it even more powerful and helps it achieve the desired speed limit. It is a part of the US Air Force and is expected to keep its place till 2025.
MiG-31 Foxhound is one of the fastest airplanes in the world. Carrying a twine-engine, this supersonic airplane was designed to chase down foreign planes flying at high speeds. It was first introduced in the Soviet Air Defense Force in 1982 and was used in Afghanistan war. It can achieve a maximum speed of1,860 mph. MiG-31 is still deployed by the Russian Air Force for its defense
XB-70 Valkyrie. The XB-70 Valkyrie was a unique aircraft with six engines which together could accelerate the 240,000 kilogram aircraft to a velocity of mach 3. This speed resulted in the frame of the aircraft being heated up to as much as 330°C on some areas. The extreme speed was needed for two reasons: 1: To accelerate away from Soviet interceptors and 2: To be able to escape the blast of the nuclear bombs that it was capable of dropping. The big size (weight) was needed to carry the fuel needed for the 6,900 kilometer flight into the Soviet Union and escape without refueling and to house the 14 nuclear bombs that it was capable of carrying. The aircraft had its first flight in 1964 and is now retired, only two were built.
Bell X-2 Starbuster. The Starbuster was an American research aircraft which had its first flight in 1955 and was retired in 1956. It was a continuation of the X-2 program and so Its area of investigation was to see how aircrafts behaved when flying at speeds higher than mach 2.0. It did, as can be understood, not carry any weapons and featured a back-swept wing which made it have little air-resistance and was by that able to achieve the stunning speed of 3.196 mach in 1956. However soon after this speed was attained the pilot, Milburn G. Apt, made a sharp turn and the aircraft tumbled out of control. He could not regain control of the aircraft and bailed out. Unfortunately, only the small parachute of the escape shuttle was opened and he hit the ground with too high speed. This fatal crash ended the Starbuster program.
Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat. This jet was a Soviet machine built to intercept American aircraft during the cold war like the SR-71 and high- slow flying surveillance aircraft. Since it was built to intercept the SR-71 it was required to have an extreme speed, hence its mach 3.2 top capability. The Foxbat, unlike the Blackbird, featured 4 air-to-air missiles which made it an interceptor rather than a reconnaissance aircraft. It has never shot down a Blackbird but it has had many other combat missions which have been successful, for instance in the Iran-Iraq war. Over 1100 Foxbats were built between 1964 and 1984, however today the use is limited, with its only users being Russia, Syria, Algeria and Turkmenistan.
Lockheed YF-12. This jet was an American interceptor prototype with a top speed of mach 3.35. It looked almost like the SR-71 Blackbird and featured three Air-to-Air missiles. The reason for it looking a lot like the SR-71 was because the SR-71 was based on the YF-12, and also because both of them had the same designer, the extremely famous Clarence “Kelly” Johnson. Only 3 YF-12’s were built but the program still made it into the history books with its “highest speed”, “highest altitude” (both of these were later surpassed by the Blackbird) and “biggest interceptor” records.
3) SR-71B (double cockpit)
Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird After its introduction in 1966 it has been used by both the USAF and NASA. 32 Blackbirds were built, all used for reconnaissance and experimental research. It
featured stealth technology but if it was, against all odds, spotted by enemy forces, it could outrun the interceptors or surface-to-air missiles that was fired at it, due to its fantastic speed. The Blackbird was so fast that the air in front of it did not have time to escape, hence building up a huge pressure, and raised temperature. The temperature of the aircraft, which could reach several hundred degrees high, expanded the metal, hence it had to be built by too small pieces. Because of this, the SR-71 actually leaked oil when standing still. The Blackbird holds the record for manned, air breathing aircraft, see here.
North American X-15 This aircraft has the current world record for the fastest manned aircraft. Its maximum speed was mach 6.70 (about 7,200 km/h) which it attained on the 3rd of October 1967 thanks to its pilot William J. “Pete” Knight. To be stable at these super high velocities, it had to feature a big wedge tail, however the downside of this was at lower speeds the drag was extremely big from such a tail. Therefore a B-52 Stratofortress had to carry it up to an altitude of about 14,000 meters before dropping it at which it ignited its own engines. Just imagine sitting in a rocket measuring only 15 m in length and then being dropped, must have been a truly magnificent feeling! The X-15 was used at such extreme speeds so that it did not use traditional ways to steer (using drag over a fin) but instead it used rocket thrusters! This made it possible to reach altitudes higher than 100 kilometers, which was one of its world records. These are the three records that brought the X-15 rocket jet into the history books:
It was the first operational space plane.
It got to a height of more than 100 km.
It flew more than six times the speed of sound (mach 6.70).
Falcon HTV-2 is currently the fastest airplane in the world 2015. It is the first plane to ever reach a speed of more than 10,000 mph. First launched in April 2010, Falcon HTV-2 was powered by Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 which helped it achieve a speed of 13,000 mph. Falcon HTV-2 was initially developed to respond to any potential terrorist threats in a matter of seconds. The only disadvantage this plane has is that it is unmanned and there is still nothing known about the manned Falcon HTV-2 or will there be any in the upcoming years. But whatever the case is, Falcon HTV-2 is at the top of the list of top 10 fastest airplanes 2015.