The 12 Fastest Aircrafts

With all the different kinds of technology at our fingertips these days, the world is becoming increasingly smaller.

This also applies to travel. What used to take days, weeks or months, can now occur in hours. Whether it’s for business, pleasure, or war, there are air-crafts out there that used to defy logic, but now, are common.

Here are twelve of the fastest air-crafts that have been manufactured.

12. Sikorsky X2 (USA)

The fastest helicopter belongs to the Sikorsky X2. The copter clocked in at 258 mph on July 31, 2010, which broke the previous record set by the British Army’s Westland Lynx in the mid-1980s.

11. Cessna Citation X (USA)

The fastest commercial aircraft is the Cessna Citation X, with a top speed of 700 miles an hour. This Mach 0.92 speedster is a private business jet, but still, that means some of us have a chance to ride on it. Previously, the Concorde held this honor, but was retired in 2003.

10. F-4 Phantom II (USA)

The F-4 is a two-seat, twin-engined supersonic aircraft. It was developed by Mcdonnell Aircraft in 1958 and set the absolute world speed record of 2,585 km/h during Operation Skyburner on December 5, 1961. Currently, there are around 630 F-4 Phantom 2s still in use around the world.

9. F-111 (USA)

Launched in 1964, the F-111 was used primarily as a strategic bomber, reconnaissance and electronic warfare plane. It could reach a speed of up to 2,655 km/h and was retired in 1998. Today, Australia is the only remaining country that uses the F-111.

8. Ye-152A “Flipper” (USSR)

In 1959, the twin-engined Ye-152A was built on the MiG-21. Rumor has it that the prototype went on to set the speed record of 2,681 km/h.

7. MiG-31 (USSR)

This was based one of the fastest fighter jets in the world, the MiG-25 Foxbat in 1975. It’s still used by the Russian Air Force. And, you can fly in this supersonic jet fighter if you travel to Russia.

6. XB-70 (USA)

In 1964, a prototype for what would become the B-70 bomber was built. This became the XB-70 Valkyrie, which could reach a speed three times the speed of sound. Only one of the two built remain.

5. YF-12A (USA)

Originally, Lockheed built this as a prototype for the A-12. However, it became it’s own plane in 1963 with speeds up to 3,332 km/h. Only three were built.

4. The Bell X-2 “Starbuster” (USA)

Built in 1955, the Bell X-2 Starbuster was built to research the effects of speeds above Mach 2 on the speeding vessel. Two units were built and both were destroyed during tests. The X-2 faced the problem of “inertia coupling”, the very problem faced earlier with the X-1A, another research aircraft.

3. SR-71 Blackbird (USA)

The Blackbird has been around since 1964. Since then, it set a speed record of 3,520 km/h on July 28, 1976 and is the fastest jet aircraft in the world.

2. X-15 (USA)

The X-15 is the fastest manned aircraft, and, first flew in 1959. It set a 4,520 mph world record and was was launched from under the wing of a B-521.

1. X-43 (USA)

This unmanned aircraft first took off in 2001. On November 16, 2004 the X-43 reached a record Mach 9.6 (7,000 miles or 11,265 kilometers per hour) according to NASA. The speed achieved by this jet aircraft is only second to the space shuttle’s.


Leave a Comment

  1. Ian says:

    12. The X2 is not the fastest helicopter flown. That record still sits with the Bell 533. The Lynx still holds the official FAI record.

    11. The Citation X is not the fastest commercial aircraft. The Gulfstream G650 took that honor a couple of years back.