Centuries ago people could only dream about flying. However, in December 1903 Orville Wright changed the world forever, when he presented his revolutionary invention – the first aircraft. That time it was something incredible and unbelievable, but nowadays flying and airplanes are already significant and ordinary part of our lives
An aircraft today is the most advanced, fastest and the most convenient means of transportation. The statistics says that there are approximately 76,329 flight taken per minute, and this number is constantly increasing. In this article we decided to show you the ten fastest aircrafts that exist nowadays.
The Bell X-2
It is an experimental airplane that was developed in 1945 jointly by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the USAF and the Bell Aircraft Corporation. However, its first flight was conducted 10 years later – on the 18th September 1955. The primary mission of this aircraft was exploring flight characteristics and aerodynamics of planes that travel above Mach 2. Its maximum speed is 3,370 km/h.
Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat
This aircraft was developed by the Soviet Air Forces from stainless steel, and was appreciated for its excellent radar detection system in combination with incredible high speed. It was considered as one of the fastest military planes in the world, therefore it is not surprising that it received the title of one of the greatest Soviet creations ever. Its average speed is approximately 3,000 km/h
This aircraft with the top speed of 2,056 Mph was created by the North American Aviation in 50s of the last century as a successor to a previous B-52 Bomber. It was developed in order to be able to fly Mach 3 (which is three times the speed of sound). This has made it one of the fastest aircrafts in the world, so that nothing could defend against this futuristic plane. The first designed XB-70 Valkyrie continued to fly until the year of 1969.
This aircraft was created as an experimental plane specially for the United States Air Force. The unique features of this aircraft are its infrared search sensors, tracking systems and long range radar systems. The speed of this machine is over 2,000 mph, and it is able to fly at the height of approximately 80,000 feet. However, only three models of Lockheed YF-12 were created, since the programme was cancelled in 1960s due to certain budget restrictions.
North American X-15
Nowadays this aircraft is believed to be the fastest aircraft in the world. It was designed as a rocket-powered plane with the speed of 4,500 Mph, which is Mach 6. It has not only broken the record for the fastest speed of aircraft that had been achieved previously, but also was able to push the boundaries of altitude flying as well. This unique machine also gathered essential flight data that contributed to the study of future aircrafts.
Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
This aircraft that is often called just “Blackbird” was created in 1960s by Lockheed Martin. It was used mainly by the United States Air Force for testing high altitudes and speeds. Scientists used this flying machine for testing of thermal protection materials, aerodynamics, sonic booms, high speeds, and etc. It had been serving in the United States Air Force for more than 35 years, during which it set many significant records. Therefore, it is known not only as one of the fastest (with the speed over 2,200 Mph), but also as one of the best long-range aircrafts.
Boeing X-51 Waverider
It was created as an experimental aircraft to be able to reach the speed in excess of Mach 5. This plane was designed by the United States Air Force in conjunction with DARPA, Pratt and Witney, NASA and Boeing and is considered to be one of the newest fast aircrafts, since it first flew in 2010. It is still being tested, but in 2013 it was able to fly at the speeds in excess of Mach 5 for only 210 seconds, which still remains the longest Hypersonic flight.
McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
This tactical fighter, the nickname of which is “Sea Eagle” was presented by McDonnell Douglas in 1971. It is all-weather, two-engine plane that was selected by the United States Airforce in 1967 with the purpose of meeting the needs for a dedicated air superiority fighter. Its first flight occurred in 1971, while the service started several years later – in 1976. Among all existing modern aircrafts, F-15 Eagle is one of the most successful, since it had more than 100 victories and absolutely no losses in aerial combat. It is expected that the aircraft will remain in service until 2025.
This Russian aircraft, that is called by NATO “the Flanker”, with the speed of 2.35 Mach was introduced in 1985, and its main role is long range air defense. In addition the plane was also used as an escort to other aircrafts serving as bombers. This aircraft is characterized as a powerful machine that in hands of a professional pilot is able to carry out a broad variety of manoeuvres. There are also several variants of SU-27 with the own advantages and designations.
General Dynamics F-111
General Dynamics F-111 is definitely a unique aircraft due to its many roles: It was used not only as a fighter bomber, but also as an interdictor and strategic bomber in various situations. Thank to its ability to reach supersonic speed, this aircraft is included into the list of the fasters flying machines in the modern time. In was designed in 1960 and is considered to be a pioneer for some technologies, including sweep wings and afterburning turbofan engines. The maximum speed of this aircraft is 2.5 Mach.