Speed always fascinates us! Speed brings us a thrill and gives us adrenaline. The discovery of airplanes by Wright brothers opens up a new way of transport i.e. Airplanes. Airplanes can be stated as the fastest mode of transportation in today’s’ world. However, human curiosity wants to discover which ones are the fastest planes in the world today!
Humans have evolved the aircraft from the early passenger aircraft to the Unarmed Aerial Vehicles in the short period. So, in the future, we will notice even more aircraft that can even exceed the speed of 3 Mach!
Hawker Hunter is the first aircraft that broke the records of speed by flying at the top speed of 727.62 mph in 1953.
Now let us dig deep into the interesting topic of Fastest Planes in The World 2020.
Number nine on the list is the American fighter F-111. It was a supersonic bomber, tactical role aircraft which attain the top speed of Mach 2.5 or 2,655 km/hr. However, this aircraft has retired from his duties 22 years ago i.e. on 1998.
Apart from tactical attack, this aircraft also served as a tactical bomber, aerial recognition, and electronic warfare aircraft.
F-111 has some of the most technological advancements in aircraft manufacturing which include the variable sweeping wings, turbofan afterburn engines, and low level automated high-speed radar for field tracking.
After F-111, the design of variable sweeping wings become more popular in the next-gen aircraft as well. Variable geometry wings are needed because the aircraft were becoming heavier due to an increased payload.
Wider Wings of F-111 provided heavier liftoff capacity but as a consequence of lower speed and altitude.
8. Mcdonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
F-15 is one of the fastest planes in the world built till now. It is the most successful jet ever created until now and currently, it is in the service of American Air force.
This is a twin-engine aircraft with a thrust to weight ratio of 1:1 which can propel the plane of 18,000 kg at the speed of 3000 km/hr.
This aircraft was developed in 1976 to counter the Russian dominance in Air space. F-15 will give its service to the U.S. airforce till 2025. This aircraft was in production till 2019. However, in 2020 it’s production is discontinued.
The F-15s Strike Eagle is a modified version of original F15 which was built to establish the dominance of Air-Ground responsibility. Until now nearly 1200 F-15s were built by the USA and were exported to Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.
The F-15 has 11 hardpoints that can carry Sparrow, AMRAAM-120, crash missiles, and Sidewinder missiles.
This aircraft also has good experience in combat history. Its 20mm M61A1 Vulcan Gun is also the plus point in its victories.
7. Mikoyan MiG-31
MiG- 31 is one of the fastest planes in the world with the top speed of 3000 Km/hr. Mikoyan designed this aircraft as a replacement for MiG-25. This aircraft shares some design elements from the older models like MiG-25 and MiG-29.
Even at the higher altitudes, MiG-31 can reach up to the speed of 2.83 Mach or 2171 and at low altitudes, it can travel at a speed of 932 mph thanks to its D-30 F6 Jet engines.
MiG-31 was one of the first aircraft with a phased array radar system that is capable of firing air to air long-range missiles.
Although this aircraft seems old, it can reach the fighter targets at a maximum distance of 200 km and can track up to 10 objectives at the same time. It is also capable of destroying the 4 objectives simultaneously with the R-33 rockets.
The production of this aircraft was started in 1975 and it is still used by Russian Airforce and Kazakhistan Air force. It is believed that MiG-31 will give its services until 2030.
6. North American XB-70 Valkyrie
The North American XB-70 Valkyrie is a nuclear-armed strategic bomber which has the ability of deep penetration. It was a unique aircraft that has six engines! which could accelerate the aircraft up to the speed of Mach 3.
This plane was made to lower the dominance of the Soviet Army in Air Space. However, after flying at the blazingly fast speeds the parts of the aircraft tend to heat at 330 C.
High Speed was needed to escape the soviet radars and also to escape the blast of nuclear bombs that it was capable of dropping.
Only Two of the XB-70 Valkyrie were built. The aircraft has its first flight in 1964 and now it is retired.
5. Bell-X2 Starbuster
The Starbuster Bell- X2 was an American Research aircraft which had its first flight in 1955 and was retired in 1956.
It was an experimental plane that was designed to test how fast planes behave at higher altitudes with the speed of above Mach 2.
It has no weapons on missile systems attached to it. Bell X2 was designed to have the least possible resistance with the help of a backswept wing.
It attained the highest speed of Mach 3.196 in 1956. However, after attainment of this speed the Pilot, Milburn G. Apt, made a sharp turn which lets him lose his control over the aircraft. He bailed out the aircraft but only the small parachute was able to open which ended his tragic death! The Starbuster program was ended with this deadly crash!
It is one of the fastest planes in the world till now and in this list, it secures the fifth position.
4.Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat
MiG-25 was constructed by the Soviets which is one of the fastest planes in the world made by Russia till now. It was made to combat the American fighter plains during the cold war.
Soviets want to escape American Radars which requires fast speed aircraft so they made MiG-25 which can attain the fastest speed of 3,494 Km/hr or Mach 3.2.
The Foxbat contains 4 air to air missiles which made this plane an interceptor rather than a surveillance plane. The MiG-25 is proven its effectiveness in the vital missions of Iraq and Iran.
Over 1100 Foxbats were made by the Russians and today they are limitedly used by the armies of Russia, Syria, Algeria, and Turkmenistan. This place was mainly used for the edge of space flights.
3. Lockheed YF-12
The Lockheed YF-12 was an American interceptor aircraft made by Lockheed Martin and was assessed in US Airforce in the 1960s. The fastest speed achieved by this plane was 3,218 km/hr and therefore it is the third fastest plane in the world.
If You look at the design, YF-12’s design is similar to the Blackbird SR 71 because its design was made by the same person, Clarence “Kelly” Johnson. Moreover, This aircraft featured three Air to Air missiles. However, only 3 YF-12s were built.
This airplane is the heaviest, biggest, and fastest interceptor plane to date.
2. Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
SR-71 Blackbird was introduced in 1966 and it is the fastest fighter jet in the world! It is used by NASA and United States Air Force. Together, NASA and USAF build 32 fighter jets for reconnaissance and experimental research. It achieved the top speed of 3,529 Km/hr
It was equipped with Stealth technology. Even if it was spotted by enemy radars, Due to its blazingly high speed, it could dodge enemy interceptors and Radars easily. It could also outrun the air to air missiles fired at him.
Due to the high speed, the air resistance increases the temperature at some parts of the plane which resulted in metal expansion. It was observed frequently that due to this expansion the leakage of oil was a common problem. In its recent advancement, the successor of this aircraft can reach the speed up to 4,321 Km/hr.
You can watch this short documentary below to know more about this Speedy Aircraft.
1. North American X-15
United States Air Force and NASA launched a joint mission of experimental X-plane aircraft series and came up with a North American X-15 Hypersonic rocket-powered plane.
This Jet holds a world record of carrying a human with the highest speed of 7,200 Kph which was achieved by William J. “Pete” Knight on the 3rd of October 1967.
Designers were very cautious about the past deformities, so they made a big wedge tail with small width wings to stabilize the aircraft at higher altitudes. Due to the big tail, this aircraft was unable to fly at lower altitudes.
So, B-52 Stratofortress carried this aircraft to an altitude of 14,000 meters after which X-15 aircraft ignited its engines before the drop launch.
X-15 holds a bunch of world records. Some of them are:
1. Flying Over 100 km above the surface
2. First Operational space plane
3. It flew over six-time the speed of sound which is Mach 6.7
North American X-15 is the fastest plane ever built with the fastest speed of 4520 mph.
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