Main menu

Pages

How fast the fastest plane in the world ?

How fast the fastest plane 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. 

For examples : 

Mikoyan Gurevich 25PU 

Number 4: 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. For more information about this astonishing bird see the link at the bottom of the article. The MiG-25 was also the fastest plane ever offered for fun flights by MiGFlug – it was mainly used for Edge of Space flights. 

YF-12A, the first YF-12 

Number 3: 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. 

SR-71B (double cockpit) 

Number 2: 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. A nice documentary about the SR-71 for those who love this plane as much as we do: 

The winner of our top 10 – the X-15! 

Number 1: 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)
reactions

Comments