On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright revolutionized the world with the creation of the first successful airplane. Now, aircrafts have become one of the most well-known, most advanced, and most used methods of transportation. According to a 24-hour study by USA Today, there are over 76,329 flights taken per minute!
An aircraft is considered a machine that is able to fly via air support and can be used to summarize airplanes, jets and helicopters. However, aircrafts are differentiated by different criteria – such as: usage, lift type, and more. When it comes to speed, there are only a few aircrafts that can boast about being a part of the top 5 fastest in the world. To see which aircrafts are on the list, keep reading!
- Bell X-2 Starbuster
According to NASA, The Bell X-2 aircraft (also known as the Starbuster) was an X-plane research aircraft that was designed to investigate the stability and control effectiveness at high speeds and altitudes. It was mainly designed to explore the effects of aerodynamic heating. This aircraft was created using stainless steel and K-monel and contained an escape capsule for emergencies. The Starbuster program was canceled after the death of Capt. Milburn “Mel” Apt – which resulted from his loss of control over the plane.
- Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat
The Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat was made from stainless steel and was developed for use as an interceptor by the Soviet Air Forces. This aircraft was known as one of the fastest military aircrafts in the world. The MiG-25 utilized some of the largest missiles ever fitted in an aircraft, and contained powerful radar systems. It’s no surprise that the MiG-25 went down in history as one of the greatest Soviet creations.
- Lockheed YF-12
The Lockheed YF-12 was created as an experimental fighter-interceptor for the United States Air Force. This aircraft contained long range radar systems and infrared search sensors and tracking systems. The Lockheed YF-12 had speeds of over 2,000 mph and could fly at over 80,000 feet! Because of the budgetary restrictions and the shift from speed to efficiency, the program was canceled in the mid 1960s. In total, there were only 3 models ever created.
- Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
The SR-71, also known as the Blackbird, was created by a man named Lockheed Martin in the 1960s. It was operated by the United States Air Force and was used to test high speeds and high altitudes. This aircraft was created to cruise at Mach 3.2, which is around 2,200 miles/hr. Researchers used this aircraft to test aerodynamics, thermal protection materials, high speeds, sonic booms, and etc. It set many records in airspeed and altitude and has serviced the United States for over 35 years! Therefore, the SR-71 is known as one of the best long-range aircrafts ever created.
- North American X-15
The North American X-15 is currently known as the fastest aircraft in the world. According to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, it is a rocket-powered research aircraft. This aircraft bridged the gap between manned flight within and beyond the atmosphere. The X-15 gathered critical flight data that advanced the study of future hypersonic aircrafts. It was also able to fly faster and higher than any other airplane – with a peak altitude of 354,200 feet with a speed or 4,534 mph. That’s one amazing airplane!