With the discovery of the jet engine and the pressurised cabin, limiting factors such as altitude and speed became irrelevant. This led to the development of the fastest planes in the world.
Hawker Hunter was the first prototype of the world’s fastest jet plane. It was a British jet fighter of the 1950s and 1960s that broke the world speed record, reaching 727.63 mph in 1953.
Much of the aeronautical technology was initially developed in the field of military research into missile systems, fuselage, materials, etc. with the aim of developing better fighter planes that would have a superior advantage over enemy forces, becoming true masterpieces of military engineering. Many of these achievements have later found application in the field of civil aviation.
In the photo: An SR-71 Blackbird, was one of the aircraft capable of exceeding Mach 3 speed.
Below is a list of some of the fastest planes in the world until 2020:
The American X-15 was a hypersonic rocket-powered aircraft that was part of the X series of experimental aircraft used by the USAF, NASA and USN.
The X-15 achieved several speed and altitude records in the early 1960s, reaching the limit with outer space (Karmic Line).
It is currently the fastest aircraft in the world ever built (approximately 7,200 km / h). With its development, important information used in the design of airplanes and spacecrafts was obtained.
The American X-15 reached the following world records:
It was the first operational spacecraft.
It reached an altitude of more than 100 km.
It flew at more than six times the speed of sound (Mach 6.70) or what is the same, at 8,277.98 kilometers/hour.
2. Lockheed SR 71 Blackbird
Unofficially known as the Blackbird, the Lockheed SR-71 was a long-range strategic reconnaissance aircraft that remained the world’s fastest and highest flying reconnaissance aircraft during its career.
This aircraft was able to exceed Mach 3 speed. The SR-71 maintains the flight record between New York and London in 1 hour, 54 minutes and 56 seconds, achieved on September 1, 1974. In comparison, the Concorde took 3 hours and 20 minutes and a Boeing 747, an average of 6 hours.
On 28 July 1976, an SR-71 broke the absolute maximum speed record of 3529.56 km/h and the American absolute altitude record of 25,929 m.
3. Lockheed YF-12
This prototype interceptor aircraft was developed by the American company Lockheed for the United States Air Force.
The Lockheed YF-12 was a derivative of the CIA’s secret Lockheed A-12 aircraft, from which the earlier famous SR-71 Blackbird strategic reconnaissance aircraft was also derived.
Its first flight was in 1963 and it is the largest, heaviest and fastest interceptor aircraft in the world to date. It is an aircraft that has also maintained speed records, at an altitude of over 2000 miles per hour (3,200 kph) and over 80,000 feet (24,000 m) (later surpassed by the SR 71 Blackbird).
4. Mikoyan MiG-25
The Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 is a high-speed reconnaissance and interceptor aircraft designed and produced by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau (OKB). It became one of the fastest fighter planes in the USSR and one of the fastest planes in the world.
The MiG-25 first flew in 1964 and entered service in 1970. Its maximum continuous speed is Mach 2.83 (3200 km/h), although it can reach Mach 3.2 (3600 km/h), but at the risk of damaging the engines.
Today, it is still in service and remains the fastest manned aircraft produced in series and the fastest aircraft ever offered for supersonic and space edge flight to civilian customers.
5. Bell X-2
Finally, the Bell X-2, better known as Starbuster, was an American experimental aircraft built to investigate the characteristics of flight at speeds of Mach 2 to Mach 3.
It was part of the X-2 program, so its area of research focused on analyzing the behavior of aircraft at high altitudes when traveling at Mach 2.0 or higher.
The two aircraft built made a total of 20 flights between June 27, 1952 and September 27, 1956, of which 7 were unengined -launched from a mother aircraft- and 13 were powered.
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