With the advent of technology, we are marching towards the future at a rapid pace. Supersonic aircrafts are examples of how fast modern man is progressing. If you love to know more about the fastest jets in the world, you are on the right page.
The following is a list of the top ten fastest jets in the world.
Please note that this list is ordered purely by the top speed of these fighter jets.
- North American x-15
Top speed: 7,274 km/h
Range: 450 km
Weight: 6,620 kg
Introduced: 17 September 1959
Engine type: Rocket engine
Manufacturer: North American Aviation
This is a part of the x plane series of experimental aircraft. It is a hypersonic rocket- powered aircraft. It uses a rocket engine for propulsion. These rocket planes can achieve higher speeds than any similar sized jet aircraft.
Till today it is the fastest plane in the world and its record is unbroken.
Knight William ‘Pete’ was one of 12 pilots who flew a trio of X-15 rocket research crafts to the fringes of space over a period of nearly 10 years.
Such a high speed aircraft is difficult to manage at super high altitude thus the design is made with a big wedge tail and small width wings. But the problem with design is, the drag from such a tail was enormous at the lower altitude.
The x-15 has been modified several times.
- Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
Top speed: 3,529 km/h
Range: 5400 km
Weight: 27,220 kg
Introduced: January 1966
Engine type: Pratt & Whitney J58
Manufacturers: Lockheed Martin, Skunk Works
The SR-71 is a surveillance jet plane. It could go to the upper part of the stratosphere.
It is a very fast one, capable of 2200 mph or Mach 3.3, with high-altitude performance, up to 80k+) with some early stealth characteristics.
The SR-71 was larger than X-15 and could fly for hours.
Initially it was made to fly over the USSR and take pictures. It flew so high that the Soviets could not shoot it down.
- Lockheed YF-12
Top speed: 3,661 km/h
Weight: 27220 kg
Engine type: Pratt & Whitney J58
Manufacturer: Lockheed Corporation
It is the biggest, heaviest and fastest interceptor plane in the world to date.
The Lockheed YF-12 is an American prototype interceptor aircraft made and manufactured by American aerospace company Lockheed Corporation.
An interceptor aircraft is generally a high performance fighter type jet whose primary role is to stop enemy aircraft (generally large multi-engine types) in their tracks and neutralize them before they reach their target and carry out an attack.
It has the speed and altitude world record of over 2000 miles per hour and over 80000 feet.
- Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25
Top speed:3494 km/h
Weight: 20000 kg
Engine type: Turbojet
In the USSR this aircraft was among the fastest military jets. It was introduced to join the fight to attack American fighter planes during the cold war.
It is a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft. A supersonic aircraft is an aircraft able to fly faster than the speed of sound (Mach number 1). Supersonic aircraft were developed in the second half of the twentieth century and have been used almost entirely for research and military purposes.
A reconnaissance aircraft is also called a spy plane is a military aircraft designed or adapted to perform aerial reconnaissance with roles including collection of imagery intelligence using photography signals intelligence, as well as measurement and signature intelligence. Modern technology has also enabled some aircraft and UAVs to carry out real-time surveillance in addition to general intelligence gathering.
- Bell X-2
Top speed: 3,370 km/h
Weight: 5,600 kg
Manufacturer: Bell Aircraft
Engine type: Rocket engine
“Starbuster” is the nickname of Bell X-2 aircraft. It was an X- plane and was built to investigate the effects of flying in the Mach 2-3 range.. Bell Aircraft Corporation, the United States Air Force and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) jointly worked to explore the aerodynamic problems of supersonic flight. It was a continuation of the X-2 program and so Its area of investigation was to see how aircrafts behaved when flying at speeds higher than Mach 2.0.
However soon after this speed was attained the pilot, Milburn G. Apt, made a sharp turn and the aircraft tumbled out of control. He could not regain control of the aircraft. Unfortunately, only the small parachute of the escape shuttle was opened and he hit the ground with too high speed. This fatal crash ceased the Starbuster program.
- XB-70 Valkyrie
Top speed: 3,309 km/h
Range: 6,900 km
First flight: 21 September 1964
Engine types: Turbojet, General Electric YJ93
Manufactured: North American Aviation (NAA)
XB-70 Valkyrie was designed in the late 1950s by North American Aviation (NAA). The six-engined Valkyrie was capable of cruising for thousands of miles at Mach 3+ while flying at 70,000 feet.
This was the prototype version of the planned B-70 nuclear-armed, deep-penetration strategic bomber for the United States Air Force. The aircraft had its first flight in 1964 and is now retired, only two were built.
- Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxbat
Top speed: 3,000 km/h
Cruise speed: 2,500 km/h
Weight: 21,820 kg
First flight: 16 September 1975
Engine types: Turbofan, Soloviev D-30
The Soviet Air Forces developed an aircraft which was a supersonic interceptor aircraft.
It was designed by the Mikoyan design bureau as a replacement for the earlier MiG-25 “Foxbat”.
The MIG-25 was difficult to fly at low altitudes. It could achieve high-speed altitude and rate of climb. Although it did not have maneuverability at interception speed it could reach a maximum speed of Mach 3.2 or more with the risk of engine damage.
It’s role is similar to the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. Only the MIG-31 isn’t a carrier aircraft. It has a long range BVR radar guided missile called the R-33 Amos (similar to the AIM-54 Phoenix) and carries a couple short range infrared homing missiles.
It was designed to shoot down bombers, tankers, and other high targets at great range. It is the fastest jet still in active service. It was almost fast enough to deal with an Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.
- McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
Top speed: 3,017 km/h
Weight: 20,410 kg
Range: 4,815 km
Engine type: Pratt & Whitney F100
Manufacturers: McDonnell Douglas, Boeing Defense, Space & Security
F-15 was introduced in 1976 and will continue to be a part of the air force beyond 2025. The F-15 has been claimed to be one of the most successful aircraft ever built. It is still in service with the US Air Force. The F-15 was originally envisioned as a pure air-superiority aircraft. Its design included a secondary ground-attack capability that was largely unused
There are almost 1200 F-15s built and it has been exported to among others Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. The current plan is to keep producing them until 2019.
The F-15 can load a variety of Sparrow, Sidewinder, 120-AMRAAM, drop bombs ( for instance Mark 84 or 82), or external fuel tanks on its 11 hardpoints. This aircraft is being produced in several variants.
- General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark
Top speed: 2,655 km/h
Range: 6,759 km
Weight: 21400 kg
Engine type: Turbofan
Retired: USAF: F-111F, 1996; EF-111A, 1998; RAAF: F-111C, 2010
The F-111 was, at the time, a replacement for the F105 in terms of capability. It was one of the first generation of variable-geometry fighter-bombers, and was capable of all-weather day and night bombing. The F- 111 was used in the Gulf War being one of the few aircraft able to carry its own targeting pod and bombs together. An attack aircraft, strike aircraft, or attack bomber is a tactical military aircraft that has a primary role of carrying out airstrikes with greater precision than bombers, and is prepared to encounter strong low-level air defenses while pressing the attack.
This class of aircraft is designed mostly for close air support and naval air-to-surface missions, overlapping the tactical bomber mission.
- Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker
Top speed: 2,500 km/h
Range: 3,530 km
Weight: 16,380 kg
First flight: 20 May 1977
Engine types: Turbofan, Saturn AL-31
The Sukhoi Su-27 is a Soviet-origin twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi.
It was intended as a direct competitor for the large United States fourth-generation fighters such as the Grumman F-14 Tomcat and F-15 Eagle, with 3,530-kilometre range, heavy aircraft ordnance, sophisticated avionics and high maneuverability.
The Su-27 is an amazing aircraft and a huge success of Soviet aviation, not only because it holds 27 absolute records. It is an exceptionally manoeuvrable machine.
The Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker was the top of Soviet technology at the time of its debut in the mid-80’s. It is large but exceptionally agile, it has powerful engines and a big load of weaponry.
The Sukhoi Su-27 is one of the most agile aircraft ever built. The Russians proudly demonstrate it during air shows. The Russian Knights aerobatic team of the Russian Air Force performs with six Su-27.
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