Over the years, engineers developed technologies that made tech savvy aircrafts that could break the speed of sound.
Here is a list of some of the fastest aircrafts in the world.
5. Bell X-2 Starbuster
The Bell X-2, nicknamed as the Starbuster. Unlike other aircrafts in our list, this is a research aircraft. Nonetheless, it deserves to be considered as part of the fastest aircrafts in the world. Its purpose was to discover the effects of flying in the Mach 2-3 range.
Developed in 1945, it was ahead of its time. It made use of rocket engine. Its purpose is to research the common aerodynamic heating problems that could occur during high velocity flights. This aircraft wasn’t developed over a short period of time. Instead, it took some time because of the need for temperature resistant materials and technology that could suit the needs of this particular aircraft.
It is considered that the X-2 is a pioneer in so many levels. It has pushed the possibilities of manned flight especially during those years. Also, it is the first US made aircraft that made use of rocket engine.
There were only two Bell X-2 built in history. However, during the years that it was used, it provided researchers with the data needed to develop aircrafts that we enjoy today. In fact, the only problem that they faced as they approached Mach 3 was the stability and control of the aircraft.
4. Mikoyan MiG-25
Otherwise known as the Foxbat, it is among the fastest military aircrafts made. It is an example of Soviet’s superior aircraft technology. It is a rare aircraft that made use of stainless steel design. The very first prototype made it in the air by 1964. After a few years, it entered the service in 1970. The operational top speed of the MiG-25 is at Mach 2.85.
Aside from being considered among the fastest aircrafts in the world, it also has a good amount of firepower. From a powerful radar to missiles, these are things that you can expect from the MiG-25 aircraft.
Its wings suggest that it has tremendous maneuverability. During this time, it was first seen in photographs during the time when US was also trying to develop an aircraft that can be used during the Vietnam war.
3. Lockheed YF-12
Lockheed YF-12 is an interceptor designed for the US Air Force. Its overall design was based on the top secret Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft. What made this an amazing aircraft was its ability to go over 2,000 miles per hour. It was only later that it was surpassed by the Lockheed SR-71.
This prototype never underwent formal mass production. Only three YF-12 models were made. Each costs around $15 to $18 million. However, we can’t deny the importance of this aircraft in the military. It paved way for better aircrafts such as the SR-71. This aircraft can reach 3.2 mach at 74,000 feet.
2. Lockheed SR-71 Black Bird
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is considered as a reconnaissance aircraft operating under the US. It was developed mainly from the Lockheed A-12 of the 1960s. Its goal is to out run threats during missions. Another thing about the Lockheed SR-71 was its design to reduce radar cross section.
This aircraft only ran in small batch. In fact, only 32 aircrafts of this model were used. Unfortunately, 12 were lost because of an accident, but none in combat with the enemy. This aircraft has been retired in 1966. Running in Mach 3+ speed, it is worthy of being mentioned as one of the fastest aircrafts.
1. North American X-15
There are aircrafts that are borderline spacecraft. With top speed of Mach 6.72 or around 4,520 miles per hour, it is no surprise that this hypersonic aircraft is considered the fastest in the world. It is an experimental high speed rocket powered aircraft that was introduced in 1959. The flights of the North American X-15 were made exceeding 80 kilometer altitude, thus they are already classified as astronauts. Two flights however can be considered space flights as these exceeded 100 kilometers in altitude.
The X-15 underwent evolution. For instance, the first flights of the aircraft, it made use of two rocket engines. For the later flights, it evolved to using a single XLR99 rocket engine using ethyl alcohol and liquid nitrogen.