Have you ever wondered what the fastest jets in the world are, and just how fast they can go? Then you’ve come to the right list. High speed is one of the most thrilling experiences the human body can feel. Adrenaline, adventure and excitement are contained in those moments when we go really fast. Ever since the Wright brothers made the first sustained air flight in 1903, aviation has developed rapidly, building amazing planes with advanced engineering and technology. Of course one of the major promoters of aircraft development has been the military industry. Some of the most advanced jets have been designed in response to the world’s demand for faster war machines, using more powerful engines and reducing drag through aerodynamic engineering.
The first super-fast aircraft were built using aluminum and magnesium, with mechanical linkages. Today, aircraft incorporate carbon and graphite composite materials, along with magnesium alloys and specially formulated steel. Moreover, so as to develop a whole new generation of supersonic jets, engineers have studied and discovered the “area rule”, which has led to the development of aircraft in which the contouring of its fuselage has the lowest possible transonic wave drag. Furthermore, the power of these planes’ engines was boosted amazingly, and its electronics controls, computers and fly-by-wire have made the flying more precise and exact.
Some fast aircraft have gained a place in history. The Lockheed SR-71, known as the “Blackbird”, is the fastest jet ever built. It operated in secrecy from 1966 to 1998, and it was flown only by a few elite pilots of the U.S. Air Force. When this jet was designed, it was so far ahead of its time that even its own pilots thought it looked like a spaceship. This aircraft has a typical cruising speed of Mach 3.2. Not much is known yet about the Blackbird, and some mysteries surround its development and existence, such as whether it is still operating or not. Although it doesn’t reach the list of 7 of the Most Scary Urban Legends in the World to Keep You Up at Night, this aircraft does have an enigmatic reputation and has become somewhat of an urban legend.
Now then, let’s take a look at our current list and find out which of these fastest jets in the world can grant the most thrilling experience of a lifetime (for expert pilots, of course…).
No. 10 General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark
Speed: 1,650 mph
This plane was designed in the 1960s by the USAF, and it is still being utilized by the Royal Australian Air Force. This aircraft introduced a series of technological advances, which cleared the path for and stimulated the development of a new series of high-speed jets.
If you think 1,650 mph is insane speed, just wait until you see how fast the rest of the fastest jets in the world can go. Check them out on the next pages.
No. 9 F-15 Eagle
Speed: 1,660 mph
Aerial combat is certainly led by this aircraft, which has special features like an amazing radar system that detects and engages targets, which make it the best of its kind. The jet also has a computer system which permits the solo operation of the craft.
No. 8 MiG-31 FoxHound
Speed: 1,860 mph
This plane was developed by Russia as an attempt to improve aircraft maneuverability at very high speeds. This makes it a fantastic interceptor craft, with an enormous and powerful twin-engine and four missiles under the plane’s belly.
No. 7 MiG-25 Foxbat
Speed: 2,000 mph
Faster than his brother, this jet fighter reaches a maximum speed of about 2,000 miles per hour. The plane had some maneuverability problems, but was nevertheless successfully able to dodge 10 Gulf War F-15 missiles.
No. 6 XB-70 Valkyrie
Speed: 2,056 mph
This ultra-high-speed craft was designed for the USAF by the North American Aviation’s LA division. It reaches shocking speeds powered by six General Electric YJ93-GE-3 turbojet engines. The Valkyrie was first used as a strategic bomber in the United States Air Force.
No. 5 Bell X-2 Starbuster
Speed: 2,094 mph
The X-2 Starbuster was launched in November, 1955. Its pilot took it to a speed of almost Mach 3, but sadly, it became too unstable when reaching this speed, losing control of the craft and crashing.
No. 4 SR-71 BlackBird
Speed: 2,200 mph
This aircraft reaches a speed of 2,200 miles per hour, and had to be built out of materials which could withstand the thermal barrier of Mach 3 speed, which is about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This plane flew for about 40 years until it was finally retired in 1998.
No. 3 X-15
Speed: 4,520 mph
This airplane is one of the fastest in the world. It was designed as to be able to achieve and exceed the 50-mile height with no difficulties. Neil Armstrong, the world-renowned astronaut, used the X-15 prior to going to the moon.
No. 2 X-43A Scramjet
Speed: 7,000 mph
Number two on the list is NASA’s X-43A Scramjet, an aircraft which crosses the barrier of sound. Furthermore, its engine called scramjet (supersonic-combustion-ramjet), which doesn’t rely on oxygen, allows the plane to achieve its top speed of 7,000 mph in about 10 seconds.
No. 1 Falcon HTV-2
Speed: 13,000 mph
The Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 is currently the fastest jet in the world. It was first launched in April 2010. The second flight was made a year later, in August, 2011. It was designed for the purpose of responding to terrorist attacks in just a matter of a few minutes. The Falcon HTV-2 is an unmanned aircraft, and no human will ever have that experience of flying it.