Published By: Rohit Chatterjee

Military Planes: The Fastest Ones to Look at!

The love for speed is not limited to motorcycles or cars only. It is applied to an aircraft as well. 

Thanks to the Wright brothers who blessed us with the invention of aeroplanes in 1905. As technology evolved, aeronautics engineers used their knowledge, imagination and skillset to create different kinds of aircraft. From commercial planes to military jets, there’s a myriad of models available today. Although commercial planes and military jets are very different from each other, there’s one factor in common, and that is speed. Indeed, military aircraft is way faster than the commercial ones as they easily touch the speed of Mach 2, Mach 3 or even Mach 5! Hence, this article will take you through the top fastest military aircraft in the world.

North American X-15

Introduced in 1959 and decommissioned in 1968, the aircraft held the title of being the fastest aircraft in the world. The aircraft was able to achieve a top speed of 7,200kmph (Mach 6.70) on the eve of 3rd October 1967.

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

Created in 1966, the Lockheed has been used by the U.S Airforce and NASA for reconnaissance missions and experimental purpose. In 1976, the Lockheed SR-71 under the command of Captain Robert Helt reached a height of 25,929 meters and clocked the highest speed of 3,529.291 kmph (2,193 mph).

Lockheed YF-12

In 1965, another beast from Lockheed created a new record. The YF-12 in its testing flight reached an altitude of 80,000 feet while clocking a speed of 3,218.688 kmph (2,000 mph).

Boeing X-51 Waverider

This one here is a military aircraft that is used for carrying heavy cargo. In 2013, the cargo-carrying beast was able to reach a top speed of 6,173.4 kmph (3,836 mph).

Sukhoi Su-27

Used by several armed forces in the world, this Russian creation is a deadly striker in the air. Introduced in 1985, the Sukhoi can touch a top speed of 2,903.25 kmph (1,804 mph).

Mikoyan MiG-31 BSM

The inception of MiG-31 took place in 1981 by Russia that played a crucial role in the Cold War. A fast interceptor used by Russian forces till date, the jet was able to climb an altitude of 70,538 feet at a speed of 3,057.75 kmph (1,900 mph).

Last but not least, for those unversed about the term ‘Mach’- it is the speed of an object that moves faster than the speed of sound. For example, Mach 9 implies nine times faster than the speed of sound.