Fastest Planes In The World
Nothing can top the adrenaline rush of piloting the fastest planes in the world. Inside one of these beauties, the G-force will tug at you until your expression becomes more animated than a cartoon character. Within a few seconds of taking off, you will cry for your mother and pray to every divine being you can think of as you reach unimaginable speeds. For a true test of your bravery, take a spin in one of these high-flying planes:
- X-43: Nothing can keep up with this drone aircraft. It is the fastest unmanned plane on record, clocking in at an incredible 7,000 miles per hour. Forget light speed. This plane is headed for ludicrous speed territory.
- X-15: This North American made speed demon counts as the fastest manned aircraft ever made and the highest flying one. Top speeds for the X-15 exceed 4,520 miles per hour or mach 6.72 (more than six times faster than the speed of sound). It can reach heights of 354,200 feet, which means this aircraft can carve out a sub-orbital flight path. Twelve pilots tested the X-15 between 1959 and 1968 -- including Neil Armstrong, the world's most famous astronaut.
- SR-71 Blackbird: Quite simply the fastest jet aircraft in the world. It can climb to an altitude of 85,000 feet and reach a speed of mach 3.2. At its top speed, the Blackbird can travel 35 miles per minute. Better steer clear of the residential areas and school zones just to be on the safe side.
- MiG-25R Foxbat-B: If you are looking a warplane built to elude enemy aircraft, this is it. This is the world's fastest fighter jet with a top speed of 2,115 miles per hour. You can drop a bomb and return to base for lunch in the mess hall by the time it hits the designated target.'
- X-2: Nicknamed the "Starbuster," the X-2 was built for test flights ranging from mach 2 to mach 3. A typical X-2 could exceed mach 3.2 and each an altitude of 126,000 feet. It lasted for one year and 20 test flights before being retired.
- XB-70 Valkyrie: With honeycomb panels made from titanium and stainless steel, the Valkyrie used compression lift to achieve stability at high speeds. This experimental bomber could lower wings by 65 degrees during high speed maneuvers. Only three prototypes were made and the final one was retired in 1969.
- MiG-31 Foxhound: Vodka is not the only thing Russians know how to produce. This supersonic jet was the slightly slower successor to the Foxbat. It still can reach speeds exceeding mach 2.83. The wings and airframe are stronger than the MiG-25 model and the Foxhound seats both a pilot and a weapons officer.
- F-15 Eagle: When you hear the song, 'Fly like an Eagle', an image of this U.S. jet fighter should be what pops into your mind. This is the most famous of all jet fighters, given its use for flyovers at airshows and sporting events. It can climb to 60,000 feet, exceed mach 2.5 and be used as both a bomber and fighter in warfare. A typical Eagle can carry up to 24,500 pounds in fuel, missiles and bombs.
- F-111 Aardvark: As the world's fastest strategic bomber, the Aardvark can climb higher than an F-15 Eagle while reaching similar speeds. These bombers flew many of the initial missions during the Gulf War, taking out reinforced bunkers and other enemy positions to clear the way for ground troops. An Aardvark can top 1,850 miles per hour.
- X-1: This was the first of all X class prototype supersonic aircraft. An X-1 could climb above 90,000 feet and it was the plane Chuck Yeager used to become the first test pilot to break the sound barrier in 1947. Research techniques used in the X-1 program became a template for all subsequent U.S. military X-craft projects.