Fastest aircraft in the world, do you know which one it is?. If you don’t, you will now. travelling by air is one of the most amazing things to do, but have you travelled fast enough?. Lets look into the top 5 aircrafts ranked hight for its speed and agility.
Not many aircrafts can go supersonic. Some aircrafts are in research, some used by the military and a few for reconnaissance purposes. Now imagine, at the push of a throttle you will hit mach 2.0 and be in the clouds in no time. How exciting is that?!!. So heres the list of these amazing aircrafts..
North American X-15- Fastest aircraft in the world
The North American X-15 holds the official world record for the highest speed ever recorded by a manned, powered aircraft. It was set in October 1967 by William J. Knight. It flew to Mach 6.70 (which means 6 times more than the speed of sound) at 102,100 feet (31,120 m), a speed of 4,520 miles per hour (7,274 km/h; 2,021 m/s), has remained unbroken as of 2019. The pilots who flew it and crossed 80km altitude were also given the wings of an astronaut.
The X-15 was basically designed in a way that it was drop launched from a B-52 from an altitude of 14000 metres. The fuselage was made with Nickel- alloy, which made it heat resistant and it has a retractable landing gear. To be stable at high velocities, it had a big wedge tail, however, the downside of this was at lower speeds the drag was high.
Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is a reconnaissance and research aircraft operated by the United States Air Force. Its a long range, mach 3+ aircraft. The famous aerospace engineer Clarence Kelly Johnson was responsible for many of the aircraft design’s innovative concepts. The SR-71 has been given several nicknames, like the Blackbird and Habu. Since 1976, it has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft.
Titanium was used for 85% of the structure, with much of the rest polymer composite materials. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney J58 axial-flow turbojet engines capable of giving a thrust of 145 kN.
The Lockheed YF-12 is an American interceptor aircraft maintained by the United States Air Force. The YF-12 was a twin-seat version of the secret single-seat Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft. The YF-12 flew to upto mach 3.35 and held speed and altitude world records of over 2,000 miles per hour (3,200 km/h) and over 80,000 feet . Later on it was replaced in its space by the SR-71. It is the world’s largest manned interceptor to date.
It was basically designed for air to air missile attacks. Later on, NASA used these aircrafts to further develop and research supersonic aircrafts, inclusive of the SR-71 Though only 3 of these were made in total, but it still made its way into history.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 is a supersonic interceptor. It is a reconnaissance aircraft and was among the fastest military aircraft to enter service. It was designed by the Soviet Union’s Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau It was the last plane designed by Mikhail Gurevich before his retirement. Its first prototype flew in 1964 and entered service in 1970.
Its can fly at mach 2.83 and its speed at high altitude is 3000km/hr and at low altitudes is at 1100km/hr. They used heat-resistant Plexiglas for the canopy and high-strength stainless steel for the wings and fuselage. titanium would have been ideal, but due its costs, stainless steel was chosen.
It was nicknamed as the STAR BUSTER. Its a research aircraft built to investigate supersonic flight. The X-2 was a rocket-powered, aircraft developed in 1945 by Bell Aircraft Corporation, the United States Air Force and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics to explore aerodynamic problems of supersonic flight. A drop launch from a modified B-50 bomber, Bell test pilot Jean “Skip” Ziegler completed the first unpowered glide flight of an X-2 at Edwards Air Force Base on 27 June 1952.
It could attain speeds between mach 2-3 and used a Curtiss-Wright XLR25 rocket engine, which could give a thrust of 67 kNat sea level.