Many aircraft exceeds speeds of Mach 2.0, however, some of them are research aircraft and some used for reconnaissance purposes. The following are just a few masterpieces of military engineering.
This experimental, unmanned hypersonic aircraft is a part of the X-Plane series from NASA’s Hyper-X Program. The X-43 is currently the fastest recorded air travel, breaching Mach 9.6 barrier. Its top speed: 7,307 mph.
Boeing X-51 Scramjet
Also known as the Waverider, this unmanned aircraft is used to research hypersonic flight. With an altitude of 70,000 ft, this vessel surpasses Mach 5. Being a love child of DARPA, the United States Air Force, the goal is to have this craft in service as a platform for a fast-attack missile. Its top speed: 3,900 mph
The Blackbird has the capability of flying at the very edge of the atmosphere at 85,000 feet. Accumulating numerous awards for aeronautic design, performance, and versatility, it is hard to even see this aircraft. Its top speed: 25,000 mph.
The Lockheed YF-12
This American prototype was originally studied by the United States Air Force in the 1960s. The YF-12 still holds the record for the largest manned interceptor. With a maximum altitude of 80,000 feet, its top speed is 2,275 mph.
The MiG-25 Foxbat
Designed by the Soviet Union’s Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau, this interceptor, and reconnaissance aircraft is still among the fastest military aircraft to enter into service. Its top speed is 2,170 mph.
North American XB-70 Valkyrie
The Valkyrie was originally designed to be used as a bomber. With one flight above Mach 3, the second prototype XB-70 crashed into another jet and killed two people. While the aircraft was a technological wonder at the time, it was the wrong plane for the time period. The military needed low flying bombers to fight back against Soviet defenses. Its top speed: 2,056 mph.
This inceptor aircraft was designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau in the Soviet Union. The purpose was to see how close they could get to breaking world records. The Ye-152, unfortunately, was terminated after it crashed in 1965. Its top speed: 1,883 mph.
Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxhound
Originally designed as a replacement for the MiG-25, the Foxhound interceptor aircraft was designed by the Soviet Union in 1975. It smashed maximum altitude records reaching 123,520 in 1977. The MiG-31 also set a record for time to height: 115,000 ft in four minutes and 11 seconds. Its top speed: 1,860 mph.
This twin-engined, all-weather tactical fighter was designed by McDonnell Douglas, now known as Boeing in 1972. The Eagle’s maximum flight distance is 1,222 miles or 3,450 miles with external tanks. This multirole fighter has withstood the test of time with zero losses due to enemy air activity. Its top speed: 1,650 mph.
The Su-27 is a twin-engine, super-maneuverable aircraft. The original origin was in the Soviet Union as a direct competitor of the U.S. after the development of the F-15. It has a maximum flight distance of 2,193 miles with internal fuel. Its top speed: 1,550 mph.
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