Many people get excited while traveling by air; it is pleasure enjoying the scenery, foods, and others. But there are also some jets which will obviously take your breath away when you hear their flying speed and let’s not talk about your trip on them, it's life-threatening.

But probably you will not be on them unless you are an astronaut or in the air force. Let’s check out some fastest plane on the planet used to explore the Universe and for battle as well.


1. NASA Space Shuttle

NASA space shuttle was developed and operated by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It is a low earth orbital spacecraft invented to investigate outer space of Earth’s ambiance.

It’s speed 17,500 MPH which takes 1.4 hours to revolve around the world.

The speed of this furious jet makes it as one of the most expensive planes of $450,000,000. It was named Space Transportation System (STS), taken from a 1969 plan for a system of reusable spacecraft among which it was single thing funded for progress.

Its first flight held on 12 April 1981 likewise its final takeoff was on 21 July 2011.

From beginning to last, 5 Shuttle systems were manufactured which were used on overall 135 missions launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

The Enterprise was the first orbiter prepared in 1976 for Approach and Landing Tests which had no orbital ability.

Later, four complete operational orbiters were built named: Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, and Atlantis. Among them, Challenger and Columbia got in accidents during a mission in 1986 and 2003 respectively killing total 14 astronauts.

The Space Shuttle is out of service with a closing flight of Atlantis orbiter in 2011.


2. X-41 Common Aero Vehicle

This is Common Aero Vehicle (CAV) kick off in 2003 for a still-classified U.S. military space plane. The goals of X-41 are not much known due to seizing of specifications of the program to the mass.

It is said to be experimental strategy re-entry vehicle able to transporting a 1,000 lb payload on a sub-orbital route at hypersonic speeds as well as releasing that load to the atmosphere.

The technical process of X-41 is unknown yet though believed to be the latest form of the hypersonic vehicle which has the capability to travel pass Mach 7 and possibly onto Mach 9.

Its speed is 13,000 MPH and can pass off the world in 1.9 hours.

Recently, it is a component of the Force Application and launches from the Continental United States (FALCON) program supported by DARPA and NASA.


3. X43A Scramjet

X43A Scramjet jet was part of NASA’s Hyper-X plan built for an investigational unmanned hypersonic plane. Along with several planned scale differences meant to analysis many features of hypersonic flight.

X-43 has set numerous airspeed records for jet planes with about Mach 9.6 (7,310 MPH) i.e. 11,850 km/h. X-43A was the first jet in the series which was a single-use aircraft.

Three planes were built then among which first was demolished following malfunctioning in the travel.

Remaining two took off successfully, with the scramjet functioning for about 10 seconds after 10 minutes glide and intended crash over the ocean.

It was publicized in March 2006, that the (AFRL) Air Force Research Laboratory supersonic ramjet ‘WaveRider’ test aircraft had been designed like X-51A.

The USAF Boeing X-51 first flight was on 26 May 2010 fallen from a B-52. So, this signs the substitute and conclusion of the X-43A sequence.



4. Boeing X-51

Boeing X-51 is an unmanned aircraft for experimenting hypersonic flight at Mach 5 with the elevation of 70,000 feet. Boeing X-51 Waverider was built in 2005 and on 26 May 2010, it finished first powered hypersonic flight.

Following two failed air travels, it successfully flew more than six minutes and also achieved a speed of above Mach 5 for 210 seconds. X-51 is a remote controlled jet aircraft made to be utilized as High-Speed Strike Weapon (HSSW) in 2020.

The top speed of this plane is 3,400 MPH and worth $7,700,000. It takes 7.4 hours to cover the world. Its program was a supportive effort by the DARPA, United States Air Force, NASA, Boeing, and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.

From late 2005, the ground test of X-51A started and the preliminary version of its finished wind tunnel trial on 26 July 2006 at NASA.

While, the Air Force Research Laboratory trusts the booming flight will help as a study for the realistic function of hypersonic flight like a missile, reconnaissance, transport, and air-breathing initial phase for a space organism.


5. North American X-15

North American X-15 was a rocket-powered jet functioned by the United States Air Force and also the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It was part of the X-plane sequence of trial jet aircraft.

In the 1960s, the X-15 recorded speed and height by reaching the edge of outer space and coming back with valuable information used in the plane and spaceship design.

X-15, hypersonic aircraft set the official world record during which William J. Knight flew Mach 6.72 at the altitude of 102,100 feet with the speed 4,520 MPH in October 1967.

That record has not been broken by any other aircraft yet. The jet got retired in December 1968 after 9 years of successful operation.

Throughout the X-15 program, 8 pilots flew 13 flights and met the criterion of the Air Force spaceflight by surpassing the height of 50 miles.

Therefore, those pilots were qualified as astronauts. Among them, the Air Force pilots immediately got astronaut wings whereas, the civilian pilots finally honored with NASA astronaut wings in 2005.

There was single Navy pilot in the X-15 program who never succeeded to take aircraft above 50-mile height, hence never got astronaut wings.


6. SR-71 Blackbird

The Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance SR-71 plane with long range was operated by the United States Air Force. Its manufacturer was Lockheed, Skunk Works division and was named as ‘black project’ in 1960.

The SR-71 was made with a lessen radar cross section and it was used through aerial reconnaissance operations at high speeds and elevations to permit it to outrace risk.

The Lockheed SR-71 served along with the U.S. Air Force since 1964 to 1998.

Among 32 aircraft, 12 were gone in disasters and none of them lost to rival destruction. It was recorded as world’s fasted air-breathing manned aircraft till 1976.

Earlier that record was held by Lockheed YF-12. SR-71 has got some nicknames like Blackbird as well as Habu.

This double engine twin-seated aircraft best speed is 2,500 MPH and accelerates up to Mach 3.3 at the altitude of 80,000 feet.



7. Lockheed YF-12

Lockheed Yf-12 is an American prototype interceptor aircraft assessed by the United States Air force. It’s a twin-seat version plane to intercept the enemy at Mach 3 speed.

In 1963, YF-12 made its first flight with the recorded speed of Mach 3.2 (2,270 mph) at an altitude of 80,000 feet. Later, U.S Airforce canceled the whole program.

But Lockheed YF-12 has made numerous researchers for the U.S Air Force and NASA until 1978.

YF-12 has 2 × Pratt & Whitney J58/JTD11D-20A afterburning turbojet with compressor bleed bypass. Its length is 30.97 m, wingspan is 16.95 m and height is 5.64m. Its range is 3000 mi and thrust is 0.44.

This aircraft carries 3 × Huges AIM-47A air-to-air missiles set internally in fuselage bays. This aircraft takes 10.9 hours to rotate around the mighty earth.


8. Mikoyan-Gurevich-MiG-25

The Mikoyan-Gurevich-MiG-25 is a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft designed by the Soviet Union’s Mikoyan-Gurevich.

This aircraft is made up stainless steel and is the last plane designed by Mikhail Gurevich.

In 1964, The MiG-25 made its first flight. Four years later, it entered into the service with the recorded speed of Mach 2.83. This aircraft is one of the fastest in military operational service.

Even though Mach 3.2 is possible but its engine can be seized. The main feature of this fighter jet is its powerful radar alongside four air-to-air missiles.

Mikoyan-Gurevich-MiG-25 has 2 × Tumansky R-15B-300 afterburning turbojets. Its length is 19.75m, wingspan is 14.01m and height is 6.10m.

This aircraft carries 4 × R-40RD/TD air-to-air missiles, 2 × R-23 AAMs, 2 × R-60 AAMs and 4 × R-73A AAMs.

The avionics used in this plane is MiG-25 are RP-25 Smerch radar and A RV-UM or AV-4 radar altimeter. This aircraft takes 11.35 to rotate around the earth.


9. Bell X-2 ‘Starbuster’

Bell X-2 Aka ‘Starbuster’ was X-plane research aircraft. Basically, it was built to examine the aircraft characteristics in the Mach 2- 3 ranges.

This aircraft was developed jointly by Bell Aircraft Corporation, the U.S Air force and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in 1945.

Bell X-2 took its first flight in 1955. The following year, X-2 reached the top speed of Mach 3.2 (2094 mph at an altitude of 65,000 ft.

Bell X-2 ‘Starbuster’ has 1 × Curtiss-Wright XLR25 rocket engine, 15,000 lbf (67 kN) at sea level. Its length is 11.5m, wingspan is 9.8m and height is 3.6m. This aircraft can rotate the earth in 11.87 hours.



10. XB-70 Valkyrie

XB-70 Valkyrie was the prototype version of the planned B-70 strategic bomber for the United States air force Strategic Air Command. This aircraft was designed by North American aviation in the 1950s.

It accelerated at the highest speed of Mach 3.02 (2,000mph). With this acceleration, the aircraft heats up to high temperature as 3300C which could dangerous.

However, this aircraft is best during the war that aid to avoid the nuclear explosion when it drops a nuclear device.

XB-70 Valkyrie has 6 × General Electric YJ93-GE-3 afterburning turbojets. Its length is 57.6m, wingspan is 32m and height is 9.1m. This aircraft takes 12.43 to rotate around the earth.


11. Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxhound

Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxhound is an aircraft with super functionality. This aircraft is supersonic interceptor aircraft developed by the Soviet air force.

It is designed as the replacement for the earlier MiG-25 designed by Mikoyan Design Bureau.

MiG-31 first flew in 1975 with the speed of Mach 2.83 at both altitudes. It is capable to intercept the enemy aircraft at both active and passive radar.

It is operated by Russian Airforce and is to fly until 2030. Total 519 numbers of MiG-31is built.

Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxhound has 2 × Soloviev D-30F6 afterburning turbofans. Its length is 22.62m, wingspan is 13.456m and height is 6.456m.

This aircraft carries 1 × 23 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-6-23M rotary cannon with 800 rounds (However removed later), 8 × underwing pylons, 4 × R-33E, 4 × R-60MK, 2 × R-40RD/TD and 4 × Kh-58UShKE.

The avionics used in this plane is Phazotron Zaslon passive electronically scanned array radar. This aircraft takes 13.36 hours to rotate around the earth.


12. McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle

McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is a tactical fighter aircraft. This is one of the oldest and fastest jet aircraft in US air force. This aircraft is designed by McDonnell Douglas.

F-15 Eagle made its first flight in 1972 with the highest speed of Mach 2.5. In 1976, it was first recruited by U.S air force. This aircraft is exported to Israel, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.

McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle has 2 × Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100 or −220 afterburning turbofans. Its length is 19.43m, wingspan is 13.05m and height is 5.63m.

This aircraft carries 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A1 Vulcan 6-barrel Rotary cannon, 940 rounds, 4× AIM-7 Sparrow, 4× AIM-9 Sidewinder, 8× AIM-120 AMRAAM.

The avionics used in this plane is Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System. Within 15.06 hours, McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle can rotate around the earth.



13. General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark

General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark is a strategic attack aircraft and collected reconnaissance. This aircraft is filled with tactical nuclear bomber aerial reconnaissance and electronic warfare aircraft.

F-111 was developed by General Dynamics in the 1960s with the speed of Mach 2.5(1650 mph). It was recruited by US Air Force in 1967. Even though it was best and widely used in the Vietnam War but was canceled in 1998.

General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark has 2 × Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-100 turbofans. Its length is 22.4m, wingspan is 19.2m and height is 5.22m.

This aircraft carries 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A1 Vulcan 6-barreled Gatling cannon in weapons bay, AGM-69 SRAM thermonuclear air-to-surface missile, AGM-130 stand-off bomb, cluster bombs and GBU-15 electro-optical bomb.

It can rotate around the earth in 15.06 hours.


14. Sukhoi Su-27

Sukhoi Su-27 is a twin-engine supermaneuverable the fighter jet invented by former USSR. It was built to compete with the large US fourth-generation fighter jets such as F-15 Eagle and Grumman F-14 Tomcat.

Basically, it was for air superiority mission and can perform every of the Ariel warfare.

Su-27 was designed by Sukhoi. In 1977, this fighter jet flew for the first time with the supersonic speed of Mach 2.35 (1550 mph).

It was one of the best fighter jets of its time and still used in Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine military air force.

Sukhoi Su-27 has 2 × Saturn AL-31F turbofans. Its length is 21.9m, wingspan is 14.7m and height is 5.92m.

This aircraft carries 1 × 30 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-301 autocannon with 150 rounds, S-8KOM/BM/OM, S-13T/OF, S-25OFM-PU, 6 × R-27R/ER/T/ET/P/EP air-to-air missiles, 2 × R-73E AAMs and RBK-250 and 500 cluster bomb. It can rotate around the earth in 16.03 hours.


15. Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

F-35 Lightning is the fifth generation combat fighter jet. This is a single seat and single engine all-weather aircraft designed for the air mission as well as ground attack. It was developed by Lockheed Martin X-35.

F-35 made its first flight in 2006 with the speed of Mach 1.6. This is one of the most capable fighters of next generation and will project serve US military until 2037.

F-35 Lightning has 1 × Pratt & Whitney F135 afterburning turbofan. Its length is 15.67m, wingspan is 10.7m and height is 4.33m.

This aircraft carries 1 × General Dynamics 25 mm (0.984 in) GAU-22/A 4-barrel rotary cannon, 6 × external pylons on wings with a capacity of 15,000 lb, AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-9X Sidewinder, IRIS-T, AGM-88 and 158 AARGM.

Joint Strike Missile and Long Range Anti-ship Missile, Mark 84 or Mark 83 or Mark 82 GP bombs, B61 Mod 12 nuclear bomb and few other weapons.