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Top 10 Fastest Military Aircrafts in History

Here are Top 10 Fastest Military Aircrafts in History.

10. North American F-100 Super Sabre

10 The North American F-100 Super Sabre

The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a supersonic jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979. The first of the Century Series collection of USAF jet fighters, it was the first USAF fighter capable of supersonic speed in level flight. The F-100 was originally designed by North American Aviation as a higher performance follow-on to the F-86 Sabre air superiority fighter.

Adapted as a fighter bomber, the F-100 would be supplanted by the Mach 2 class F-105 Thunderchief for strike missions over North Vietnam. The F-100 flew extensively over South Vietnam as the Air Force’s primary close air support jet until replaced by the more efficient subsonic LTV A-7 Corsair II.[4] The F-100 also served in other NATO air forces and with other U.S. allies. In its later life, it was often referred to as “the Hun,” a shortened version of “one hundred.”

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 864 mph (1,390 km/h, Mach 1.3)
  • Range: 1,995 miles (3,210 km)
  • Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 22,400 ft/min (114 m/s)

9. Fairey Delta 2

9 The Fairey Delta 2

The Fairey Delta 2 or FD2 (internal designation Type V within Fairey) was a British supersonic research aircraft produced by the Fairey Aviation Company in response to a specification from the Ministry of Supply for investigation into flight and control at transonic and supersonic speeds.

The aircraft was the first to exceed 1000 mph, flying faster than the sun moves across the sky, and held the World Air Speed Record for over a year.

Performance

  • Maximum speed: >1300 mph (>2092 km/h, 1.71 mach)
  • Range: 830 miles (1336 km)

8. McDonnell F-101 Voodoo

8 The McDonnell F-101 Voodoo

The McDonnell F-101 Voodoo was a supersonic jet fighter which served the United States Air Force (USAF) and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Initially designed by McDonnell Aircraft as a long-range bomber escort (known as a penetration fighter) for the Strategic Air Command (SAC), the Voodoo was instead developed as a nuclear-armed fighter-bomber for the Tactical Air Command (TAC), and as a photo reconnaissance aircraft based on the same airframe. Extensively modified versions were produced as an all-weather interceptor aircraft, serving with the Air Defense Command, later renamed the Aerospace Defense Command (ADC), the Air National Guard, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the unified Canadian Forces after 1968.

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 1,134 mph (1,825 km/h, Mach 1.72)
  • Range: 1,520 miles (2,450 km)
  • Service ceiling: 58,400 ft (17,800 m)
  • Rate of climb: 49,200 ft/min (250 m/s)

7. Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

7 The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter is a single-engine, supersonic interceptor aircraft originally developed by Lockheed for the United States Air Force (USAF). It was operated by the air forces of more than a dozen nations from 1958 to 2004.

A total of 2,578 Starfighters were produced, mostly by NATO members. The poor safety record of the Starfighter brought the aircraft into the public eye, especially in German Air Force service. The F-104 was also at the center of the Lockheed bribery scandals, in which Lockheed had given bribes to a considerable number of political and military figures in various nations in order to influence their judgment and secure several purchase contracts; this caused considerable political controversy in Europe and Japan.

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 1,530 mph (2,137 km/h, Mach 2.01)
  • Combat radius: 420 miles (670 km)
  • Ferry range: 1,630 miles (2,623 km)
  • Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 48,000 ft/min (244 m/s)

6. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

6 The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union.

Early versions are considered second-generation jet fighters, while later versions are considered to be third-generation jet fighters. Approximately 60 countries over four continents have flown the MiG-21, and it still serves many nations a half-century after its maiden flight. The fighter made aviation records. At least by name, it is the most-produced supersonic jet aircraft in aviation history and the most-produced combat aircraft since the Korean War, and it had the longest production run of a combat aircraft (1959 to 1985 over all variants).

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 1,530 mph (2,137 km/h, Mach 2.01)
  • Range: 751 miles (1,210 km)
  • Service ceiling: 17,800 m (58,400 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 225 m/s (44,280 ft/min)


5. Convair F-106 Delta Dart

5 The Convair F-106 Delta Dart

The Convair F-106 Delta Dart was the primary all-weather interceptor aircraft of the United States Air Force from the 1960s through the 1980s. Designed as the so-called “Ultimate Interceptor”, it proved to be the last dedicated interceptor in U.S. Air Force service to date. It was gradually retired during the 1980s, with the QF-106 drone conversions of the aircraft being used until 1998 under the Pacer Six Program.

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 1750.8 mph (2817.6 km/h, Mach 2.3)
  • Range: 1,800 miles (2,900 km) combat
  • Ferry range: 2,700 mi (4,300 km)
  • Service ceiling: 57,000 ft (17,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 29,000 ft/min (150 m/s)

4. The McDonnell-Douglas F4 Phantom II

4 The McDonnell-Douglas F4H-1F Phantom II

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. It first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. During the Vietnam War the F-4 was used extensively; it served as the principal air superiority fighter for both the Navy and Air Force, and became important in the ground-attack and reconnaissance roles late in the war. The Phantom has the distinction of being the last U.S. fighter flown to attain ace status in the 20th century.

The F-4 Phantom II remained in use by the U.S. in the reconnaissance and Wild Weasel (suppression of enemy air defenses) roles in the 1991 Gulf War, finally leaving service in 1996.

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 1697.5 mph (2,731.8km/h, Mach 2.23)
  • Combat radius: 422 mi (680 km)
  • Service ceiling: 60,000 ft (18,300 m)
  • Rate of climb: 41,300 ft/min (210 m/s)

3. Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-152

3 The Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-152

The Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-150 family was a series of prototype single-seat fighter/interceptor aircraft designed and built by the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau in the Soviet Union from 1955.

The two single engined Ye-152’s were completed with improved R-15-300 engines, as the Ye-152-1 and Ye-152-2, but reliability remained an issue, with only limited development flying, weapons system testing and world record flights carried out. World record flights were carried out by the first prototype Ye-152-1 in 1961 and 1962.

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 2,131 mph (3429.5 km/h, mach 2.8+)
  • Range: 913 mi (1,470 km)
  • Service ceiling: 22,680 m (74,409 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 62.5 m/s (12,300 ft/min)

2. Lockheed YF-12

2 The Lockheed YF-12

The Lockheed YF-12 was an American prototype interceptor aircraft evaluated by the United States Air Force. The YF-12 was a twin-seat version of the secret single-seat Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft, which led to the U.S. Air Force’s Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird twin-seat reconnaissance variant. The YF-12 set and held speed and altitude world records of over 2000 mph and over 80,000 ft (later surpassed by the SR-71), and is the world’s largest manned interceptor to date.

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 2,511 mph (4041.8 km/h, Mach 3.3)
  • Range: 3,000 miles (4,800 km)
  • Service ceiling: 90,000 ft (27,400 m)

1. The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

1 The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

The Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” is a long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft that was operated by the United States Air Force. It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division. Renowned American aerospace engineer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson was responsible for many of the design’s innovative concepts. During reconnaissance missions, the SR-71 operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats. If a surface-to-air missile launch was detected, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate and outfly the missile. The SR-71 was designed to have basic stealthy characteristics and served as a precursor to future stealth aircraft.

The SR-71 served with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. A total of 32 aircraft were built; 12 were lost in accidents, but none lost to enemy action. The SR-71 has been given several nicknames, including Blackbird and Habu. Since 1976, it has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft, a record previously held by the YF-12.

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 2550 mph (4103 km/h, Mach 3.35)
  • Range: 3355 miles (5,400 km)
  • Service ceiling: 85,000 ft (25,900 m)
  • Rate of climb: 11820 ft/m (60 m/s)

16 Comments

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  • No mention of the Concorde in 1976? Capable of sustained efficient cruising over mach 2, a stated top speed of mach 2.35 (with many sources claiming that it could go faster), and a payload capacity that dwarfs everything else on the list…

    • Yes. It had speed of 2+ mach, but it was a passenger transport vehicle. What we have listed here are only military aircrafts (though it was stupid of us to give the title of fastest aircrafts instead of military aircrafts). We have changed the title to reflect the same.

      • Because the MiG-25 and MiG-31 are not military aircraft? To top the illiteracy off, the MiG-31 is one of the fastest military aircraft. Ever. But it’s not on the list.

        Nevermind the various assortment of other Mach 2+ capable jets that are omitted in favor of…. the first supersonic aircraft ever? I understand the historical significance but holy sh*t. Call it a historical list of fast airplanes if you want, but it’s not a list of the fastest aircraft in history, military or otherwise.

        • Iouri is correct… the MiG-25 and MiG-31 are faster than all but the SR-71. The YF-12 was the SR-71 prototype, which makes it a redundant entry on the list.

          Where is the F-15? It is faster than all but 3 aircraft on this list. And there are plenty more, none of which are obscure. A shameful and decidedly NOT kickass list.

    • You somehow missed the word ‘military’ in the title, but the author of the piece also missed many other military aircraft for their top 10, and some of the rate of climb figures and top speeds are way off. In any case, as far as large airframes go, reference the Tupolev 144 vs Concorde, and the Tu-160 Blackjack; beyond that, several Mirage and MiG, many, many others, qualify for the list, like F-111 and F-15.

  • what about the avro arrow? it was the fastest intercepter and high altitude fighter jet in its time. it achieved mach 2 at over 50000ft in 1958 for god sakes.

  • Grammatical point: there is no such word as “aircrafts”. You may talk of one aircraft or two aircraft: the word is invariant.

  • English Electric lightening????

    able to hit mach 2
    and later models hitting 2.27 (so faster than the F4)

    also, where is the f-15?
    Su 27 family
    Dassault Mirage F1

    • Sorry mate, Phantom held records above 2.27, it’s a shame they weren’t budgeted to build their ultimate version which would have used water injection to crack 2.8-3+. And there are others missing as well, like the Super Crusader, which rocketed out to somewhere in the 2.8 range and had to be heeled because of canopy browning, aerothermal effects… It’s a shame the F-8U3 was never built in large numbers, NASA picked up at least one or two, and lore is that they used to bounce Phantoms for fun and zoom off.

  • Where to begin. You have left the fastest Fighters and interceptors off the list. F15 Eagle? F-16 Fighting Falcon? Mig-25? Mig-31? Sukhoi su-27? Probably most glaring Omission is the English electric lightning. Mach 2 plus and 50000 feet per minute rate of climb. This is not to mention all of the mirages, tornadoes, and all the other Fighters that are all Mach Two fighters. If you really measured the top speeds of all fighter aircraft, the F-100 Super Sabre wouldn’t even make the top 50. It could barely get over the speed of sound. And all of that before we even get to the biggest emissions, airplanes like the F-22. In the F-35. It’s an odd list because it’s nowhere near what it says it is

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