Fastest Aircraft in the World

All speeds are official records unless otherwise noted.

Fastest aircraft listed by decade can be found on the bottom part of the page.

YouTube – Space Shuttle

Number 1 Fastest Aircraft in the World: NASA Space Transportation System vehicle 17,500 mph. The STS, more commonly known as the Space Shuttle, achieved its maximum speed upon leaving earth orbit. Its final landing was on July 18, 2011.

Hypersonic Technology Vehicle fastest aircraft in the world


Number 2: 13,000 mph – unofficial record – The pilotless glider was launched at about 115,000 feet from a rocket on Aug. 11, 2011.

X-43A among the fastest aircraft in the world


Number 3:  X43A Scramjet – 7,500 mph. It is the world’s fastest air breathing engine vehicle and is pilotless. The record was set on Nov. 16, 2004.

X-15 fastest aircraft in the world

North American X-15

Number 4:  NASA manned rocket powered X-15 4,520 mph – on October 3, 1967. The North American X-15 was produced to explore the limits of sub-orbital supersonic flight. Three were produced. They flew a total of 199 times.

Boeing X-51 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Boeing X-51

Number 5: Boeing X-51 – 3,400 mph or Mach 5.1 (not a record) – On May 1, 2013 the U.S.A.F. announced that they had successfully launched a Boeing X-51 from under the wing of a B-52 when it reached an altitude of about 50,000 feet. The Boeing X-51 was attached to a rocket that accelerated to about Mach 4.5. Then, under its own power, the 25 foot long pilotless vehicle continuted to accelerate to Mach 5.1 over 230 miles before ending up in the ocean. The purpose of such a test is to determine the possibility of using so called “waverider” type vehicles, that mix air from the atmosphere with on board jet fuel, as weapons for the military. The advantage of such a vehicle is that it should be able to travel faster and be lighter than rocket powered vehicles. At this time, controlling such vehicles so that they will be practical is in the development stage.

Lockheed SR-71 fastest aircraft in the world

Lockheed SR-71

Number 6:  Lockheed Blackbird fastest jet – 2,193 mph on July 28, 1976. The SR-71 first flew in December of 1964 and was deployed in March of 1968. It was retired in 1998. In 1976 it set the current world speed record for a jet aircraft.

mig-25 fastest aircraft in the world


Number 7:  Ye-155 – 2,170 mph, unofficial speed record, observed on Nov. 12, 1971. The Ye-155 prototype for the MiG-25 set numerous records. The MiG-25 was produced for both interception and recon. During the first Gulf War a MiG-25 downed an American F-18. Its recommended top speed is limited to keep its engines from wearing out prematurely, but its top speed has been observed in emergency situations.

Bell X-2 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Bell X-2

Number 8:  Bell X2 2,094 mph on Sept. 7, 1956 unofficial fastest aircraft record. The Bell X-2 was the first manned aircraft ever to exceed Mach 3.

Mikoyan YE-152 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Mikoyan Ye-152

Number 9:  Mikoyan Ye-152 – 1,666 mph on July 7, 1962. Experimental single engine prototype. The MiG-25 was developed from it.

F-4 Phantom among the fastest aircraft in the world

F-4 Phantom

Number 10:  F-4 Phantom 1,607 mph on Nov. 22, 1961. The F-4 Phantom achieved the most U.S. air-to-air victories during the Vietnam War and was used by both the U.S. Navy and U.S.A.F.

Convair F-106 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Convair F-106

Number 11:  Convair F-106 1,526 mph on Dec. 15, 1959. Fastest single engine production aircraft, it was the last interceptor aircraft of the U.S.A.F.

MIG-21 Fishbed among the fastest aircraft in the world

MiG-21 Fishbed

Number 12:  MiG-21 Fishbed 1,484 mph on Oct. 31, 1959. Set by a modified version of the MiG-21, designated Ye-66.

Lockheed F-104 Starfighter among the fastest aircraft in the world

Lockheed F-104

Number 13:  F-104 Starfighter 1,404 mph on May 18, 1958. The Starfighter set numerous speed and other records, and held several simultaneously.

McDonnell F-101 Voodoo among the fastest aircraft in the world

F-101 Voodoo

Number 14:  F-101 Voodoo 1,208 mph on Dec. 12, 1957. The U.S. Air Force F-101 was eventually used for a variety of missions, where its speed was an asset.

Fairey Delta 2 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Fairey Delta 2

Number 15:  Fairey Delta 2 – 1,132 mph on March 10, 1956. The British Fairey Delta 2 was a single engine jet powered experimental aircraft, the first to fly at 1,000+ mph.

North American F-100 Super Sabre among the fastest aircraft in the world

F-100 Super Sabre

Number 16:  F-100 Super Sabre 823 mph Aug. 20, 1955. The Super Sabre was the first U.S.A.F. aircraft capable of supersonic speeds in level flight.

Douglas F4D Skyray among the fastest aircraft in the world

F4D Skyray

Number 17:  F4D Skyray 753 mph on Oct. 2, 1953. The Skyray was a U.S. Navy aircraft that could go supersonic without diving. It is the first Navy aircraft, taking off from an aircraft carrier, to set an official speed record.

Supermarine Swift among the fastest aircraft in the world

Supermarine Swift

Number 18:  Supermarine Swift 736 mph on Sept. 26, 1953. The British built Swift was not a successful design. It did, however, set a world speed record.

Hawker Hunter among the fastest aircraft in the world

Hawker Hunter

Number 19:  Hawker Hunter 728 mph on Sept. 7, 1953. The Hunter was the fastest British produced aircraft when first flown, setting a number of speed records.

F-86 Sabre among the fastest aircraft in the world

F-86 Sabre

Number 20:  F-86D Sabre 716 mph on July 16, 1953. The Sabre was capable of supersonic speeds in a dive.

Me-163 Komet among the fastest aircraft in the world

Me-163 Komet

Number 21:  Me-163 Komet 702 mph unofficial record on Sept. 7, 1946. The German Me-163 was a rocket powered bomber interceptor.

Bell X-1 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Bell X-1

Number 22:  Bell X-1 670 mph on Oct. 14, 1947. It was a rocket powered aircraft that helped lay the foundation for jet powered supersonic flight.

Douglas D-558 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Douglas D-558

Number 23:  Douglas D-558 651 mph on Aug. 25, 1947. The early jet powered experimental aircraft contributed greatly to the knowledge of trans-sonic aircraft performance.

Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star among the fastest aircraft in the world

P-80 Shooting Star

Number 24:  Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star 624 mph on June 19, 1947. The P-80 was the fastest and most successful U.S. jet aircraft of its time.

Messerschmitt Me-262 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Messerschmitt Me-262

Number 25:  Me-262 – 624 mph unofficial speed record in late 1944. The German Me-262 twin jet engine powered fighter aircraft is said to have achieved a number of unofficial speed records. Although the aircraft was probably the fastest jet to fly in WWII, many doubt that it was capable of controlled flight at speeds much greater than 540 mph.

Gloster Meteor among the fastest aircraft in the world

Gloster Meteor

Number 26:  Gloster Meteor 616 mph on Sept. 7, 1946. The Gloster Meteor was Great Britain’s first operational jet fighter.

Dassault Falcon 7X among the fastest aircraft in the world

Falcon 7X

Number 27:  Dassault Falcon 7X 615 mph ground speed on May 2, 2014. The Falcon 7X set a speed record of 5 hours 54 minutes from Teteboro Airport, New York to London City Airport, England.

Tupolev Tu-114 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Tupolev Tu-114

Number 28:  Tupolev Tu-114 Fastest Turboprop passenger aircraft- 545.07 mph still standing world speed record set on April 9, 1960. It was deployed with Aeroflot Russian Airlines in 1961 and retired in 1975.

Rare Bear among the fastest aircraft in the world

Rare Bear

Number 29:  F-8F Bearcat Fastest single piston engine aircraft – 528 mph on Aug. 21, 1989. No other piston engine fighter planes were built by Grumman after the Bearcat.

Messerschmitt Me-209 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Messerschmitt Me-209

Number 30:  Me-209 469 mph world speed record on April 26, 1939 that stood for some 30 years. The German built aircraft were produced as experimental racers.

Macchi Castoldi MC-72 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Macchi Castoldi MC-72

Number 31:  MC-72 441 mph on Oct. 23 1934, still standing. The Italian built MC-72 is the fastest piston engine driven seaplane.

Herbrich RC among the fastest aircraft in the world speed record holder

RC Speed Record Plane

Number 32:  Fastest RC jet – 744 kph, about 462 mph. Niels Herbrich set the Guinness world record on June 11, 2016 with his scratch built turbine powered jet.

Hughes H-1 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Hughes H-1

Number 33:  Hughes H-1 352 mph unofficial world speed set during its first flight on Sept. 13, 1935.

Sikorsky S-69 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Sikorsky S-69

Number 34:  Sikorsky S-69 302.5 mph (never attempted as a speed record) The S-69 was a rotorcraft using turbojets for forward movement and counter rotating helicopter rotors primarily for lift. It first flew in 1977 and could exceed 300 mph in a seven degree dive.

Sikorsky X-2 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Sikorsky X-2

Number 35:  Sikorsky X-2  Fastest rotorcraft (without turbojets) – 300.1 mph unofficial record set on 9/15/2010. The X-2 has its two main rotor blades turning in opposite directions for lift and uses a pusher prop to achieve its forward speed.

Lynx ZB-500 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Lynx Helicopter ZB-500

Number 36:  Lynx Helicopter ZB-500 Fastest helicopter – 249.09 mph set by a specially modified helicopter on 8/11/86. The first Lynx flew in March of 1971 and are known for their reliability and ruggedness. They are now sold worldwide for civil and military aviation.

nimbus-4 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Nimbus 4

Number 37:  Nimbus 4 191 mph The fastest motor glider set the still-standing record on 12/22/2006.

Pioneer-300 among the fastest aircraft in the world

Pioneer 300

Number 38:  Pioneer 300 155 mph – A modified Pioneer 300 set the manned electric powered aircraft speed record of 155 mph on 6/12/09.

se5a among the fastest aircraft in the world

Royal Aircraft Factory SE5

Number 39:  Royal Aircraft Factory SE5136 mph unofficial record on 11/22/1916. The British S.E. 5, when fitted with the Viper engine, was among the fastest aircraft of WWI.

wright-flyer-iii among the fastest aircraft in the world

Wright Flyer III

Number 40:  Wright Flyer III 35 mph unofficial record. The improved version of the original Wright Flyer reached its fastest speed ever on 10/4/1905.

FASTEST AIRCRAFT IN THEIR CLASS (listed by date and alphabetically):

Fastest Aircraft Currently in Service:

Number 41:  A-10 Warthog 440 mph. The only U.S. anti-tank, anti-armor aircraft jet fighter flying today.

Number 42:  Bell AH-1Z Viper 235 mph. Fastest U.S. attack helicopter.

Number 43:  Agusta A109 193 mph. Set around the world helicopter time record in 2008; still flying today.

Number 44:  Boeing (Rockwell) B-1 Fastest U.S.A.F. swing-wing heavy bomber flying today – 900 mph.

Number 45:  Northrop Grumman B-2  538 mph. Fastest U.S. main stealthy heavy bomber of today.

Number 46  Boeing 747 Fastest airliner flying today – 614 mph.

Number 47:  Cessna Citation X Fastest business jet flying today – 617.1 mph.

Number 48:  DC-10 Air Tanker Fastest water bomber in service today – 565 mph cruise speed.

 Number 49: Northrop F-5 1,080 mph still in use around the world today.

Number 50:  F-15 Eagle 1,875 mph. Fastest United States jet fighter of today.

Number 51:  F-16 Fighting Falcon 1,350 mph. currently deployed medium fighter/ bomber.

Number 52:  F-18 Super Hornet Mach 1.8+ Fastest U.S. Navy fighter aircraft of today.

Number 53:  F-22 Raptor 1,500 mph+ Fastest U.S. stealthy aircraft deployed today.

Number 54:  F-35 Lightning  Mach 1.6. Fastest U.S. 5th generation multi-role stealthy attack aircraft.

Number 55: Harrier Jump Jet 660 mph. Jump jet of today to be replaced by the F-35.

Number 56:  SEPECAT Jaguar 1,050 mph. Still deployed with Oman and India today.

Number 57:  SAAB JAS-39 Gripen 1,320+ mph, Sweedish jet fighter currently deployed.

Number 58:  Lockheed L 188 Electra 445 mph. Fastest initial attack air tanker in service today.

Number 59:  Lancair IV 345 mph. World’s fastest home built civil aviation, piston powered, single engine aircraft flying today. The turboprop version can reach 370 mph.

Number 60:  MiG-29 Fulcrum 1,520 mph. One of Russia’s fastest aircraft of today.

Number 61:  MiG-35 Super Fulcrum 1,521 mph currently deployed Russian jet fighter.

Number 62:  Mi-24 Hind 210 mph. Russia’s fastest attack helicopter, still deployed today.

Number 63:  Mirage 2000 1,450 mph currently deployed French multirole military fighter aircraft.

Number 64:  P180 Avanti 460 mph. Fastest twin engine turboprop flying today.

Number 64:  Dassault Rafale 1,320 mph. Fastest French fighter jet deployed today.

Number 65:  Seawind Amphibians  200 mph. Today’s fastest four seat seaplanes.

Number 66:  Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker  1,553 mph Famous “cobra maneuver” Russian jet fighter..

Number 67:  Sukhoi Su-30 1,320 mph. Multi-role Russian fighter aircraft currently deployed.

Number 68:  Su-35 Super Flanker 1,550 mph, deployed by Russia today.

Number 69:  Sukhoi Su-57 1,600+ mph. Prototype stealthy Russian fighter.

Number 70:  Northrop T-38 Talon 812 mph. Still training pilots today.

Number 71:  Tornado ADV 1,480 mph. The only variable swept jet fighter of the West still in use today.

Number 72:  Tu-95 Bear Fastest prop plane flying today – 575 mph.

Number 73:  Tupolev Tu-160 1,380 mph. Fastest heavy bomber flying today.

Number 74:  Eurofighter Typhoon 1,550 mph. Fastest European fighter jet flying today.

Fastest Aircraft of the 1980’s:

Number 75:  F-15 S/MTD 1,650 mph. Experimental aircraft deployed from 1988 to 2009.

Number 76:  Airwolf Supersonic Helicopter Mach 2 Had its own tv show from 1984 to 1987.

Number 77:  Grumman X-29 FSW 1,200 mph. First Forward Swept Wing aircraft to go supersonic. Flew from 1984 to 1991.

Number 78:  F-16XL 1,500 mph. Experimental aircraft first flown in 1982 and retired in 2009

Number 79:  F-117 684 mph. Only U.S.A.F. stealthy light bomber from 1982 to 2008.

Fastest Aircraft of the 1970’s:

Number 80: Concorde 1,350 mph. The fastest ever airliners produced outside of the Soviet Union. They flew from 1976 to 2003.

Number 81:  Tupolev Tu-144 1,553 mph. World’s fastest commercial jets, produced in the Soviet Union, they went into service in 1975 and flew through 1987.

Number 82:  F-14 Tomcat 1,585 mph. One of the fastest fighter aircraft to be used by the U. S. Navy. They flew from 1973 to 2006.

Number 83:  Saab 37 Viggen 1,386 mph. Fastest Sweedish aircraft of their time when deployed in 1971. They retired from active duty in 2005.

Fastest Aircraft of the 1960’s:

Number 84:  Lockheed AH-56 rotorcraft 252 mph unofficial record. Flown from 1967 to 1972, it was arguably the fastest rotorcraft until 2010.

Number 85:  F-111 Aardvark 1,850 mph. World’s fastest strategic bomber deployed from 1967 through 2010.

Number 86:  A-5 Vigilante 1,320 mph. They were in active service from 1964 to 1980.

Number 87:  XB-70 Valkyrie 2,056 mph. Fastest U.S. experimental heavy bomber. Flew from 1964 to 1969.

Number 88:  Antonov A-13 122 mph class glider speed record on 2/8/62

Number 89:  B-58 Hustler 1,325 mph – Set numerous cross-country speed records. Deployed from 1960 to 1970

Number 90:  Saab 35 Draken 1,317 mph. Fastest Swedish aircraft when deployed in 1960, they flew through 2005.

Fastest Aircraft of the 1950’s:

Number 91:  English Electric Lightning 1,300 mph + fastest ever British fighter aircraft. It was deployed in 1959 and retired in 1988.

Number 92:  F-105 Thunderchief 1,390 mph. Deployed from 1959 to 1980.

Number 93:  Avro Arrow 1,300 mph. Five prototypes were produced in Canada. They were first tested in 1958. In 1959 the project was canceled.

Number 94:  F-8 Crusader 1,325 mph. Deployed in 1958, retired in 2000.

Number 95:  F-107 Ultra Sabre 1,295 mph. Only jet aircraft to have the engine air intake on top of the fuselage. Flew from 9/10/56 to 11/25/57.

Number 96:  XB-47D 598 mph. Fastest combined prop and jet driven aircraft that first flew on 8/26/55.

Number 97:  MiG-19 Farmer 900 mph. The first Soviet aircraft capable of going supersonic in level flight. First deployed in 1955, some are still deployed in North Korea to date.

Number 98:  A-4 Skyhawk 695 mph speed record. First flown in 1954 and retired from the U.S.N. in 2003.

Number 99:  Convair F2Y Sea Dart 825 mph unofficial record. The fastest jet powered seaplane in the world. It flew from 1953 to 1957.

Number 100:  A2D Skyshark 500 mph+. The world’s fastest single engine turboprop. Prototypes flew from 1950 to 1954.

Fastest Aircraft of the 1940’s  (Bonus 100+):

Grumman F9F Panther 575 mph. It was Grumman’s first production jet fighter, deployed from 1949 to 1958.

The Vought F4U Corsair was the first single engine fighter that could exceed 400 mph in level flight.

MiG-15 670 mph. It was the fastest Soviet military fighter aircraft of the Korean War and was deployed from 1949 to 1969.

de Havilland DH.103 Hornet 472 mph. Set a cross-country speed record on 9/18/49. Deployed from 1946 to 1956.

B-29 Superfortress 357 mph. Fastest WW Two heavy bomber, first deployed in 1945, they stayed in service until 1960.

Hawker Sea Fury 460 mph. The world’s fastest production single piston engine aircraft produced in Great Britain, deployed from 1945 to 1953. Heavily Modified Sea Fury aircraft can be seen today as air racers.

Heinkel He-162 562 mph. Arguably the fastest WW II jet fighter. Few were produced by Germany prior to the end of WWII in 1945.

MXY7 Ohka 535 mph Fastest ever WW II Japanese rocket powered aircraft produced for Kamikaze attacks in 1945.

Do-335 Pfeil 474 mph. Fastest twin prop and fastest WW II prop driven airplane, produced by Germany in small numbers from 1944 to 1945.

Ryan FR-1 Fireball 426 mph. It was the fastest combined jet and propeller powered military fighter aircraft. The FR-1 first flew in 1944 and was retired in 1947.

Republic P-47M Thunderbolt 473 mph.  A total of 130 were deployed in Great Britain just prior to the end of World War II.  Their engines produced 2,800 hp using water injection (emergency war power).  The aircraft were lightened by reducing their machine guns from eight to six. 

North American P-51 Mustang 437 mph. The fastest long range WW II military fighter aircraft, it was first deployed in 1942, with the last Mustang retired from active military service in 1984. Many civilian aircraft still fly today.  The P-51 Mustang “Voodoo” holds the unofficial world speed record of 531.53 MPH.

North American F-82 Twin Mustang  470 mph.  Scored first U.S. air to air victories during the Korean War.  Deployed from 1946 to 1952.

CR.42 Falco 323 mph unofficial record. Produced by Italy in 1941, it is still the world’s fastest biplane.

Fastest Aircraft of the 1930’s:

Messerschmitt Bf/Me-109 379.38 mph – 1937 speed record

Gloster Gauntlet 230 mph. When introduced in 1935, the fastest British aircraft of its type.

Curtiss P-6   266 mph unofficial cross country 1932 record

Beech Staggerwing 197.7 mph. First flown in 1932 and still flying today, they set a number of light aircraft pre-World War II speed records.

Gee Bee R-1 Super Sportster  296.287 mph. During qualifications for the 1932 Thompson Trophy race, the Gee Bee with Jimmy Doolittle flying it, set a world speed record.


  1. Although an aircraft named Aurora is not in any public records, it appears that the Scramjet, HTV, and X-51 may have been funded under an Aurora project.

  2. Wow! Even the fastest motor glider, radio control jet, and electric airplane are shown.

  3. Amazing how some of the oldest speed records, like fastest seaplane and fastest biplane still stand to date.

  4. True, few biplanes or seaplanes are manufactured. But the CR.42 Falco record setter was a one of a kind. Maybe someone will put a huge engine in the Waco or other current biplane. With regards to seaplanes, for a propeller driven aircraft, the same thing could happen. However, it would probably take the military to produce a supersonic jet powered seaplane, and there is no reason to produce one.

  5. the f-104 star fighter it was faster then that its nick name was missle with a man in it one was used in the movie the right stuff

  6. The F-104 set all sorts of speed, altitude and time to climb records. It was also very difficult to fly and had a reputation as a “widow maker”. Those short, razor thin wings weren’t made for maneuverability. Lockheed was able to increase plane sales through bribing many high ranking officials when that kind of thing was still legal, although I think some folks did end up doing jail time.

  7. P-47M top speed usually listed at 473
    P-47n top speed 467.
    Both these aircraft saw combat . Surely the fastest U.S. Propeller aircraft to see combat in ww2

  8. Thank you for the info on the P-47M. Have included it with fastest aircraft of the 1940’s. Can’t find anything about the speed of the model “N”. It seemed to be produced for longer range, not greater speed.

  9. OK, where’s the B-58 Hustler? It was the first mach 2 bomber and still holds the record for the longest super sonic flight.

  10. The F4U Corsair was the first U.S. production fighter aircraft that could fly at over 400 mph. It is shown with fastest aircraft of the 1940’s.


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