10. Su-24 Fencer: Mach 2.4
The Sukhoi Su-24 (NATO reporting name: Fencer) is an all-weather interdiction and attack aircraft developed in the Soviet Union. The two-seat, twin-engined Su-24 carried the USSR’s first integrated digital nav/attack system. It remains in service with former Soviet air forces and various export nations. The Su-24 has a shoulder-mounted variable geometry wing outboard of a relatively small fixed wing glove, swept at 69°.
The wing has four sweep settings: 16° for take-off and landing, 35° and 45° for cruise at different altitudes, and 69° for minimum aspect ratio and wing area in low-level dashes. The variable geometry wing provides excellent STOL performance, allowing a landing speed of 230 km/h (143 mph), even lower than the Sukhoi Su-17 despite substantially greater take-off weight. Its high wing loading provides a stable low-level ride and minimal gust response. -Wikipedia.org
9. X-1: Mach 2.435
The Bell X-1, originally designated XS-1, was a joint NACA-U.S. Army Air Forces/US Air Force supersonic research project and the first aircraft to exceed the speed of sound in controlled, level flight. This resulted in the first of the so-called X-planes, an American series of experimental aircraft designated for testing of new technologies and usually kept highly secret. The X-1 was in principle a “bullet with wings”, its shape closely resembled the Browning .50-caliber (12.7 mm) machine gun bullet that was known to be stable in supersonic flight.
The pattern shape was followed to the point of seating the pilot behind a sloped, framed window inside a confined cockpit in the nose, with no ejection seat. After the aircraft ran into compressibility problems in 1947, it was modified to feature a variable-incidence tailplane. An all-moving tail was developed by the British for the Miles M.52, and first saw actual transonic flight on the Bell X-1 that allowed it to pass through the sound barrier safely. -Wikipedia.org
8. F-111 Aardvark: Mach 2.5
The General Dynamics F-111 “Aardvark” is a medium-range interdictor and tactical strike aircraft that also fills the roles of strategic bomber, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare in its various versions. Developed in the 1960s and first entering service in 1967, the United States Air Force (USAF) variants were officially retired by 1998. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is the sole remaining operator of the F-111.
The F-111 pioneered several technologies for production military aircraft including variable-sweep wings, afterburning turbofan engines, and automated terrain following radar for low-level, high-speed flight. Its design was influential, being reflected in later Soviet aircraft such as the Sukhoi Su-24, and some of its advanced features have since become commonplace. During its inception, however, the F-111 suffered a variety of development problems, and several of its intended roles, such as naval interception through the F-111B, failed to materialize. -Wikipedia.org
7. MiG-25 Foxbat (Ye-155): Mach 2.8
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 (Russian: МиГ-25) (NATO reporting name: Foxbat) is a high-supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance-bomber aircraft designed by the Soviet Union’s Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau. First flown as a prototype in 1964, it entered service in 1970. With a top speed of Mach 2.83+, a powerful radar and four air-to-air missiles, the MiG-25 worried U.S. observers and prompted development of the F-15 Eagle in late 1960s.
The aircraft’s capabilities were better understood in 1976 when Soviet pilot Viktor Belenko defected in a MiG-25 to the United States via Japan. The MiG-25 series had a production run of 1,190 aircraft. The MiG-25 flew with a number of Soviet allies and former Soviet republics and it remains in limited service in Russia and several other nations. -Wikipedia.org
6. MiG-31 Foxhound: Mach 2.83
The Mikoyan MiG-31 (NATO reporting name: Foxhound) is a supersonic interceptor aircraft developed to replace the MiG-25 ‘Foxbat’. The MiG-31 was designed by the Mikoyan design bureau based on the MiG-25. The MiG-25 ‘Foxbat’, despite Western panic about its tremendous performance, made substantial design sacrifices in capability for the sake of achieving high speed, altitude, and rate of climb.
It lacked manoeuvrability at interception speeds, was difficult to fly at low altitudes, and its inefficient turbojet engines resulted in a very short combat range at supersonic speeds. The MiG-25’s speed gauge was redlined at Mach 2.8, and pilots were instructed not to top Mach 2.5 in order to preserve the engines. Achieving the MiG-25’s maximum potential speed of Mach 3.2 would result in the destruction of the engines. -Wikipedia.org
Do you like this article? You can write articles like this and make money from it. It is free to join and you can make money online as soon as you sign-up. Click on the link to Sign-up with Bukisa.com and starting making some good money on the internet.
5. XB-70 Valkyrie: Mach 3.1
The North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie was the prototype version of the proposed B-70 nuclear-armed deep penetration bomber for the United States Air Force’s Strategic Air Command. Designed in the late 1950s, the Valkyrie was a large six-engined aircraft able to fly Mach 3+ at an altitude of 70,000 ft (21,000 m), which would have allowed it to avoid interceptors, the only effective anti-bomber weapon at the time.
Two XB-70 prototypes were built for the U.S. Air Force. The aircraft program’s high development costs, and changes in the technological environment with the introduction of effective high-altitude surface-to-air missiles, led to the cancellation of the B-70 program in 1961. Although the proposed fleet of operational B-70 bombers was never built, the XB-70A aircraft were used in supersonic test flights from 1964 to 1969, performing research for the design of large supersonic aircraft. One prototype crashed following a midair collision in 1966; the other is on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Ohio. -Wikipedia.org
4. X-2: Mach 3.2
The Bell X-2 “Starbuster” was a research aircraft built to investigate flight characteristics in the Mach 2-3 range. The Bell X-2 was developed to provide a vehicle for researching flight characteristics in excess of the limits of the Bell X-1 and D-588 II, while investigating aerodynamic heating problems in what was then called the ‘thermal thicket.’
The Bell X-2 had a prolonged development period due to the advances needed in aerodynamic design, high-temperature resistant materials to be used, and technologies that had to be developed. Not only did the X-2 push the envelope of manned flight to speeds, altitudes and temperatures beyond any other aircraft at the time, it pioneered throttleable rocket motors and digital flight simulation. -Wikipedia.org
3. SR-71 Blackbird (YF-12): Mach 3.2+
The Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” is an advanced, long range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Lockheed A-12 and YF-12 aircraft by the Lockheed Skunk Works as a Black project. The SR-71 was unofficially named the Blackbird, and called the Habu by its crews, referring to an Okinawan species of pit viper.
Clarence “Kelly” Johnson was responsible for many of the design’s innovative concepts. A defensive feature of the aircraft was its high speed and operating altitude, whereby, if a surface-to-air missile launch were detected, standard evasive action was simply to accelerate.
The SR-71 line was in service from 1964 to 1998, with 12 of the 32 aircraft destroyed in accidents, though none were lost to enemy action. Since 1976, it has held the world record for the fastest air breathing manned aircraft, a record previously held by the YF-12. -Wikipedia.org
2. X-15: Mach 6.72
The North American X-15 rocket-powered aircraft/spaceplane was part of the X-series of experimental aircraft, initiated with the Bell X-1, that were made for the USAF, NASA, and the USN. The X-15 set speed and altitude records in the early 1960s, reaching the edge of outer space and returning with valuable data used in aircraft and spacecraft design. It currently holds the official world record for the fastest speed ever reached by a manned rocket powered aircraft.
During the X-15 program, 13 of the flights (by eight pilots) met the USAF spaceflight criteria by exceeding the altitude of 50 miles (80.47 km, 264,000 ft), thus qualifying the pilots for astronaut status. The USAF pilots qualified for USAF astronaut wings, while the civilian pilots were later awarded NASA astronaut wings. -Wikipedia.org
1. X-43 (Unmanned): Mach 9.8
The X-43 is an unmanned experimental hypersonic aircraft with multiple planned scale variations meant to test various aspects of hypersonic flight. It was part of NASA’s Hyper-X program. It has set several airspeed records for jet-propelled aircraft. A winged booster rocket with the X-43 itself at the tip, called a “stack”, is launched from a carrier plane. After the booster rocket (a modified first stage of the Pegasus rocket) brings the stack to the target speed and altitude, it is discarded, and the X-43 flies free using its own engine, a scramjet. -Wikipedia.org
Did you like this article? You can write articles like this and make money from it. It is free to join and you can make money online as soon as you sign-up. Click on the link to Sign-up with Bukisa.com and starting making some good money on the internet.