22 of The Fastest Aircraft in The World
Military spending and government projects have led to some of the fastest vehicles known to man, but which is fastest?
Although not a definitive list (as with all technologies, things develop at a rapid speed) and including some experimental projects and projected speeds, we've taken a look at some of the fastest aircraft developed in the world. Usually developed as military projects, the advancement of technology has seen some incredibly rapid vehicles flying through our skies. Here we look at the 22 of the fastest (as of writing - not necessarily the fastest) and countdown to number 1.
Top Speed: 617mph
Time To Circumnavigate the Globe: 40.36 hours
A secretive project that saw a twin-engine, single seater plane developed for the US military. Operational from 1983, it saw action in the Gulf War 1991 and during the Yugoslavia conflict 1999 where one was shot down making it the only one ever lost in combat. Retired in April 2008.
Top Speed: 630 mph
Time To Circumnavigate the Globe: 39.53 hours
Commonly known as the stealth bomber, it was designed so as to not be seen on radar (although radar technology has since developed). Used in Kosovo 1999, it also saw action in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Top Speed: 1,200mph
Time To Circumnavigate the Globe: 20.75 hours
Designed to perform ground attacks and aerial reconnaissance it is a descendant of the F-25 and the F-35 projects and as of 2014, 115 have been built.
Top Speed: 1,497mph
Time to Circumnavigate the Globe: Unknown
This Lockheed Martin model is a fifth-generation, single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather extraordinaire. Built for the United States Air Force, the F22 Raptor can pick up some serious speed, with a top speed mooted to be around the 2,410 km mark.
Unsurprisingly, the unit cost to manufacture a bad boy like this sets the American government back around $150m.