Many people say the X-15 does not count, since it is a rocket-powered plane, not an air-breathing jet one. Still, a manned aircraft that once reached Mach 6.7 or 4,520 mph surely has to count for something as far as speed demons are concerned. The X-15 remains the fastest manned aircraft ever.
At Mach 3.2, or over 2,200 mph, the SR-71 Blackbird is the fastest jet aircraft in the world.Too bad the Blackbird, which once flew from New York to London in 1 hour and 54 minutes, was retired in 1998.
With an average speed of Mach 2.83, or 2,115 mph, the Foxbat is the fastest jet fighter in the world. And unlike many of its Russian contemporaries, it is still very much in active service, albeit a limited one.
The Valkyrie was a U.S. Air Force nuclear bomber that had to capability to cruise at 2,000 mph, which effectively makes it one of the fastest bombers ever conceived. Unfortunately, it never got past the test stage, and only two prototypes were built, with one crashing in 1966, and the other one now on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.
Compared to the Russian Foxbat, the F-15 Eagle, the fastest fighter jet in the U.S. military arsenal, is a slowpoke. But its maximum speed of 1,875 mph and all-weather capabilities are nothing to sneeze at. In fact, the USAF plans to keep the F-15 in active service until 2025, a definite testament to the F-15â€™s overall reliability.