Top 58 fastest aeroplanes

These are the 58 fastest manned aircraft that ever flown. As you’ll see, the age of speed peaked in the 1960s: today the US Navy hasn’t a frontline aircraft that comes close to making it into the top 58!

58. Avro CF-105 Arrow (1958)


57. Northrop YF-17

Mach 2. Oh, and I should also add the Convair B-58 Hustler here, also at Mach 2. And the Gripen.

B-58 (modified).jpg

56. BAe Experimental Aircraft Programme (1986)

BAe EAP ZF534 07-1988

Mach 2.

55. Saab 35 Draken (1955)

Mach 2

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54. Northrop F-20 Tigershark (1980)

F-20 flying.jpg

Mach 2

53. Sukhoi Su-57 (2010)

Mach 2 (est)

52. North American A-5 Vigilante (1958)

Mach 2

51. Douglas D-558-II Skyrocket (1953)

Mach 2.005

50. Dassault Mirage IIIV (1965)

Mirage III V: origins, characteristics and performance data

Mach 2.04 (Fastest ever VTOL aircraft). Should also include the Grumman F11F-1F Super Tiger here at Mach 2.04.

F11F-1F NAN12-56.jpg

49. Tupolev Tu-160 (1981)

Tupolev Tu-160 RF-94109.jpg

Mach 2.05. (I should have also added the Eurofighter Typhoon here which has also gone M2.05)

48. General Dynamics F-16 (1974)

Mach 2.05

47. English Electric Lightning (1957)

Mach 2.1 (fastest British aeroplane)

46. Saab 37 Viggen (1967)

Mach 2.1 (fastest Swedish aeroplane)

45. Helwan HA-300 (1964)

Mach 2.1 (Fastest African aircraft)

(I should have added Chengdu J-10A here at Mach 2.1, awaiting verification)

44. Republic F-105 Thunderchief (1955)

Mach 2.1

43. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (1955)

A MIG-21 aircraft flies past during the inauguration of the 12th edition of AERO India 2019 air show

Mach 2.1

42. Tupolev Tu-144 (1968)


Mach 2.15

41. Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8 (1962)

Ron Eisele on Twitter: "29 June 1962. First flight of the Mikoyan/Gurevich  Ye-8/2. Second prototype supersonic jet fighter developed from and to  replace the MiG-21. Powered by a Tumansky R-21 turbojet.…"

Mach 2.15

40. Sukhoi Su-15 (1962)

Mach 2.16

39. Nord 1500-2 Griffon II (1957)

Nord 1500 Griffon II.jpg

Mach 2.19

38. Mirage F1 (1966)

Mach 2.2

37. Mirage 2000 (1978)

French Mirage 2000 fighters kill 50 Islamic insurgents in Mali

Mach 2.2

36. Mirage IV (1959)

Dassault Mirage IVP, France - Air Force AN0758316.jpg

Mach 2.2

35. Dassault Mirage III (1956)

Mach 2.2

34. Dassault Mirage 5 (1967)

Mach 2.2

33. Dassault Mirage F2 (1966)

Mirage III F2 F3: origins, characteristics and performance data

Mach 2.2

32. McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II (1958)

Why You Need to Respect the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II Fighter | The  National Interest

Mach 2.2. It is rumoured that the prototype XF4H-1 reached Mach 2.6 and that a special recon variant reached even greater speeds.

31.. Rockwell B-1A ‘Excalibur’ (1974)

Mach 2.22

30. Sukhoi Su-11 (1958)

Index of /image/idop/fighter/su11

Mach 2.2

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29. Northrop YF-23 (1990)

Mach 2.2 1990

28. Lockheed F-104 Starfighter (1954)

F-104 Starfighter | Lockheed Martin

Mach 2.2

27. Sukhoi Su-47 (1997)

Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut: an advanced Soviet fighter jet on a test flight

Mach 2.21

26. Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde

Max recorded 2.23 (Normal Mach 2)

25. Mikoyan Project 1.44 (2000)

MIG Project 1.44 MFI [HD] - YouTube

Mach 2.24

24. Mikoyan MiG-29 (1977)

Mach 2.25

23. Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor (1997)

An F-22 Raptor flies over Kadena Air Base, Japan on a routine training mission in 2009.

Mach 2.25

22. Panavia Tornado ADV (1979)

Royal Air Force Panavia Tornado F3 Lofting-3.jpg

Mach 2.27

21. Dassault Mirage 4000 (1979)

Dessault Mirage 4000 - France | Fighter jets, Aircraft, Fighter aircraft

Mach 2.3

(The IAI Kfir is also quoted as Mach 2.3 though verification is sought)

20. Dassault Mirage G (1967)

Mirage G: origins, characteristics and performance data


19. Grumman F-14 Tomcat (1968)

Mach 2.34

18. Sukhoi Su-27 (1977)

Mach 2.35

17. Mikoyan MiG-23 (1967)

Mach 2.35

16. Chengdu J-20

anil chopra, air power asia, J 20, Stealth, China

Estimated Mach 2.35 (Expected to get to 2.5 with future engines)

UPDATE: With divert-less bumps M1.6-2 seems more likely

15. Convair F-106 Delta Dart

Convair F-106: The Ultimate Interceptor

Mach 2.39

14. Vought XF8U-3 Crusader III (1958)

Mach 2.39

13. Shenyang J-8II (1984)


Mach 2.4 (limited to 2.2 in peacetime)

12. Bell X-1A (1953)

Bell X-1A Archives - This Day in Aviation

Mach 2.44

11. General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark (1964)

An air-to-air left front view of an F-111 aircraft during a refueling mission over the North Sea DF-ST-89-03609.jpg

Mach 2.5 (though some pilots have said it was actually lower, maybe 2.2-2.3). One pilot has claimed M2.91.

10. McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle

McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle (Fighter) - Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum

Mach 2.54 (Really prob 2.2 for in-service aircraft) 1972

9. Mikoyan MiG-31

Mach 2.83 (LIMITED TO M1.5 in peacetime)

8. Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-152-1 (1961)

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG Ye-150/-152('E-166')/-152A | Secret Projects Forum

Mach 2.85

7. North American XB-70 Valkyrie (1964)

Mach 3.1

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6. Bell X-2 (1955)

Mach 3.196 (air-launched)

Pre-order your copy of The Hush-Kit Book of Warplanes here

5. Mikoyan MiG-25 (1964)

Mach 3.2 (normal limits 2.83) (FASTEST NON US AIRCRAFT)

4. Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird (1964)

Mach 3.3

3. Lockheed YF-12 3.35 (1963)


2. Lockheed A-12 3.35 1962

  1. North American X-15 (1959)

Mach 6.72



  1. scottfw

    Is there also a 56 fastest prop jobs post? Which would include the Republic Rainbow in the 4 engine category?
    As for this list; Avro Arrow is one of my favorite what ifs, as in, what if it had been allowed to live long and prosper?
    SAAB Viggen and Draken have always appealed to me. EE Lightning also.
    NA Vigilante looks almost too smooth, too slick.

      • scottfw

        Sorry; it keeps looking more and more like I am related to my Mom (who turned 81 a few days ago) you’ll tell her a thing you are doing and she’ll begin asking questions based on the 4th or 5th step in the future from where you are now; “Mom! Slow down! I’m not that far along yet!” (in 1970s she took flying lessons along with Dad and instructor said she was a natural pilot. Eventually, as can happen in aviation, the cash flow interfered with further progress)

      • scottfw

        Given my messy health that could take multiple months. But for a start I’ve bought a book about Republic Rainbow which says it was the world’s fastest aircraft of the 4 piston engines category.
        So, 1 down, 55 to go! ;D

  2. Pingback: Tuesday NatSec Roundup - Lawyers, Guns & Money
  3. splinterdass

    Would have been nice to have had an aerial shot of the 56Sqdn EE Lightning, or at least a full picture of the aircraft, and not just the ground crew, pretty as they are.

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