The 450+ Club: Piston-engined warplanes (and one racer) that went beyond 450 miles per hour

F8F Bearcat: An Engine With a Saddle

Whether by massive brute force, beautifully sleek aerodynamic form or a combination of both, a small number of piston-engined aircraft achieved flight speeds of over 450mph. These speeding monsters were the ultimate expression of the high-performance piston aircraft.

Hughes XF-11 (1946)

https://oldmachinepress.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/Hughes-XF-11-no1-taxi.jpg

Top speed: 450mph

Mikoyan-Gurevich I-225 (1944)

Mikoyan/Gurevich I-225 - fighter

Top speed: 451mph

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk 24 (1946)

Top speed: 454 mph

Martin-Baker MB 5 (1944)

Martin-Baker MB 5 - Wikipedia

Top speed: 460 mph

Grumman F7F Tigercat (1943)

F7F Tigercat - Wikimedia Commons

Normal top speed: 460 mph

Messerchmitt Me 209 (1938)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5a/Messerschmitt_Me_209_V-4_on_the_ground.jpg

Top speed: 469mph

Focke-Wulf Ta 152H (1944)

472 mph with nitrous oxide boost

De Havilland Hornet (1944)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/De_Havilland_Hornet_F1.jpg

472 mph

Dornier Do 335 (1943)

Top speed: 474mph

Heinkel He 100 (1938)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7a/He_100D_colour.jpg

Normal top speed: 420 mph

Maximum achieved: 466 mph

Did it enter service? No

Republic XF-12 Rainbow (1946)

Republic's Fleeting Masterpiece: The Stunning XF-12 Rainbow

Top speed: 470 mph

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North American XP-82 Twin Mustang (1945)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c7/P-82_Twin_Mustang.jpg

Top speed: 482 mph

Hawker Fury/Sea Fury (1944/45)

Hawker Fury I (Sabre-Powered) Fighter | Old Machine Press

Top speed: 483mph (Sabre Fury)

(Centaurus Sea Fury – in race mod, 510+ mph)

Supermarine Spiteful (1944)

Vickers Supermarine Spiteful | BAE Systems | United Kingdom

Normal top speed: 483 mph (Seafang naval variant 475 mph)

Republic XP-72 (1944)

Republic XP-72 Super Thunderbolt / Ultrabolt Fighter | Old Machine Press

Normal top speed: 490 mph

Maximum achieved: 494 mph

Republic XP-47J Superbolt (1944)

Republic XP-47J Superbolt Fighter | Old Machine Press

Top speed: 504mph

Grumman Bearcat (1944)

Normal top speed: 455 mph

Maximum achieved: (Rare Bear racer) 528.315 mph

North American P-51 Mustang (1940)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/88/Voodoo_P_51_2014_Gold_Champion_photo_D_Ramey_Logan.jpg

Normal top speed: 440mph

P-51H: 487mph

Maximum achieved: average speed of 554.69 mph+ for Voodoo racer derivative

_________________________

Notes

Northrop XP-56 Black Bullet

465 mph – probably not tested to this speed

Kyushu J7W Shinden

470 mph often quoted (probably an unofficial estimate)

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