World's Fastest Jets Used Today

What's better than flying solo? Flying solo, really fast. Anyone who has had the opportunity to get behind the controls of a modern jet knows the quest for faster speeds never seems to end. Faster speeds mean greater challenges and a much more exhilarating experience for pilots. For passengers, it means getting where they are going more quickly than ever before.

So what are the world's fastest jets still being used today? It's hard to say for sure because information regarding many of the fastest military jets is classified. However, a little research offers plenty of facts and figures about commercial jets and some of the older military jets that have been in service for decades.

We've categorised the world's fastest jets still being used today under military and passenger categories. Please note that we may have left some off our list for lack of verifiable information.

Military Jets

Military applications always require you to be better than your enemy, regardless of the equipment you're talking about. Where aircraft is concerned, planes need to be faster, more agile, and capable of going greater distances. Yet speed is the most important factor most of the time. Here is our list of top performing military planes:

MiG Foxbat 25

Also known simply as the MiG 25, this jet was at one time the most important plane in the Russian military service. It is still being used by Russia, Algeria, and Syria today. The MiG 25 has a top speed of Mach 3.2 (2,190 mph), making it the ideal jet for reconnaissance and interceptor missions. MiG stands for Mikoyan-and-Gurevich, the former name of the Russian Aircraft Corporation.

MiG 31 Foxhound

MiG's 1980s-era interceptor was the MiG 31 Foxhound developed in the late 1970s and entered into service in the early 1980s. The plane's top speed is Mach 2.83 (1,860 mph), making it slightly slower than the MiG 25. However, the strength of this aircraft is its ability to maintain impressively high speeds even at low altitudes. Today it is in limited use in both the Russian and Kazakhstan Air Forces. It is also made by the Russian Aircraft Corporation.

F-15 Eagle Tactical Fighter

World's Fastest Jets Used Today: F-15 Eagle Tactical Fighter

The F-15 Eagle is one of the most famous fighter planes in US military history. It was originally developed by McDonnell Douglas in the 1960s. McDonnell Douglas was eventually bought out Boeing. Even so, the F-15 Eagle flies on. Its top speed is in excess of Mach 2.5 (1650 mph), though no official benchmark has ever been established. The US government expects the F-15 to continue flying well into the next decade as part of Air Force operations. The F-15 Eagle is also used by Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Japan.

Sukhoi Su-27

World's Fastest Jets Used Today: Sukhoi Su 27

The Cold War build-up of the 1970s was partly responsible for the creation of the SU-27, from former USSR military manufacturer Sukhoi. The plane earned its reputation as one of the most capable fighters in the Soviet fleet and, later, in the Russian air force. The SU-27's top speed has been clocked at Mach 2.35 (1550 mph). Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine are counted among those countries still using the aircraft. For the record, Sukhoi is now a private company.

Passenger Jets

Incredibly fast speeds are not reserved just for military aircraft. There are passenger aircraft that can go pretty fast as well, catering to wealthier fliers who can afford the cost. One of the fastest passenger planes ever created was the Concorde. However, as you know, the Concorde has been retired. With that said, here is our list of top performing commercial planes:

Cessna Citation X

You will not get Mach speed out of commercial aircraft, but going 700 mph is still not bad for transcontinental flights. That is the top speed of the world's fastest commercial aircraft, the Cessna Citation X. The plane was brought to the market in the mid-1990s and has been one of the most coveted private aircraft ever since. It features two Rolls-Royce engines and can carry up to seven passengers.

Dassault Falcon 7X

Not to be outdone by Cessna, Dassault Aviation came up with its own high-speed executive jet known as Falcon 7X. This eight-passenger jet is one of only two private executive jets to feature three engines rather than just two. Since first presented at the 2005 Paris air show, it has been a favourite among corporations and wealthy individuals. Dassault's Falcon 7X has a top speed of 685 mph.

Gulfstream G550

Aviation fans are well aware of the Gulfstream name, thanks to Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation's continual aircraft manufacturing since the late 1950s. Their G550 executive jet was introduced in 1983 and is now the third-fastest private jet in the world. Clocking in at 675 mph, it is only slightly slower than the Citation X and the Falcon 7X. What makes this plane so desirable is its advanced electronics and incredibly long range of 6,700 miles.

Gulfstream G500

The G500 is the older, and slightly slower, brother of the G550. Its top speed is a mere 673 mph. That is still fast enough to make it the fourth-fastest private jet in the world. As compared to the G550, it also has a considerably shorter range and lacks the Enhanced Vision System that makes the 550 so popular.

Boeing 747

Perhaps the most popular commercial passenger plane of all time is the Boeing 747. It is also the fastest of all commercial passenger jets with a top speed of 575 mph. The Boeing 747 is mostly used for trans-Atlantic flights due to its extremely long range and large seating capacity.

There are some other very notable planes in the commercial sector, including the Boeing 777 and the Airbus 340-600. At the end of the day, there are many planes capable of transporting us at incredibly high speeds. That's one of the things that make flying so exhilarating. Moreover, with technology advancing as quickly as it is who knows what the future of flight holds. Is it possible we could someday reach Mach 4?