How Fast Can a Jet Go?

The top speed of any gas turbine engine-powered aircraft depends on its designed mission; however, with a cruising speed of Mach 3 or approximately 2,200 mph, the fastest aircraft in history is the SR-71 Blackbird. Commercial aircraft, with the exception of the Concorde, travel at transonic speeds.

The Concorde, operated by Air France and British Airways, had a cruising speed of 1,350 mph. This aircraft made its last commercial flight in October 2003. The Boeing 747-400ER, where "ER" stands for Extended Range, has a cruising speed of 567 mph, or Mach 0.86. This commercial aircraft is used for long distance flights, such as from New York to Hong Kong.