How Fast Does a Plane Go?

fast-plane Credit: Ronnie Macdonald/CC-BY 2.0

How fast a plane goes depends on the type of plane and other factors such as altitude and weather conditions. As of 2014, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird has the official record for a manned airplane speed, at 2,193 mph.

Some experimental, rocket-powered aircraft go much faster. For example, the X-15 is powered by a rocket and holds the record for the fastest manned aircraft, at 4,520 mph. This record was reached in 1963.

As of 2014, among current military aircraft, the F-15 Eagle fighter jet reaches speeds of about 1,650 mph. At the same time, commercial jetliners typically travel between 430 and 560 mph. Jets use powerful jet engines that are quiet and work well at high altitudes.