In human history, what has been the fastest aircraft?

2023 Jan 21

In human history, the fastest aircraft is the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. It is a reconnaissance aircraft developed by Lockheed Corporation for the United States Air Force. The SR-71 was capable of flying at speeds of up to 2,193 miles per hour (3,529 km/h) or Mach 3.3. It was operated at altitudes of up to 85,000 feet (25,918 m) and was capable of flying faster than any other aircraft in the world at the time, and still holds the record as the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft in the world to this day.

The SR-71 was first flown in 1964 and was in service with the U.S. Air Force until 1998. The aircraft was designed to be extremely fast and high-flying to evade enemy radar and missiles. Its engines were also able to operate at high temperatures caused by the friction of the air at such high speeds.

The SR-71 was operated by a crew of two, a pilot and a Reconnaissance Systems Officer (RSO), it was used for reconnaissance missions and flew over North Vietnam, North Korea, and other areas during the Cold War. Due to its high operational costs and the advent of satellite reconnaissance, the SR-71 was retired in 1998, but it still holds the record as the fastest aircraft in human history.