Fastest U.S. Military Planes

We feel the need, the need for speed! Muscle cars are fast, and we guess that’s cool, but friction on the roads and the shitty traffic we encounter daily kind of limits our ability to let the ponies roar the way they should. However, the skies are open and free for the fastest U.S. military planes, despite the thousands of flights crisscrossing the globe, yes it’s a globe. No, the Earth isn’t flat, don’t be stupid.

We’re going to get our fix for speed by taking the power to the skies where we can really let loose. We searched high and low, and after cross-referencing several different websites we feel we’ve got the most accurate numbers and rankings available.


1. SR-71 Blackbird

Officially, the SR-71 was said to have a top speed of Mach 3.2, but it did set a record of Mach 3.3 and one pilot claimed he flew in excess of Mach 3.5 over Libya…thats 2,685 miles per hour. If you want to get your speed fix this United States reconnaissance aircraft put everyone else in the world to shame.

Fastest U.S. Military Planes

2. F-15 Eagle

The pre-eminent fighter in the United States arsenal has an official top speed in excess of Mach 2.5 at high altitudes (1,650 miles per hour). Ruling the skies from the late 70’s an onward, nobody came close to the Eagle until the introduction of the F-22 when it came to capabilities. Still didn’t beat the Eagle in speed though.

Fastest U.S. Military Planes

3. F-14 Tomcat

Rest In Peace Goose. The iconic Naval fighter of the 1980’s and real star of Top Gun, the F-14 Tomcat has a top speed of Mach 2.34 or 1,544 miles per hour. The air superiority fighter was tested over the Gulf of Sidra when two Su-22 Fitters from the Libyan Air Force thought it’d be a good idea to engage the Tomcats…it didn’t end well for the Libyans.

Fastest U.S. Military Planes

4. F-22 Raptor

It may not be as fast as the other planes on this list, but what it lacks in speed compared to the others, it makes up for in stealth and maneuverability. With a top speed just at (or right under) Mach 2.25 or 1,500 miles per hour, the F-22 is definitely not to be trifled with. It is an all-inclusive badass aircraft that has no equal on the battlefield today.

Fastest U.S. Military Planes

5. F-4 Phantom

Coming in at just under 1,500 miles per hour, the roar of the Phantom is unmistakable. This Vietnam era aircraft could do it all. Air-to-Air? Check. Air-to-Ground? Check. Wreck Commies? Check. The F-4 was quite possibly the most versatile aircraft of its age until it was replaced by the F-14 and F-15 respectively.

Fastest U.S. Military Planes

Honorable Mentions

F-16 Falcon

Some sites have the top speed at a little over 2 or roughly 1,320 miles per hour. Some sites have it sitting at an even 1,500 miles per hour, putting it at Mach 2.25 and on par with the Raptor. Given the conflicting reports, we gave the iconic aircraft a spot because you just can’t leave out the plane that Doug Masters took the country of Bilya to task with.

Fastest U.S. Military Planes

F/A-18 Super Hornet

The Blue Angels put on a better show than the Thunderbirds. There we said it. Despite being the slowest of the fighters on this list, during their performances, the Blue Angels seem to fly lower and faster than their Thunderbird counterparts. So with that, our F/A-18’s earned their spot despite a measly Mach 1.6 top speed (1,190 miles per hour).

Fastest U.S. Military Planes


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