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Fastest manned plane

Fastest manned plane

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The X-15

The fastest manned plane in the world is the North American X-15 rocket-powered aircraft.  This was part of an experimental series known only as the X-series.  The series began with the construction of the Bell X-1.

The planes were made only for NASA, the USAF and the USN.  The X-15 broke both altitude and speed records back in the early 1960s.  They were reported to have reached “the edge of outer space” and recorded vital information later utilized to design not only aircraft but spacecraft too.

The X-15 program records reveal that 13 different flights by eight different pilots exceeded an altitude of 50 miles which according to U.S. Air Force spaceflight criteria qualified all the pilots for the status of astronaut.  In fact, flying this aircraft some of the pilots even earned their NASA astronaut wings.  Manned by pilot Pete Knight an X-15 reached the speed of 4,519 mph (or 7,273 km/h).

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(Image courtesy of Windstream)


About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.