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Fastest Passenger Plane in the World

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by Debapriya Deb, May 20, 2016.

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  1. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    Have you ever wondered, what is the fastest passenger plane in the world?

    No doubt, speed thrills. Humans are fascinated by speed, and the civil aviation industry is no different. A lot of effort have been invested in the past to come up with the fastest passenger pane in the world, and we have witnessed the dreams of super-sonic jets become a reality. Then we have had those fighter jets that can cruise even faster than the sound!

    But that was not the end of it. The urge to build even faster jet-liners continues to drive the aero scientists even today. A company named Boom Aero has recently revealed their plans to build the fastest passenger airplane ever, which would even beat the super-sonic jets hands down.

    While that's still at a nascant stage and the scients continue to research further on ways to increase the speed of commercial aircrafts, let's take a look at the top seven fastest passenger planes in the world to have been made ever.

    There are fighter jets like Sukhoi and Rafale which are much faster than the bigger commercial aircrafts, but we have excluded them from this list. This article is all about the fastest passenger planes in the world and only the aircrafts which have been used to transport passengers have been included this elite list. Few of these aircrafts are still in service today, while a few others have been retired due to various reasons.

    7 Fastest Passenger Planes in the World

    1. Tupolev TU-144

    Top Cruising Speed - 2340 KM/H (Mach 2.29)
    Manufactured By - Voronezh Aircraft Production Association
    First Flight - 1968
    First Commercial Service - 1975
    First Passenger Service - 1977
    Retired - 1983
    Numbers Produced - 16
    Seating Capacity - 140 (+3)

    Tupolev TU-144 holds the record for being the fastest ever commercial plane in the world. At the time of its first flight on 31st December 1968, it was the maiden commercial supersonic transport aircraft (SST) in the world. This jet-liner was built by Voronezh Aircraft Production Association of the then Soviet Union. It was powered by 4 Kolesov RD-36-51 turbojet engines and had the ability to attain a maximum cruising speed of Mach 2.29 or 2340 KM/H. It had a seating capacity of 140 passengers and 3 crew memebrs.

    Tupolev TU-144 was introduced into commercial cargo service on 26th December, 1975. It was first used as a commercial passenger jet on 1st November, 1977.

    Passenger service was suspended on TU-144 after one of the aircrafts crash-landed during a test flight on 23rd May, 1978. The last passenger service was operated on 1st June, 1978. It was used to operate 55 passenger flights during that period.

    Even after the suspension of passenger flights, the TU-144 was still being used for cargo services. But 1983 marked the end of its lifespan as the aircraft was completely grounded for various reasons including cost-inefficiency and safety concerns. Only 16 unit of Tupolev TU 144 came out of production before the project got abandoned.

    Although this aircraft was retired almost 40 years ago, nevertheless, Tupolev TU-144 still remains the fastest passenger plane in the world. No passenger aircraft produced till today could beat its record setting cruising speed of 2340 KM/H.

    2. Concorde

    Top Cruising Speed - 2180 KM/H (Mach 2.04)
    Manufactured By - Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC)
    Introduced - 1969
    First Commercial Service - 1976
    First Passenger Service - 1976
    Retired - 2003
    Numbers Produced - 20
    Seating Capacity - 120 (+3)

    Powered by 4 Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 Mk 610 Afterburning turbojets, the Concorde aircraft could attain a maximum cruising speed on Mach 2.04 or 2180 KM/H. It was built in a joint venture by Franch-based Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). Corcorde is one of the two supersonic transport (SST) aircrafts to have been operated, the other being the Russian Tupolev TU-144.

    Corcorde had a seating capacity of 90-120 passengers and 3 crew members. It gained immense popularity after being introduced in service on 21st January 1976, and many top-rated airliners ordered for the aircraft in large numbers. However, there was a slump in its popularity due to safety reasons in the later half of 1980s. Two crashes, first in 1989 and the second in 1992, resulted in further decline in its popularity. The fatal accident on 25th July 2000, involving Air France flight 4590, proved to be the final nail in its dwindling usage.

    It was eventually phased out of passenger service in 2003. The last Concorde flight operated on 26th November, 2003. Low passenger count following the 25 July 2000 crash, the slump in air travel following the 09/11 attacks, and rising maintenance costs were cited as the reasons for retiring Concorde, but many believe that the main reason was the business conflict with AirBus.

    There have been talks to revive the Concorde project again, but there has not been any significant build-up as yet.

    3. Cessna Citation X

    Top Cruising Speed - 972 KM/H
    Manufactured By - Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC)
    Introduced - 1993
    First Commercial Service - 1996
    First Passenger Service - 1996
    Retired - Still Operational
    Numbers Produced - 330+
    Seating Capacity - 12 (+3)

    The Cessna Citation X currently holds the title of the fastest passenger plane in the world amonng those aircrafts that are still operational. It is a long-ranger, medium-sized business jet manufactured by the American company Cessna. Citation X is powered by two variants of engines - 2 x Rolls-Royce AE 3007C or 2 x AE 3007C1 engines. Unlike Tupolev and Concorde, the Cessna X is a subsonic aircraft that can attain a maximum cruising speed of 972 KM/H. The aircraft can accommodate upto 12 passengers and 2 crew members.

    The first prototype of Cessna X made its maiden flight on 21st December 1993. It went into commercial passenger service from 1996. Around 330 units have been manufactured till date, all of which are operated by private individuals, business houses and charter operators.

    4. Gulfstream G650

    Top Cruising Speed - 956 KM/H
    Manufactured By - Gulfstream Aerospace
    Introduced - 2008
    First Commercial Service - 2009
    First Passenger Service - 2009
    Retired - Still Operational
    Numbers Produced - 165+
    Maximum Seating Capacity - 18 (+2)

    Gulfstream G650 is a multi-purpose twin-engine jet plane manufactured by US-based Gulfstream Aerospace. This 18-seater aircraft is mainly used as a business jet, besides being used by smaller airlines to fly mid-range routes. Two Rolls-Royce Deutschland BR725 turbofan engines power this superfast cruiser which can effortlessly fly long-distance routes. It can attain a maximum cruising speed of 956 KM/H on short-houl routes, while for longer ranges, it has the ability to fly at a speed of 904 KM/H. According to Gulfstream official website, more than 165 unis of this aircraft have been sold so far.

    5. Dassault Falcon 900 EX

    Top Cruising Speed - 950 KM/H
    Manufactured By - Dassault Aviation
    Introduced - 1984
    First Commercial Service - 2007
    First Passenger Service - 2007
    Retired - Still Operational
    Numbers Produced - 187+
    Maximum Seating Capacity - 19 (+2)

    The 5th fastest passenger plane in the world is Dassault Falcon 900 EX. This long-range business jet is manufactured by France-based Dassault Aviation. Powered by 3 Honeywell TFE731-5BR-1C turbofan engines, this superfast jet can attain a maximum cruise speed of 950 KM/H - helping it to be placed above Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8 series aircrafts in the list of world's fastest passenger jets. It has a seating capacity of 19 passengers and 2 cockpit crew members.

    Falcon 900 series made its debut flight on 21st September, 1984. More than 500 units of this business jet has been sold so far and its production still continues. A wide range of private owners, businesses houses and smaller airlines operate Falcon 900 EX due to its speed, cost-efficiency and advanced cockpit features.

    6. Airbus A380

    Top Cruising Speed - 945 KM/H
    Manufactured By - Airbus
    Introduced - 2005
    First Commercial Service - 2007
    First Passenger Service - 2007
    Retired - Still Operational
    Numbers Produced - 187+
    Maximum Seating Capacity - 868 (+2)

    With a maximum cruising speed of 945 KM/H, world's largest passenger jet - Airbus A380 - ranks as the 6th fastest passenger plane in the world. Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body aircraft manufactured by Airbus. It has a maximum seating capacity of 870 passengers in a typical all-economy setup, including the pilots and the cabin crew. It is powered by 4 turbofan engines. Two engine variants are offered with this aircrafts - customers can opt for either the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 series or Engine Alliance GP7000 series.

    Airbus A380 was unveiled to the world on 27th April, 2005. The first passenger flight on Airbus A380 was operated by Singapore Airlines from Singapore to Sydney on 25th October, 2007. Till date 187 units have been produced and delivered to different customers while another 132 aircrafts are placed on order - making it one of the highest sold wide-body aircrafts in the world.

    7. Boeing 747-8

    Top Cruising Speed - 917 KM/H
    Manufactured By - Boeing
    Introduced - 2011
    First Commercial Service - 2012
    First Passenger Service - 2012
    Retired - Still Operational
    Numbers Produced - 102+
    Maximum Seating Capacity - 605 (+2)

    Fondly referred to as the 'Jumbo Jet', Boeing 747-8 series aircrafts are the third generation of Boeing's Legendary 747 series aircrafts, which have been one of the flagbearers in civil aviation history. With lengthened fuselage, redesigned wings, and improved efficiency, Boeing 747-8 is the largest ever aircraft coming out of Boeing's stable. With an overall length of 76.3 meters, it is also the longest passenger plane in the world. It has the capacity to hold upto 605 passengers in an economy setup, excluding the crew members.

    Powered by 4 General Electric GEnx-2B67 engines, this commercial jetliner is able to attain a maximum cruise speed of 917 KM/H. It was first introduced on October 12, 2011 and the first passenger flight was operated on 1st June, 2012, by Lufthansa Airlines. So far 102 units of this aeroplane has been delivered with another 23 still in production.

    So these are the top 7 fastest passenger planes in the world. Have you ever flown in any of these superfast jetliners? If yes, then do make sure to share your flying experience.

    Sharath S and Chahal like this.

  2. Sharath S

    Sharath S Member

    Now Elon Musk the CEO of Tesla motors is helping create the fastest transportation by Land called the Hyper loop. This is basicaly Maglev Trains on Steroids. Trains are freely suspended in a vacuum Tube and run. because there is no friction no energy is lost and 100% of the energy is used to drive the Body forward. If this idea were to come true trains would reach speeds equal to 760 mph which equals around 1200Kmph. So Technology is moving faster than our thoughts.

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