Fastest Aircraft Right Now

In the air, “Speed” becomes a lot more complicated than when traveling on land. There are several types of speed:

  • Groundspeed – the speed of the aircraft over the ground, after effects of headwind/tailwind are added to true airspeed.
  • True Airspeed – the true speed of the aircraft through the air. Not affected by wind.
  • Indicated Airspeed (IAS) – airspeed indicated in the cockpit, measured by the pressure of the air being rammed into the pitot tube by forward motion through the air. As we climb higher and the air gets thinner, less “pressure” is rammed into this tube.
  • Mach Number – the speed of the aircraft through the air as a percentage of the speed of sound in that air. The speed of sound changes as the air gets thinner and it’s temperature changes.