With speed, power, long range, and advanced technology, the fastest jets in the sky command respect wherever they go.
The Lockheed F-22 Raptor is a force to be reckoned with: While this jet's top speed is classified, its published speed is Mach 2.42 (more than twice the speed of sound).
Beyond speed it has impressive capabilities which make it what Lockheed describes as “the world's preeminent air dominance fighter.” These include high altitude capabilities above 50,000 feet, stealth, agility, and precision attack capabilities.
While Russia's MiG-31 (at Mach 2.83) has higher published speeds, it can't match the Raptor in overall performance.
As Tim Robinson, editor in chief of the Royal Aeronautical Society's AEROSPACE Magazine, explains:
“The F-22s party trick is that it can supercruise at approximately 1.5-1.8 without afterburner—so it can stay faster longer and use less fuel. The MiG-31, as an interceptor on the other hand, uses brute force engine power to get places fast. The F-22 is air dominance, stealth, and fifth-generation. So, yeah, I would say it is overall superior to MiG-31. The MiG-31 was designed to go fast, carry lots of long-range missiles, powerful radar and intercept bombers. But if it got close in with a Raptor, the F-22 would have it for lunch.”
Speaking of lunch, you can have a fast ride to a luxury meal in your favorite restaurant on the opposite coast by flying on your own super-fast jet.
The Cessna CitationX is the world's fastest business jet, traveling at Mach .935 (close to 717 miles per hour) and has a range of 3,460 nautical miles. With those capabilities, you can easily have a morning meeting in New York City and in San Francisco on the same day.
Flying at significantly faster speeds than commercial planes (Mach .82-.83), without the hassles and delays at long TSA lines, was designed for busy globe-trotting VIPs. It has state-of-the art flight controls, and comfortable cabins suited for work, group travel, and one-to-one meetings.
A new Citation X will cost around $24 million, but you can buy one second-hand for under $10 million. You can also hire a CessnaX, when you need one, from services like NetJets.
But even new Citation X, right out of the Textron factory, is a bargain compared to the $150-million F-22 Raptor.
The Raptor is limited-edition, unless Congress brings it back. Raptor F-22 production was halted in 2009 when costs rose to $412 million per plane, after factoring-in development costs.
Power is pricey.