List of vehicle speed records

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The following is a list of speed records for various categories of vehicles. In any category, as with many world records, there may be some dispute over the criteria for a record-setting event, the authority of the organization certifying the record, the identity of the record holder, and the actual speed achieved.

Land vehicles[edit]

Main article: Land speed record
Category Speed
[km/h (mph)]
Vehicle Operator Date Certifying entity References
Land speed record 70023411111111111111,228 (763) ThrustSSC Andy Green 15 Oct 1997 FIA [1]
Wheel-driven 7002215307222222222775.106 (481.629) Vesco Turbinator Don Vesco 18 Oct 2001 FIA [2]
Motorcycle 7002168249166666666605.697 (376.363) Ack Attack Rocky Robinson 25 Sep 2010 FIM [3]
Diesel-powered 7002156665277777777563.995 (350.450) JCB DieselMax Andy Green 23 Aug 2006 FIA [2]
Electric-powered 7002137538888888888495.140 (307.666) Buckeye Bullet 2.5 Roger Schroer 24 Aug 2010 FIA [2]


Steam-powered 7001625166666666666225.06 (139.85) Inspiration Charles Burnett III 25 Aug 2009 FIA [4]
Wind-powered 7001564138888888888203.09 (126.19) Ecotricity Greenbird Richard Jenkins 26 Mar 2009 NALSA [5][6]
Human-powered 7001371611111111111133.78 (83.13) VeloX3 Sebastiaan Bowier 14 Sep 2013 IHPVA [7]
Solar-powered 700124666666666666688.8 (55.2) Sunswift IV "IVy" Barton Mawer 7 Jan 2011 Guinness World Records [8]
Radio-controlled car 7001903111111111111325.12 (202.02) RC Bullet Nic Case 25 Oct 2014 Guinness World Records [9][10]
Tracked vehicle 700122841666666666682.23 (51.10) FV101 Scorpion reconnaissance vehicle 26 Mar 2002 Guinness World Records [11]
On ice 7001921138888888889331.61 (206.05) Audi RS6 Janne Laitinen 6 Mar 2011 FIA [citation needed]
Lunar rover 700047222222222222217.0 (10.6) Apollo 17 Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV-003) Eugene Cernan 1972 NASA [citation needed]

Rail vehicles[edit]

Lt. Col. John P. Stapp rides the rocket sled at Edwards Air Force Base
Category Speed
[km/h (mph)]
Vehicle Operator Date Certifying entity References
Rocket sled (unmanned) 700328683333333333310,326 (6,416) Super Roadrunner 29 Apr 2003 [citation needed]
Rocket sled (manned) 70022825000000000001,017 (632) Sonic Wind No. 1 John Stapp 10 Dec 1954 [citation needed]
Maglev train 7002167500000000000603 (375) SCMaglev L0 Series Shinkansen 21 Apr 2015 Guinness World Records [12]
Wheeled train 7002159666666666666574.8 (357.2) TGV POS V150 3 Apr 2007 [13]
Steam train 7001562777777777777202.6 (125.9) LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard Joseph Duddington and Thomas Bray 3 July 1938 [14][15]

Aircraft[edit]

Category Speed
[km/h (mph)]
Mach number Vehicle Pilot Date Certifying entity References
Unmanned aerial vehicle 700359013888888888921,245 (13,201) ~20 HTV-2 (unmanned) 22 April 2010 (unofficial) [16]
Manned rocket-powered aircraft 70032016111111111117,258 (4,510) 5.925 North American X-15 William J. Knight 3 Oct 1967 Guinness World Records [17][18]
Manned air-breathing craft 70029805555555555553,530 (2,190) 2.88 Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird
#61-7958
Eldon W. Joersz 28 Jul 1976 FAI [19]
Propeller-driven aircraft 7002241666666666666870 (540) 0.71 Tupolev Tu-114 Ivan Soukhomline 1960 FAI [20][21]
Piston-engined propeller-driven aircraft 7002236138888888888850.1 (528.2) 0.694 Grumman F8F Bearcat
Rare Bear
Lyle Shelton 21 Aug 1989 NAA [citation needed]
Electric aircraft 7001694444444444444250 (160) 0.20 Alpi Pioneer 300 SkySpark Robin Shrestha 12 June 2009 [22][23]
Helicopter1 7002111388888888888401.0 (249.2) 0.327 Westland Lynx 800 G-LYNX John Egginton 11 Aug 1986 FAI [citation needed]
Glider (sailplane) 7001852222222222222306.8 (190.6) 0.250 Schempp-Hirth Nimbus-4DM Klaus Ohlmann and Matias Garcia Mazzaro 22 Dec 2006 FAI [citation needed]
Human-powered aircraft 700112311111111111144.32 (27.54) 0.036 Musculair 2 Holger Rochelt 2 Oct 1985 FAI [24]

Notes[edit]

1.^ Unofficial helicopter speed records by the Sikorsky X2 (460 km/h on 15 September 2010) and the Eurocopter X3 (472 km/h on 7 June 2013) would surpass this record if accepted.

Watercraft[edit]

Main article: Water speed record
A model of the Spirit of Australia, which set the water speed record in 1978
Category Speed
[knots (km/h; mph)]
Vehicle Operator Date Certifying entity References
Water speed record 7002141976377777777275.98 (511.11; 317.59) Spirit of Australia Ken Warby 8 Oct 1978 Guinness World Records [25]
Propeller-driven water speed record 7002118281066666666229.92 (425.81; 264.59) Problem Child Dale Ishimaru 21 Apr 2006 [citation needed]
Wind-powered watercraft 700133670388888888865.45 (121.21; 75.32) Vestas Sailrocket Paul Larsen 24 Nov 2012 WSSRC [citation needed]
Human-powered watercraft 700095172222222222218.5 (34.3; 21.3) Decavitator Mark Drela 27 Oct 1991 [26]
Human-powered submarine 70004133561111111118.035 (14.881; 9.247) Omer 5 Sebastien Brisebois and Joel Brunet 28 Jun 2007 ISR [27]
Ground effect vehicle (GEV)2 7002180055555555555350 (650; 400) Korabl Maket (Naval Prototype) "Caspian Sea Monster" ca. 1966–1980 (unofficial) [28]
Underwater speed record There is no official speed record for underwater craft, due to the secretive nature of military vessels. In 1968, a Russian November class submarine reportedly tracked an American carrier group traveling at 31 knots (57 km/h or 36 mph). Unmanned torpedo speed claims range from 70 to 200 knots (80 mph to 230 mph).[citation needed] [29]

Notes[edit]

2.^ A ground effect vehicle (a.k.a. "Wing-In-Ground effect vehicle") is classified as a maritime ship by the International Maritime Organization.[30]

Spacecraft[edit]

Apollo 10 command module Charlie Brown, the fastest manned vehicle relative to the Earth

In order to unambiguously express the speed of a spacecraft, a frame of reference must be specified. Typically, this frame will be fixed to the celestial body with the largest gravitational influence on the spacecraft, often the Earth or the Sun.

Speed records relative to the Earth[edit]

Category Speed
[km/h (mph)]
Vehicle Crew Date Certifying entity References
Earth-escaping spacecraft 700416260000000000058,536 (36,373) New Horizons probe (unmanned) 19 Jan 2006 NASA [citation needed]
Earth-reentering spacecraft 700412900000000000046,440 (28,860) Stardust probe (unmanned) 15 Jan 2006 NASA [citation needed]
Manned spacecraft 700411082222222222239,896 (24,790) Apollo 10 CSM Charlie Brown Thomas Stafford,
John W. Young,
and Eugene Cernan
26 May 1969 NASA [citation needed]

Speed records relative to the Sun[edit]

Category Speed
[km/h (mph)]
Vehicle Crew Date Certifying entity References
Speed relative to the sun 7004702200000000000252,792 (157,078) Helios 2 probe (unmanned) 17 Apr 1976 NASA [31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FIA Records List Cat. C" (PDF). Federation Internationale de L'automobile. 
  2. ^ a b c "FIA Records List Cat. A" (PDF). Federation Internationale de L'automobile. Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  3. ^ "New FIM World Record". Fédération Internationale De Motocyclisme. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Fastest steam car (FIA approved)". Guinness World Records. Guinness World Records Limited. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Official measurement report for 2009 North American Land Sailing Association record". 
  6. ^ http://www.nalsa.org/
  7. ^ "Overview of IHPVA speed records". 
  8. ^ Solar-powered car smashes speed record, Retrieved 10 January 2011
  9. ^ http://www.rccaraction.com/blog/2014/10/29/world-record-nic-case-breaks-the-200mph-barrier/
  10. ^ http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/fastest-battery-powered-remote-controlled-model-car-%28rc%29
  11. ^ "Fastest Tank". Guinness World Records. Guinness World Records Limited. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  12. ^ "Japan's maglev train breaks world speed record with 600km/h test run". The Guardian. United Kingdom: Guardian News and Media Limited. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "2007 record attempt". BBC News Online. 3 April 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "Mallard 75: Celebrating Britain's Steam Record". National Railway Museum. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  15. ^ "Men who served on Mallard prepare to be reunited with famous locomotive". 
  16. ^ "Falcon HTV-2". Lockheed Martin. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  17. ^ "Fastest Speed in a Non-Spacecraft Aircraft". Guinness World Records. Guinness World Records Limited. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  18. ^ "American X-Vehicles: An Inventory X-1 to X-50" (PDF). NASA. June 2003. p. 23. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  19. ^ Swopes, Bryan (28 July 2014). "This Day in Aviation: Important Dates in Aviation History". FAI World Record for Altitude in Horizontal Flight Archives. FAI. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  20. ^ "Tupolev Tu-114 Rossiya". Aerospaceweb.org. 17 March 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  21. ^ "FAI official database". FAI. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  22. ^ Grady, Mary (17 June 2009). "Italian Electric Airplane Reaches 155 MPH". AVweb. Aviation Publishing Group. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  23. ^ "SkySpark Challenge". SkySpark. DigiSly. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  24. ^ "Fai Record File:". FAI. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  25. ^ "Water Speed Record (Fastest Boat)". Guinness World Records. Guinness World Records Limited. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  26. ^ Wall, Matthew; Drela, Mark; Finberg, Steve. "Decavitator Human-Powered Hydrofoil". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  27. ^ "9th International Subraces Conclude with New World Speed Records". International Submarine Races. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  28. ^ National Research Council; Reducing the Logistics Burden for the Army After Next Committee to Perform a Technology Assessment Focused on Logistics Support Requirements for Future Army Combat Systems; Page 68 (1999)

    "This large aircraft has flown at 650 km/h (350 knots) ..."

  29. ^ Tyler, Patrick (1986). Running Critical. New York: Harper&Row. pp. 23–26, 34–46. 
  30. ^ Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment (DE) (November 2001). "Wing-in-Ground (WIG) craft". International Maritime Organization. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  31. ^ "Aircraft Speed Records". Aerospaceweb.org. Retrieved 13 November 2014.