List of vehicle speed records

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The following is a list of speed records for various categories of vehicles.

Land vehicles[edit]

ThrustSSC, which has held the land speed record since 15 October 1997
Main article: Land speed record
Category Speed
(km/h)
Speed
(mph)
Speed
(Mach Number)
Vehicle Operator Date References
Land speed record 1,228 763 1.002 ThrustSSC United Kingdom Andy Green 15 Oct 1997 [1]
Wheel-driven land speed record 775.106 470.444 0.6327 Vesco Turbinator United States Don Vesco 18 Oct 2001 [2]
Motorcycle land speed record 605.697 376.363 0.4946 Top Oil Ack Attack United States Rocky Robinson 25 Sep 2010 [3]
Land speed record on ice 331.61 206.05 0.27 Audi RS6 ( LMS - Lehtonen Motorsport ) Finland Janne Laitinen 6 Mar 2011 [2]
Diesel-powered land speed record 563.995 350.452 0.46 JCB DieselMax United Kingdom Andy Green 23 Aug 2006 [2]
Electric-powered land speed record 495.140 307.666 0.4042 Buckeye Bullet 2.5 United States Roger Schroer 24 Aug 2010 [2]
Solar-powered land speed record 88.8 55.18 Sunswift IV Australia Barton Mawer 7 Jan 2011 [4]
Wind-powered land speed record 202.9 126.1 Ecotricity Greenbird United Kingdom Richard Jenkins 26 Mar 2009 [5]
Steam-powered land speed record 225.06 139.843 Inspiration United Kingdom Charles Burnett III 25 Aug 2009 [6]
Human-powered land speed record 133.78 83.13 VeloX3 Netherlands Sebastian Bowier 14 Sep 2013 [7]
Gravity-powered land speed record 99.7793 62 VXR Nimbus United Kingdom Jonny Ackroyd and James Oakley 14 Sep 2008 [8]
Tracked vehicle land speed record 82.23 51.1 CVR(T) Scorpion Tank United Kingdom 26 Mar 2002 [9]
Lunar Roving Vehicle land speed record 17.0 10.5 Lunar Roving Vehicle United States Eugene Cernan 1972 [10]

Rail vehicles[edit]

Lt. Col. John P. Stapp rides the rocket sled at Edwards Air Force Base
Category Speed
(km/h)
Speed
(mph)
Vehicle Operator Date References
Manned (rocket sled) 1,017 635 Sonic Wind No. 1 United States John Stapp 10 Dec 1954 [citation needed]
Maglev train 581 361 MLX01 Japan 2 Dec 2003 [citation needed]
Wheeled train 574.8 357 TGV POS France 3 Apr 2007 [citation needed]
Steam train 202.6 126 LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard United Kingdom 3 July 1938 [11]

Aircraft[edit]

North American X-15, the fastest rocket-powered aircraft
Category Speed
(km/h)
Speed
(mph)
Vehicle Pilot Date References
Rocket-powered aircraft 7,258 4,510 North American X-15 United States William J. Knight 3 Oct 1967 [12]
Manned air-breathing craft 3,530 2,194 Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird United States Eldon W. Joersz 28 Jul 1976 [13]
Propeller-driven aircraft 870 541 Tupolev Tu-114 Soviet Union Ivan Soukhomline 00 Jan 1960 [14][15]
Piston-engined propeller-driven aircraft 850.1 528.33 Grumman F8F Bearcat Rare Bear (N777L) United States Lyle Shelton 21 Aug 1989 [16]
Helicopter 401.0 249.1 Westland Lynx 800 G-LYNX United Kingdom John Egginton 11 Aug 1986 [17]
Glider (sailplane) 306.8 190.6 Schempp-Hirth Nimbus-4DM Germany Klaus Ohlmann and
Argentina Matias Garcia Mazzaro
22 Dec 2006 [18]
Human-powered aircraft 44.32 27.54 Musculair 2 Germany Holger Rochelt 2 Oct 1985 [19]

Fastest Passenger Plane: Concorde

Watercraft[edit]

Main article: Water speed record
Category Speed
(knots)
Speed
(km/h)
Speed
(mph)
Vehicle Operator Date References
Water speed record 275.98 511.13 317.596 Spirit of Australia Australia Ken Warby 8 Oct 1978
Propeller-driven water speed record 229.92 425.815 264.589 Problem Child Dale Ishimaru 21 Apr 2006 [20]
Human-powered watercraft 18.5 34.3 21.3 Decavitator United States Mark Drela 27 Oct 1991
Human-powered submarine 8.035 14.9 9.2 Omer 5 Canada É.T.S. 28 Jun 2007
Wind-powered watercraft 65.45 121.1 75.26 Vestas Sailrocket Australia Paul Larsen 24 Nov 2012 [21]
Ground effect vehicle (GEV)[22] 350 650 404 Soviet KM ekranoplan Caspian Sea Monster Soviet Union Soviet Air Force ca. 1966-1980 [23]
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] [24]

Spacecraft[edit]

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

Speed records relative to the Earth[edit]

Category Speed
(km/h)
Speed
(mph)
Vehicle Crew Date References
Manned spacecraft 39,896 24,790 Apollo 10 United States Thomas Stafford, John W. Young and Eugene Cernan 26 May 1969
Earth-reentering spacecraft 46,440 28,856 Stardust probe (unmanned) 15 Jan 2006
Spacecraft just after launch 58,536 36,373 New Horizons probe (unmanned) 19 Jan 2006

Speed records relative to the Sun[edit]

Category Speed
(km/h)
Speed
(mph)
Vehicle Crew Date References
Speed relative to the sun 252,792 157,078 Helios 2 probe (unmanned) 17 Apr 1976 [25]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "FIA Records List Cat. C" (PDF). Federation Internationale de L'automobile. Retrieved 1997-11-25. 
  2. ^ a b c d "FIA Records List Cat. A" (PDF). Federation Internationale de L'automobile. Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  3. ^ New FIM World Record - Bonneville Raceway, Utah (USA), FIM 2010
  4. ^ Solar-powered car smashes speed record, Retrieved 10 January 2011
  5. ^ "Official measurement report for 2009 North American Land Sailing Association record". 
  6. ^ name="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8209288.stm
  7. ^ "Overview of IHPVA speed records". 
  8. ^ http://speedrecordclub.com/jftr_nov08.php
  9. ^ http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records-1/fastest-tank/
  10. ^ http://www.hq.nasa.gov%2Falsj%2Fa17%2FA17_LunarRover2.pdf&ei=CkclUOOvDovo8QSEkICwDw&usg=AFQjCNGod_0E7mDKoiV5th8Q7nP3xdwnGA&sig2=WMVMf6O_YvD4tvdNZk7eVA
  11. ^ Celebrating Britain's Steam Record
  12. ^ American X-Vehicles: An Inventory X-1 to X-50, SP-2000-4531 - June 2003; NASA online PDF Monograph p.23
  13. ^ FAI web-site - Accessed 27 Jan 2011
  14. ^ Tu_114 data from Aerospaceweb Access date: 26 May 2008
  15. ^ "FAI official database" Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. Retrieved: 10 January 2012
  16. ^ National Aeronautic Association Certificate of Record - Crew Access date: 5 March 2010
  17. ^ FAI web-site - Accessed 27 Jan 2011
  18. ^ FAI web-site - Accessed 25 Jan 2011
  19. ^ FAI web-site - Accessed 3 Jun 2014
  20. ^ [1][dead link]
  21. ^ WSSR Newsletter No 219. Vestas Sailrocket 2 Outright Sailing Speed Record 04/12/12
  22. ^ A ground effect vehicle (a.k.a. "Wing-In-Ground effect vehicle") is classified as a maritime ship by the International Maritime Organization: Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment (DE) (November 2001). "Wing-in-Ground (WIG) craft". International Maritime Organization. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  23. ^ 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) ..."

  24. ^ Tyler, Patrick (1986). Running Critical. New York: Harper&Row. pp. 23–26, 34–46. 
  25. ^ Aerospaceweb.org - Accessed 22 Feb 2012
  • Speed Record Club - The Speed Record Club seeks to promote an informed and educated enthusiast identity, reporting accurately and impartially to the best of its ability on record-breaking engineering, events, attempts and history.