Strange Vehicles > Record Breaking and Extreme Aircraft

See Also:
Record breaking land vehicles
Record breaking sea vehicles
Record breaking air vehicles

Tupolev Tu-144
Fastest Airliner, Tupolev Tu-144

The Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 was a supersonic airliner very similar in design and appearance to the Concorde. Although the Tu-144 actually flew first many joked about the 'Concordski'. The Tu-144 was the first passenger airliner to break Mach 2. The last reported flight of one of the 16 Tu-144's built was in 1987.

MIG-25 Fastest Combat Jet, Mig 25

The MIG-25 is the fastest combat jet in the world, in 1967 a MIG-25 traveled at 1,853.61 mph. The only faster air breathing aircraft is the SR-71 Blackbird.
A MIG-25 also holds the record for air breathing aircraft at 123,524 ft (37,650 m). MIG-25's are regularly used by thrill-seekers on adventure holidays.

Tupolev Tu-142 Fastest Propeller Aircraft, Tu-95 'Bear'

The Tu-95 'Bear' is the fastest propeller aircraft. It was the Russian equivalent to the American B-52 Stratofortress during the Cold War.
The Tu-95 was an extremely loud aircraft due to its massive contra-rotating propellers. Submarine crews actually reported hearing diving Tu-95's because of their distinctive sound.

SpaceShipOne First private spaceship, SpaceShipOne

SpaceShipOne (all one word) was the first private space ship to officially enter space (62 miles up) and therefore win the Ansari X-prize. A $10 million USD award given to the first private manned space ship to complete two flights within 2 week.

Airbus A380 Largest Passenger Aircraft, Airbus A380

The Airbus A380 is the largest and only full double deck passenger aircraft in production. It can carry 555 passengers seated in 3 different classes, or 800 passengers all seated in one economy class.
Smallest Biplane, Bumble Bee II

Bumble Bee II was the smallest manned biplane in the world. Unfortunately it crashed due to engine failure on its first flight. Although severely injured the pilot thankfully survived.

Smallest Monoplane, Baby Bird

The Baby Bird was the smallest manned single wing aircraft in the world. Built in 1980 the aircraft had a tubular steel fuselage and wooden wings. The 55 horsepower engine turned a suitably tiny 44-inch propellor. 35 flights were completed in total before the aircraft was donated to the EAA AirVenture Museum in 1989.

Mil Mi-26 Largest Production Helicopter Mil Mi-26

The Mil Mi-26 is the largest and most powerful helicopter to enter full scale production - only the prototype Mil V-12 was larger.
It was designed for both military and civilian use. The Mi-26 was also the first helicopter to use an 8 bladed main rotor.
As a side note, in 2002 an Mi-26 was shot down by Chechen rebels, it had around 150 troops on board, although maximum capacity is rated as 80.

Rutan Voyager First nonstop round the world flight, Rutan Voyager

Built by the man responsible for SpaceShipOne, Burt Rutan, Voyager was the first aircraft to fly around the world nonstop.

To achieve its goal Voyager was built from lightweight composite materials and it had a total of 17 fuel tanks.

Fastest Helicopter Westland ZB500 Lynx

The Westland Lynx ZB500 holds the record as the worlds fastest helicopter, a slightly modified version was clocked at 249.1 mph.

UPDATED - 31/07/2010. In July 2010 a Sikorsky X2 was unofficially clocked at 258 mph.