Re: Fastest airliner ?

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         28 Jul 95 02:53:22 
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>Could anyone tell me what the fastest reported speed is for an
>airliner till now ? (Could you express this speed in mph or km/hr
>instead of Mach numbers..?)

Obviously Concorde and the Tu-144 will be tops on that metric, but I
suspect that's a little more obvious than what you had in mind!  Both
cruise at roughly 1,400 mph or Mach 2.1.

The Convair 990A Coronado was one of the fastest subsonic jetliners.
The 747SP, which is slightly faster than the other 747 models, is the
only jetliner I can think of which matches or at least comes close to
the Coronado -- it cruises at about 645 mph, I believe.

While definitely not a hot-rod by the book, I think a DC-8 holds the
speed record for a "subsonic" jetliner -- during a test flight, one
went very slightly supersonic, which depending on altitude was around
700-750 mph or so.  I'm not sure if a 707 has accomplished that feat
or not.  (The China Air 747SP which went into a dive over the Pacific
on February 19, 1985, after flaming out all four engines, is often
speculated to have gone supersonic, but the accident report concludes
that the aircraft probably stayed subsonic.)

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