fastest commercial planes

These Are the 7 Fastest Commercial Planes in the World

When looking at commercial planes, you often want one that will get you to your destination fast. Unless you pay for a better seating arrangement like first class or business class, it can be uncomfortable to sit surrounded by other people in a small seat that barely reclines for eight or more hours.

Unfortunately, as you will see in this article, faster isn’t always better. Here are the 7 fastest commercial planes in the world, as well as their history so you can gain more information about how commercial planes and their designs work.

7 Fastest Commercial Planes

1. Boeing 777

777

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The Boeing 777 is designed to travel just under 9,000 miles before having to be refueled, though some of the newer ones only reach closer to 7,000. It can go up to 644 mph and can hold 426 passengers.

While it isn’t the largest plane by any means, it does have the pride of being the largest of all twinjet engines. It is pretty popular for international flights as it can handle long distances without a problem. It is the most widely produced wide-body jet by Boeing.

It also boasts being the first commercial aircraft designed fully by a computer, specifically 3D CAD software by Dassault Systemes and IBM. This allowed it to be designed and first built for a low cost, as checks for parts fitting and interference could all be done on a computer.

Many major airlines use the Boeing 777, including British Airways, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Turkish Airlines, KLM Royal, and more.

2. Airbus A380

A380

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The Airbus A380 was created to improve previous versions of Airbus planes. But that wasn’t the only reason. As is common with Airbus and Boeing, the A380 was designed to compete with a new Boeing plane, even coming out in the same month of the same year.

Its competition was the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which is talked about more below. It can go the same speed as the 787 Dreamliner at 652 mph. It can also hold more passengers, a total of 853 passengers.

It is powered by four engines, which can be either from EngineAlliance or Rolls Royce, and can go 8000 nautical miles before refueling.

There were problems with the wiring of the plane, which caused it to be delayed for two years. So while it was announced at the same time as the 787 there were some delays before it could be released. This led to some serious loss of profits that the company believes will never be recouped.

Companies like Emirates, Lufthansa, and Singapore Airlines tend to prefer the A380s over Boeing, but many plane companies use a mix of both. This plane is so big though that many airports aren’t able to handle the size, which limited it in a way the Dreamliner wasn’t.

These planes are no longer being produced, as the production ended in 2021, but some airline companies are still flying them.

3. Boeing 787 Dreamliner

787

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The 787 Dreamliner by Boeing almost didn’t make a lift-off. The very first models of these planes had problems with their batteries that often caused them to catch on fire. Companies that had already bought the planes had to wait for Boeing to come out with fixes before they could be used. The planes were first introduced in 2011.

This led to some serious wasted profits. However, the wait was worth it. Now they have a low operating cost compared to many other planes and some modern features like adding humidity and higher oxygen in the cabins that make them popular with travelers and companies alike.

They are also quieter than many other planes and a lot more comfortable with bigger windows for better views. This is considered to be one of the best options for long-distance flights without flying private.

The engines that power these planes are General Electric and Rolls-Royce which allow them to reach speeds of 652 mph. There are hundreds of domestic carriers that have decided to purchase these planes, with some big ones like American Airlines, Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, and United on the list.

The Dreamliner is considered a mid-size plane designed for long hauls. It can hold 335 passengers and is 20% more fuel efficient than the plane it was aiming to replace, which was the Boeing 767 and the Boeing 747. There are two classes on the plane.

In addition to replacing the Boeing 767 and 747, they were designed to rival the Airbus A380, which came out in the same month that year. This is just one of the many shows of competition between the two companies.

4. Boeing 747-400

747 400

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The Boeing 747-400 can reach speeds of 656 mph. It had a lot of technological and structural advancements from previous versions to make it faster and safer. Some of the advancements included wing tip extensions and wing fairings. It can hold 660 total passengers, but it doesn’t break them into various classes like other commercial planes.

The plane has been around for a while, first being designed in 1898. Companies like Qantas, British Airways, and Lufthansa use these planes the most, but companies like Korean Air, Rossiya, and Air India also use them for some flights. It can travel for up to 7,670 nautical miles before needing to be refueled.

5. Boeing 747-8i

747 8i

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The Boeing 747-8i is one of the largest commercial aircraft ever built. Despite its size, it has managed to be the fastest commercial plane today. It measures higher than a six-story building while able to reach just over 659 mph.

In addition to its speed, it can go pretty far, reaching 7,720 miles before it needs to be refueled. Around 410 passengers can fit inside the plane.

Unfortunately, they aren’t widely used. There are only a few companies that use them including Lufthansa, Korean Air, Cathay Pacific, Air China, and Qatar Airways.

Boeing boasts that it is lighter despite its large size and needs less fuel per passenger, which means it is much more affordable for a plane than the Airbus for companies. These planes are even said to be the next U.S. Air Force planes for the president, replacing the current Boeing 747-200s that make up Air Force One and Two.

6. Aerospatiale Concorde

Aerospatiale

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The Aerospatiale Concorde was a plane that managed to jump up close to the Tupolev Tu-144, next on the list. It surged past the fastest commercial planes even today easily doubling the cruising speeds of anything out now.

While that sounds great in theory, it didn’t work out as well as one hoped. The main problem was costs. It cost so much to make the planes that only 20 were ever made, seven went to Air France and seven went to British Airways.

In addition to the high costs to build the planes, they also cost a lot to run. To make profits, tickets had to be sold about 30 times higher than any other ticket at the time, so the travelers it could take were severely limited.

It was around for 27 years, with only one crash in its whole time in operation. Unfortunately, this crash came about after a series of disastrous events, and all the passengers were killed. This, mixed with the September 11 attacks about a year later and the high costs, made many people lose faith in aviation. By 2003, the Aerospatiale Concorde was finished.

While it didn’t work out for this plane, it still deserves kudos for being the second supersonic commercial plane created.

7. Tupolev Tu-144 (1,600)

Tupolev

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Technically, as far as commercial planes, the Tupolev Tu-144 is the fastest out there. It can easily reach 1600 mph, though cruising speeds were closer to 1400 mph. Or, more accurately, it could. If you haven’t heard of this plane before, don’t be surprised. It was discontinued in the 1980s after two major crashes.

The first was only the second model, which was being shown at the Paris Air Show in 1973. Everyone on board and eight people on the ground were killed. They were attempting to show a unique maneuver to get them to stand out against the Concorde.

The two companies had been in a tight race for a long time, and though the Concorde had a successful show, many thought it dull. The maneuver that the Tuplov did was too extreme though, in comparison, tearing the left wing from the plane and sending the rest of the plane hurtling to the ground.

Though the show left a bad taste in many people’s mouths, the company decided to go through with producing them. However, it had a second crash a few years later in 1978.

That mixed with the high gas prices caused the plane to be discontinued in 1983 after being a cargo plane for a while. It did conduct 102 commercial flights, but only 55 of them carried any passengers.

It was still used for research with the space program until 1999 to study supersonic speeds.

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