Developed by North American Aviation back in the late 1950s for the U.S. Air Force and NASA, the X-15 was an experimental aircraft that could achieve speeds up to Mach 6.7. Real Engineering delves into the history of this rocket-powered plane, and the innovations and technologies that allowed it fly at insane speeds and altitudes.
THE BEST Fast
Builder Ivan Miranda claims he’s built the fastest model train of its size. The powerful electric train has no payload other than its motors, wiring, and battery pack, and can hit a scale speed of 485 km/h, or just over 301 mph if it were upscaled to the size of a real train. We wouldn’t want to be a tiny passenger on that thing when it derailed.
When we first watched this video of Kickboxer Pavel Trussov showing how fast he can punch, we thought it was sped up. It’s not. This guy really did manage 334 to perform full-extension punches in just one minute, setting a Guinness World Record in the process. Give him 3 minutes, and he can manage 919 punches.
When you want to show off how fast you can play, the go-to choice for many musicians is Flight of the Bumblebee. We’ve heard the tune played on all kinds of instruments, but never on a toy piano. Listen as Hayato “Cateen” Sumino lets his fingers fly across the tiny ivories, gradually increasing his speed to an insane 250 BPM.
French supercar maker Bugatti has taken its over-the-top Chiron, and bestowed it with hardware that makes it capable of breaking 300 mph. Its 16-cylinder quad-turbo engine makes an insane 1578 hp, and it has upgraded aero to keep it glued to the tarmac at speed. Just 30 of the cars will be made, with prices starting at $3.9 million.
It’s a well-known fact among auto buffs that Formula 1 pit stops are the fastest in racing. And now, thanks to the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 pit crew, we now have the fastest of the fast. Watch in awe as they complete a tire change on driver Max Verstappen’s car during the 2019 Brazilian GP in just 1.82 seconds.
McLaren’s exclusive roadster was inspired by Bruce McLaren’s minimal 1960s racers. The carbon fiber two-seater is the lightest production car they’ve ever made, but still packs an 804bhp turbo V8 to rocket it to 62 mph in less than 3 seconds, and 124 mph in 6.7 seconds. Just 399 of the cars will be made, starting at $1.67 million each.
The Bloodhound LSR team marches closer towards their land speed record goal with a jet-powered car that could reach speeds up to 1000mph. Testing has been going well with some crazy fast runs across the Hakskeenpan desert in South Africa with pilot Andy Green behind the controls. They’ve since hit 461 mph.
Don’t blink, or you might miss this insanely-fast sled as it zooms down the test rails at the U.S. Air Force’s Holloman Air Force Base. The rocket sled was clocked at a mindbending 6,599 mph as it almost instantly hit its peak speed. That’s roughly 8.6 times the speed of sound.
The $3.5 million, 1479bhp Bugatti Chiron Sport is theoretically capable of hitting 261 mph, according to Bugatti. But nobody outside of Bugatti themselves has achieved that. In this clip from UK auto mag Top Gear, editor-in-chief Charlie Turner attempts to hit that top speed on VW’s fabled Ehra-Lessien testing circuit.
Will from London is like the calm version of Colin Furze, creating his own dangerous and over-the-top contraptions in his UK backyard, but minus the shouting. In this clip, he shows off a wood and PVC roller coaster that uses compressed air to produce 1200 lb. of thrust, and accelerating its sled at up to 4.2G. Build video here.
Next time you go to the deli and it takes them 5 minutes to slice your meat, ask them to replace their machine with the TEXTOR TS700-UB. This industrial slicer spins up to 2000 rpm, cranking through pepperoni, bacon, and other meats, and neatly stacking them in the process.
Builder Colin Furze previously made a pulsejet-powered drift trike. While it was fast, it wasn’t exactly environmentally-friendly. So he decided to build himself a fully-electric version, with an insane 20,000 watt power source. We’re glad he finally put a helmet on when he hit the road circuit. Build video here.
YouTuber Omegoolibird shows off what is said to be the fastest first-person view RC plane. The customized Vasamodel Fusion can hit speeds up to 265 mph thanks to its 2650 KV electric motor, which can spin at speeds up to 35,000 RPM. It sounds like an angry swarm of bees.
You’d think that a 3-wheeler powered by water wouldn’t go very fast, but as we recently learned, liquid can generate some crazy force when under pressure. Riding atop a 6,000 PSI water tank, François Gissy was able to go from 0 to 62 mph in 0.55s with a 162mph top speed.
We knew that drones could go fast, but not this fast. Here’s some grainy first-person footage from flyer Patrick Gaborik’s incredibly fast miniquadcopter, which has been tracked at speeds up to 145 mph. The noise the motors make sound like it’s going to rip itself apart.
If you need something crash or safety tested in Switzerland, you send it to the Dynamic Test Center. In this video, they decided to load up a shopping cart with groceries, then first run it into a car at 11 mph, then really amp things up by smashing it into a wall at more than 73 mph.