Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian skydiver, broke the sound barrier during his recent attempt to set a new record for free falling from space. He achieved a speed of almost 833 mph during this free falling and has now entered the record books. But he’s not alone in this ever growing list of things which are breaking records for speed.
Fastest Bike : BMW S1000RR
BMW introduced its sport bike BMW S1000RR in 2010 for commercial use after it was used in 2009 Superbike World Championship. The machine boasts of a top speed of 303 kmph and a power of 193 bhp. For a long time, Suzuki Hayabusa remained as the fastest bike ever made; however, in 2000, European and Japanese manufacturers signed an agreement to end the competition among themselves to build the fastest bike. As a result of this agreement, most of the ‘fastest bikes’ built since 2001 have been restricted to a top speed of 303-312 kmph.
Fastest Bird : Peregrine Falcon
The peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) is the fastest living creature, reaching speeds of at least 124 mph and possibly as much as 168 mph when swooping from great heights during territorial displays or while catching prey birds in midair. A large, crow-sized falcon, it has blue-grey back, barred white under parts, and a black head.
Fastest Animal : Cheetah
Cheetah is the fastest animal on the planet and it can run as fast as 112-120 kmph. One of the several reasons which enable a Cheetah to run fast are its semi-retractable claws which give it extra traction, large nostrils that allow for increased oxygen intake, and an enlarged heart and lungs that work together to circulate oxygen efficiently. During a high speed chase, a Cheetah’s respiratory rate increases from 60 to 150 breaths per minute.
Fastest Car : Bugatti Veyron Super Sport
Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is the world’s fastest ‘street legal’ car in the world which boasts of a top speed of 431 kmph, although it’s electronically limited to 415 kmph for safety reasons. The car was introduced in 2010 and it set a new Guinness record for a top speed by breaking the record of SSC Ultimate Aero TT. Bugatti Veyron was named the Car of the Decade (2000-2009) by Top Gear, a popular TV show on BBC. If you love speed and the pure joy of driving, this is where your search ends.
Fastest Speedboat : Phenomenon
An orange, purple and green monstrosity dubbed the Phenomenon unveiled at the Miami International Boat Show is the World’s Fastest Speedboat. The 12,000 hp beast can do over 250 mph thanks to four T-55-L-7C Lycoming turbine engines kicking out 3,000 hp each. Engineers from Nasa and Boeing and former US military naval architects collaborated on the 56-ft. craft with the aim of breaking the world’s propeller speedboat record.
Fastest Train : China’s bullet train
China’s super-rapid test train is capable of travelling at speeds of up to 300 miles per hour. The train, made from plastic materials reinforced with carbon fibre, is designed to resemble an ancient Chinese sword and ‘will provide useful reference for current high-speed railway operations’. The Communist regime, last year had unveiled its fastest operational locomotive which was able to cover the 824-mile trip between Beijing and Shanghai in five hours.
Fastest Computer : IBM Sequoia
IBM Sequoia is a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer at National Nuclear Security Administration, Livemore, North California, US is capable of performing 16.32 petaflops ( 1015instructions per second). Deployed in June 2012, this supercomputer is used for nuclear weapons simulation, astronomy, energy and study of human genome and climate change. It consumes 7.9 mega watts of power and runs on Linux with over 98,000 nodes. Sequoia is a part of the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program.
Fastest Fish : Sailfish
The Indo-Pacific Sailfish, Istiophorus platypterus, is the world’s fastest fish. It has been measured in excess of 110 km/h (68 mph) over short periods. Sailfish fish grows to over 3.4 m in total length and 100 kg in weight. Its colour varies from dark blue on top, brownish on the side and silvery underneath. Also on sides of the body there are about twenty bars made up of bright blue spots. It feeds on schooling fishes such as sardines, anchovies and mackerel.
Fastest Airplane : NASA X-43
The X-43 is an unmanned experimental hypersonic aircraft with multiple planned scale variations meant to test various aspects of hypersonic flight. It was part of Nasa’s Hyper-X programme and has set several airspeed records for jet-propelled aircraft. A winged booster rocket with the X-43 placed on top, called a “stack”, is launched at speed from a larger carrier plane. After the booster rocket (a modified first stage of the Pegasus rocket) brings the stack to the target speed and altitude, it is discarded, and the X-43 flies free using its own engine, a scramjet.