propeller driven aircraft
A number of aircraft have been claimed to be the fastest propeller-driven aircraft. This article presents the current record holders for several sub-classes of propeller-driven aircraft that hold recognized, documented speed records in level flight. Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) records are the basis for this article. Other contenders and their claims are discussed, but only those made under controlled conditions and measured by outside observers. Pilots during World War II sometimes claimed to have reached supersonic speeds in propeller-driven fighters during emergency dives, but these speeds are not included as accepted records. Neither are speeds recorded in a dive during high-speed tests with the Supermarine Spitfire, including Squadron Leader J.R. Tobin's 606mph (Mach 0.89) in a 45° dive in a Mark XI Spitfire (date unknown) and Squadron Leader Anthony F. Martindale's breaking 620mph (Mach 0.92) in the same aircraft in April 1944. Flight Lieutenant Edward Powles' 690 mph (Mach 0.96) in Spitfire PR.XIX PS852 during an emergency dive while carrying out spying flights over China on 5 February, 1952 is also discounted. This would otherwise be the highest speed ever recorded for a piston-engined aircraft.
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