# Could anyone (non-military) in the present day “exceed mach 1 over a regulated area”?

There is a question What would happen if I exceeded mach 1 over a regulated area?

I wonder, could anyone in civil aviation (not military) actually carry out this violation? I know there are privately owned "warbirds", but it looks like the majority of them are really old. The "never exceed" velocity is defined well below Mach 1 for majority of these planes.

Are there any cases known where someone non-military owns an aircraft that could exceed the speed of sound and then land at least mostly in one piece?

Let's limit the scope of the question to USA and Europe.

• Regardless of the "never exceed speed", it is possible for an aircraft to exceed the speed of sound, and the max speed, in a dive for example Are you asking if someone can exceed Mach 1 without exceeding the design limits of the aircraft? – zymhan Dec 28 '18 at 15:29
• Commander Worf owns a jet capable of (just) exceeding Mach 1 – Richard Dec 28 '18 at 22:15
• I mean, "land at least mostly in one piece". Design limits, I assume, are defined for the reason. – h22 Dec 29 '18 at 11:15
• Felix Baumgartner reached Mach 1.25, jumping from an helium balloon. It happened in the US, and military wasn't involved as far as I can tell. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Bull_Stratos – Eric Duminil Dec 29 '18 at 15:30

Yes, In the U.S.A there are many privately owned ex-military jet fighters that are capable of exceeding Mach 1. It is quite conceivable that a privately owned fighter jet has exceeded Mach 1 but not reported it or been caught by the authorities.

You can search the FAA civil registry by type: FAA REGISTRY Make / Model Inquiry

Here is just a partial list of privately owned supersonic jet fighters in the United States:


Lockheed F-104
McDonnell F-4
NORTHROP F-5
MIKOYAN-GUREVICH MIG-21
MIKOYAN-GUREVICH MIG-23
MIKOYAN-GUREVICH MIG-29
Sukhoi SU-27


These two aircraft are owned by the Collings Foundation in Florida and are available for airshow demonstrations.

• "It is quite conceivable that a privately owned fighter jet has exceeded Mach 1 but not reported it or been caught by the authorities." - Really? I would have assumed that all jets (especially ex-military types) would be monitored by local ATC, and they'd notice someone going Mach 1+, no? Or is it more passive and they'd only notice that if they're actively watching that specific plane? – BruceWayne Dec 28 '18 at 17:10
• ATC radar wouldn't catch it, since they see ground speed and know neither your head/tail wind component nor the exact temperature at your altitude (which determines the speed of sound). If you're flying SR-71 speeds, then yeah they'd notice, but the difference between M 0.95 and M 1.05 isn't enough that they'd notice. You'd be far more likely to be "busted" based on noise complaints from the ground. – Ralph J Dec 28 '18 at 18:14
• @Ralph J: And if you happened to do your flying at low level over an unpopulated area - say the Black Rock desert - you might not even show up on radar - civil, at least: IDK about military. FTM, mach 1 has been exceeded on the ground there: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThrustSSC Which raises the question of whether that's a violation of the FAA rule or not. And then there are the various private suborbital spacecraft... – jamesqf Dec 28 '18 at 18:50
• As much as I might dream of privately owning an SU-27, I don't think I'd be able to resist attempting maneuvers that would get me killed on the first day. – Todd Wilcox Dec 28 '18 at 19:56
• @jamesqf Mach 8 has also been exceeded on the ground. :) Granted, it was not by a private individual. – reirab Dec 29 '18 at 2:16

You can do it in Russia - https://migflug.com/jetflights/how-do-i-book-a-fighter-jet-flight, free bonus you will see earth from space)

• No on the "see earth from space". Only a relatively handful of flights of rocket powered aircraft throughout history have done so, and it's not yet a tourist option though that is being worked on. See earth from above enough atmosphere that it looks a bit like being in space? perhaps. – Chris Stratton Dec 29 '18 at 21:19
• Well yeah, i didnt go into detailes about that, but the idea holds, u will see earth from far enough to realize that it is round. – Konstantin Demchenko Jan 24 at 11:52
• Heck you can see the earth's curvature from ground level near wendover nevada – quiet flyer Jul 12 at 18:59