How Fast is Mach 1?

Mach 1: Fast planes and Ernst MachA Mach number is a common ratio unit of speed when one is talking about aircrafts. By definition, the Mach number is a ratio of the speed of a body (aircraft) to the speed of sound in the undisturbed medium through which the body is traveling.

It is said that the aircraft is flying at Mach 1 if its speed is equal to the speed of sound in air (which is 332 m/s or 1195 km/hr or 717 miles/hour.) An aircraft flying at Mach 2 is flying at twice the speed of sound in air, etc. Mach numbers are named after Ernst Mach (1838-1916), an Austrian philosopher and physicist. The term Mach number came into use in 1929.

About the Author

Anton Skorucak, MS

Anton SkorucakAnton Skorucak is a founder and publisher of Anton Skorucak has a Master of Science (MS) degree in physics from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California and a B.Sc. in physics with a minor in material science from the McMaster University, Canada. He is the president and creator of, a comprehensive physics and astronomy online education, research and reference web site.