Guinness World Records - Officially Amazing

Next RecordPrevious Record

For the record

  • Who: Rare Bear

  • What: Fastest aircraft, piston-engined

  • Where: United States

On 21 August 1989, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, the Rare Bear, a modified Grumman F8F Bearcat piloted by Lyle Shelton (USA), set the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale-(FAI-) approved world record for a 3 km (1.8 mile) course of 850.24 km/h (528.31 mph), and in doing so became the fastest piston-engined aircraft.

The Rare Bear is a restored and modified WWII era Grumman F8F Bearcat, complete with a Curtiss-wright R3350 engine which produces in excess of 3,000 kW (4,000 hp).


Records change on a daily basis and are not immediately published online. For the most up to date record information, we welcome your questions via Facebook or Twitter.

Comments below may relate to previous holders of this record.