Aircraft classified by speed
Subsonic aircraft
Most aircraft travel well below the speed of sound. Roughly speaking, the speed of sound is 343 m/s (or 1236 km/h, or 768 mph, or 667 knots, also denominated as Mach 1)1.
K21_glider.jpg 300px-Jet2_aeroplane_landing_at_EDI.jpg 220px-Indian_air_force_dhruv_helicopter_j4042_arp.jpg
A Schleicher ASK 21 (image embedded from Wikipedia on 29 March 2010.) A Boeing 737-300 (image embedded from Wikipedia on 29 March 2010.) A HAL Dhruv helicopter (image embedded from Wikipedia on 29 March 2010.)
Supersonic aircraft
Supersonic aircraft are able to fly at or above the speed of sound, between Mach 1 and Mach 5. Only two civil supersonic aircraft were commercially successful, the Tupolev 144 and the Concorde. Nowadays, the cost of operating supersonic aircraft do not outweigh the benefits that airlines could get from them, and supersonic civil service has stopped. Only the military consistently use supersonic aircraft these days.
Tu-144LL_in_flight.jpg Concorde.planview.arp.jpg 275px-FA-18_Hornet_breaking_sound_barrier_%287_July_1999%29_-_filtered.jpg
Tupolev 144 (image embedded from Wikipedia on 29 March 2010.) Concorde (image embedded from Wikipedia on 29 March 2010.) An FA-18 Hornet approaching the sound barrier (image embedded from Wikipedia on 29 March 2010.)
References
1. WIKIPEDIA (2010). Speed of sound. Retrieved from Wikipedia on 29 March 2010.

Want to know more?

AviationKnowledge - Aircraft
Here you can find other classifications for aircraft.
Wikipedia
Wikipedia offers some more information on subsonic and supersonic aircraft .

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