British Airways’ Boeing 747-436 made the fastest subsonic flight ever from New York to London achieving speeds up to 1,327 km/h as it rode a jet stream accelerated by Storm Ciara. The flight touched down at Heathrow Airport 80 minutes ahead of its schedule on Sunday morning. The flight only took four hours and 56 minutes for the journey.
Online flight tracking service, Flightradar24 reports that the flight broke the previously held record of five hours 13 minutes record held by Norwegian Air.
Even though the flight travelled faster than sound there was no sonic boom caused by the breaking of the sound barrier. This is because the relative to the surrounding air the plane was only travelling slower than 1289 km/h.
Modern passenger planes are said to travel at about 85% the speed of sound normally. The pilots of the Boeing 747-436 used the speed boost from the jet stream to fly faster. British Airways responded to the new record by saying “we always prioritise safety over speed records. Our highly-trained pilots made the most of the conditions to get customers back to London well ahead of time.”