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United & Virgin Atlantic Fly at over 800mph

· Travel News

This past Saturday two commerical airlines flying transatlantic from the US to Europe, benefitted by being in a very fast moving and high wind jet stream pushing eastward. In what is a rare occurance not only 1 flight, but 2 flights achieved wind speeds crossing the atlantic of over 800mph.

It is completely normal and expected for commerical flights to fly around 500-600mph transatlantic, as flying eastward across the atlantic you are always flying with the jetstream. Any faster than that is extremely uncommon. Flying at these speeds is record breaking for commerical airlines, and flying at speeds of over 767mph is actually flying faster than the speed of sound.

Yet the were not techinally flying at the speed of sound, because it was not their jet engines increasing speed to over 767mph (Speed of Sound), so it does not count as truely flying at speed of sound. Also really flying at the speed of sound, would've created a sonic boom.

It is reported that the two flights experienced a boost from eastward upper atmosphere winds reaching 265mph in the jetstream.

The two flights:

United flight: #64, flying from Newark to Lisbon, approaching 30,000feet hit air speeds of over 767mph and flew above the speed of sound for 36mins, at its peak it reached 838mph for 1min. United's flight arrived in Lisbon, Portugal 20minutes earlier than expected.

Virgin Atlantic: #22, flying from Dulles, DC to London flying at over 32,000feet achieved 767mph or greater at 11:18pm, and flew over the speed of sound for only 5mins, hitting a maximum speed of 802mph for less than 1min. Virgin Atlantic arrived in London 45mins earlier than scheduled.

Has this ever been achived before? Yes it has, and recently.

Just last month a China Airlines Cargo Flight traveling transpacific flew with the Jetstream in high eastward winds, that helped it reach 826mph. The most recent commerical passanger airliner however you would need to go back to 2020, when a British Airlines flight flying from JFK to London fly at wind speeds up to 825mph, which saw BA#112 land in London 2 hours earlier, thanks to eastward winds of 200mph.


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