Plane Breaks Subsonic Speed Record Thanks To Monster Storm
A British Airways flight rode on the coattails of Storm Ciara to clock the fastest-ever subsonic Atlantic crossing.
Over the weekend large parts of Europe were bashed by torrential rain and strong winds, making for difficult flying conditions.
But flights heading east over the Atlantic had their usual flight times considerably shortened as Storm Ciara rolled in over the UK.
A British Airways (BA) Boeing 747 flying from New York's JFK to London's Heathrow sped across the Atlantic in a blinding four hours and 56 minutes on Saturday night local time.
Real-time flight tracking website Flightradar24 reported the flight reached a top speed of more than 1300 km/h.
A British Airways spokesperson told The Independent: "We always prioritise safety over speed records, but our highly trained pilots made the most of the conditions to get customers back to London well ahead of time."
The average crossing time from JFK to Heathrow is six to seven hours -- the BA 747 was one of three flights that beat the previous record set by Norwegian, which was five hours and 13 minutes in January 2018.
The flight made the crossing with an average speed of 1234 km/h and in normal circumstances would have broken the sound barrier.
But as the wind was moving with and around the aircraft it did not break the sound barrier and remained subsonic.
Flights travelling in the opposite direction (west) across the Atlantic were taking more than two and a half hours longer.
The power of Ciara left hundreds of flights delayed across the UK and Europe with more than 5000 passengers affected.
BA has cited climate change as the reason for the record crossing times being broken year after year.