LifestyleAtlantic's strong winds propel planes to near-sonic speeds, ensuring early arrivals

Atlantic's strong winds propel planes to near-sonic speeds, ensuring early arrivals

The airplanes were flying at a speed exceeding 1200 km per hour.
The airplanes were flying at a speed exceeding 1200 km per hour.
Images source: © Adobe Stock

1:52 PM EST, February 20, 2024

The Simple Flying portal reported that passenger planes usually achieve cruising speeds of approximately 559 miles per hour. However, planes sped at nearly 808 miles per hour due to high-altitude winds over the Atlantic last weekend. This is faster than the speed of sound.

Planes reached speeds exceeding 746 miles per hour

The US National Meteorological Service indicated that in the DC (District of Columbia, Washington) area, wind speeds hit a rate of 165 miles per hour (approximately 265 km per hour). The record high speed in this area was 166 miles per hour (approximately 267 km per hour) in 2002.

Such extreme winds result from contrasting temperatures. On Saturday, February 10, they were instigated by opposing warm and cold currents propelling from the north and southeast of the country. These forceful gusts boosted a Boeing 787 Virgin to a ground speed of 498 miles per hour (802 km per hour) and a Boeing 787 United to 520 miles per hour (838 km per hour).

High winds resulted in early arrivals

A Virgin Atlantic airline plane, originating from Washington-Dulles Airport, landed in London 45 minutes ahead of schedule. In the meantime, a plane departing from Newark, New Jersey, arrived in Lisbon 20 minutes sooner than expected.

Although there are no official records of the fastest ground speeds, The Washington Post reports the two Saturday flights matched some of the highest recorded speeds. Comparable speeds were achieved by a China Airlines plane, which flew 825 miles per hour in January, and a British Airways plane, which flew 824 miles per hour in 2020.

Source: Business Insider, The Washington Post

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