Jet Stream Allows Trans-Atlantic Record


Thanks to a big kick from the jet stream, Norwegian Airlines is laying claim to the fastest non-Concorde airline flight between New York and London (Gatwick). The Boeing 787-9 hit a top groundspeed of 674 knots and made it to the airport just south of London in five hours and 13 minutes on Monday, almost an hour faster than usual. “We were actually in the air for just over five hours and if it had not been for forecasted turbulence at lower altitude, we could have flown even faster,” said Capt. Harold Van Dam.

All airlines are taking advantage of the strong tailwinds and heading for the altitudes that have the fastest west-east flow, which is up to 160 knots for the next few days. It also means they’re battling headwinds on the return trip but can adjust their routes and altitudes to get away from most of it. The Dreamliner normally cruises about 490 knots but has a top operational speed of 515 knots. The winds are expected to persist for several days.