British Airways flight crosses Atlantic from New York to London in under five hours
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For the first time in years, a commercial passenger plane has flown across the Atlantic in less than five hours.
That set a new speed record for subsonic — or slower than the speed of sound — commercial aircraft to fly between the two cities, according to Flightradar24, which tracks global flights.
Thanks to a strong, well-positioned jet stream, a @British_Airways 747 managed a new New York-London subsonic speed record today, making the journey in 4 hours 56 minutes—17 minutes faster than the previous record. https://t.co/HISXpN6Vns #BA112 pic.twitter.com/A2R42rsx14— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) February 9, 2020
The previous record was held by a Norwegian Air flight, which flew between the two cities with a flight time of five hours and 13 minutes.
The flight had been expected to take 102 minutes longer. The recent average flight time between New York and London is 6 hours and 13 minutes, according to Flightradar24.
The wind and air currents were ideal for a fast flight, said Ian Petchenik, Flightradar24’s director of communications. “In the winter, the jet stream dips down a bit,” he said. “It’s kind of in a perfect spot for flights across the North Atlantic to take advantage of it.”
British Airways just narrowly beat out a Virgin Atlantic flight, which arrived in London at around the same time but one minute slower.
It’s true that we were narrowly beaten by a BA Boeing 747, however they had twice the amount of engines and burnt twice as much fuel as Captain Chris in our brand new, fuel efficient Airbus A350-1000 😎— Virgin Atlantic (@VirginAtlantic) February 9, 2020
British Airways confirmed the flight time for the Boeing 747 plane, saying the company prioritizes safety over speed.
The supersonic Concorde flights used to fly across the Atlantic in just over three hours, but stopped flying in 2003.
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