Virgin Atlantic Flight Hits 801 MPH, Smashing Records, Thanks to Jet Stream

Virgin Atlantic Flight Hits 801 MPH, Smashing Records, Thanks to Jet Stream

Virgin Atlantic Flight Hits 801 MPH, Smashing Records, Thanks to Jet Stream

The reason it flew so much faster than Boeings are actually meant to fly is thanks to a little "boost" from a naturally occurring jet stream, a high-altitude air current that storms travel on, according to The Washington Post.

The blistering speed was reached while at 35,000 feet above Pennsylvania.

"Fair winds and following seas" - a Virgin Atlantic's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner reached a thrilling speed of 801 miles per hour while flying over the United States.

"N$3 ever ever seen this kind of tailwind in my life as a commercial pilot", tweeted Peter James, a jet captain. While this ground speed seemingly leaves behind the speed of sound (767 mph), the jetliner did not, in fact, magically turn supersonic.

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And clearly, despite not being in the jet stream for long, the flight managed to arrive in London 48 minutes early.

Normally a Dreamliner aircraft would fly at 561mph. Around 10:30 p.m. on Monday night, as the Virgin 787 cruised along at 35,000 feet, it posted an 801-MPH groundspeed, according to radar tracks posted on FlightAware.

According to The Drive, passengers wouldn't have felt any discomfort travelling at such a high speed. A flight from Los Angeles to New York City hit 678 miles per hour at 39,000 feet over OH, while a 737 aircraft en route from Chicago to New York passed 700 miles per hour Tuesday morning.

In addition to the El Nino effect, twin cyclones that formed in the central Pacific, the polar jet stream in Alaska that's split into two branches and the location of a polar vortex in the US Northeast also made the jet stream even stronger, according to CBS News.

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