British Airways plane break speed record flying through storm Ciara

A British Airways jet has broken records as the fastest trans-Atlantic flight since Concorde, with a little help from storm Ciara.

The Boeing 747-436 service from New York JFK to London Heathrow landed 80 minutes ahead of schedule.

Riding the stormy jet stream currents, the plane hit top speeds of 1327km/h over the Atlantic. The tail wind reduced the flight to just under five hours, at four hours and 56 minutes, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The Flightradar24 tracking website showed the plane beat the previous record, held by Norwegian, by 17 minutes.

As the UK is battered by storm Ciara, air passengers could have enjoyed relative calm in the high winds.

According to aviation consult and former British Airways pilot Alastair Rosenschein, high winds and plane speed are often hard to perceive for passengers on-board.

“Turbulence in those jet streams can be quite severe, but you can also find it can be a very smooth journey,” he told the BBC.

“The pilot will have sat their aircraft in the core of the jet stream, and at this time of year it’s quite strong.”

Aviation enthusiasts were excited to point out that the speed was 90km/h faster than sound and, technically, a supersonic flight.

However, relative to the wind speed, the plane was only cruising at a normal pace of around 900km/h.

Passengers did not experience a “sonic boom” of breaking the sound barrier.

A British Airways spokesperson said: “We always prioritise safety over speed records.

“Our highly trained pilots made the most of the conditions to get customers back to London well ahead of time.”

The fastest transatlantic crossing belongs to BA Concorde, which flew from New York to London in two hours 52 minutes and 59 seconds in 1996 – hitting a top speed of 2172km/h.

This article originally appeared on the New Zealand Herald and was reproduced with permission

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