​Near supersonic speed: Boeing 777 catches jet stream, makes NY-London in 5 hours

AFP Photo / HO / DPRO
A British Airways flight traveling from New York to London Heathrow broke a record as it approached the speed of sound after riding a powerful jet stream, making the journey in just over 5 hours.

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Passengers onboard BA flight 114 from John F. Kennedy International Airport to London Heathrow were probably left waiting for their taxi rides after their flight arrived about an hour and a half ahead of schedule, the Telegraph reported.

The Boeing 777-200 commercial airliner made commercial flight history, reaching a ground speed of 745mph as it got caught up in winds of more than 200mph. To break the sound barrier, a plane must travel at a speed of 761mph.

Alastair Rosenschein, a former British Airways pilot, compared an aircraft getting caught in a jet stream to surfing.

“It’s just like surfing. It’s extraordinary how fast you can go,” he told the Daily Mail.

“You try to sit in the core of the jet where it’s not too turbulent and where you can pick up some free mileage. It’s not unusual to get 100mph tailwinds but they have got more than that,” he said. “This must be a record.”

Aircraft buffs may recall the Concorde, the supersonic commercial jet jointly developed and produced by Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). Its fastest transatlantic flight happened on February 7, 1996 when it completed the New York to London flight in 2 hours 52 minutes.

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While the surging jet stream may be good news for passengers wanting to make it across the pond fast, the high winds have wreaked havoc on the ground. Scotland, for example, was just pummeled with 113mph winds that left thousands of households without power.

Meanwhile, the Met Office has issued a yellow warning for heavy snow and ice until Sunday, while flood are in effect in Scotland as well as England and Wales, BBC reported.