A Boeing 787, flown for Norwegian broke the record for subsonic aircraft last week, flying from JFK in NYC to London in only 5 hours and 15 minutes, BGR media reported.
This is the fastest ever for a subsonic flight from New York to London
The overall record for a flight from New York to London is still held by a Concorde, which is a supersonic Jet; as opposed to a subsonic aircraft like a Boeing and all other commercial airliners.
The overall record was set February, 7th 1996 when a Concorde completed the New York to London flight in 2 hours 52 minutes and 59 seconds. The Concorde was able to fly as fast as 1,454 miles per Hour.
The Boeing 787 maxed out at speeds of 776 MPH during its record setting flight to London. On Monday, January 22, the flight of the Boeing 787-9 Dream liner departed JFK with 284 passengers on board at 11:44 AM and arrived at London’s Gatwick airport at 9:57 GMT.
It landed 53 minutes ahead of schedule, Business Insider reported.
The Norwegian captain, Harold van Dam told reporters “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”.
Wired reported, that a jet stream which has been flowing faster than usual, resulted in an unusually high tailwind of 202 MPH which helped push the plane forward at greater speeds. A Tail wind blows in the direction of an aircraft.
It is unlikely that the original record set by the Concorde in 1996 will be broken any time soon. The Concorde which is a turbo jet powered supersonic aircraft, seized operation in 2003 after twenty-seven years of offering high speed flights. The only other supersonic aircraft to operate passenger service was the Russian Tupolev Tu-44, which only operated between the years 1977- 1978.
The Concorde, at the start of the 21st century, while faster than any subsonic plane, had become outdated in other ways. As airlines began to economize and switch to computerized flight systems, the cockpit for example, became outdated with its analogue instruments. The Concorde also had no competition for its market niche either.
The Air France Flight 4590 incident occurred on July, 25th, 2000 which resulted in 109 deaths, was another nail in the coffin for the Concorde. An Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde, serving this flight from Paris to New York, ran over debris on the runway during takeoff, blowing a tyre and puncturing a fuel tank; the subsequent fire and engine failure caused the aircraft to crash into a hotel in nearby Gonesse two minutes after takeoff.
The airline slump after September 11th, 2001 and Airbus refusing to continue to maintenance and manufacture of spare parts after they took over Aérospatiale officially ended the flight of the Concorde.
By Victor Hazan
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