• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

American Airlines flight hit speed of sound and cut nearly an hour off flight

Some fortunate travellers likely ended up where they needed to be a fair bit earlier than intended.

Travelling long distance can be a bit of a pain sometimes. Firstly there is the stress of dealing with airports, hoping your luggage arrives safely and that you didn’t forget anything.

But as well as this, one issue that in our constantly advancing technological world we haven’t yet been able to solve is the long travel times.

But some lucky holidaymakers traveling with American Airlines were able to shave off almost an hour of flight time.

Holiday makers likely got to their destinations a lot sooner than expected.(Getty stock image)

Holiday makers likely got to their destinations a lot sooner than expected.(Getty stock image)

CNN reports that on Wednesday 1 November 2023, American Airlines flight 106 was flying from New York’s JFK airport to London Heathrow and reached speeds faster than the speed of sound.

The Boeing 777 reached a top speed of 778 miles per hour during the journey. The speed of sound is around 767 miles per hour, so that airplane was really hitting serious speeds.

But if you thought this would be the norm for flights going forward be prepared to be disappointed.

The increased speeds have nothing to do with improvements to design or engineering, but rather the weather, more specifically the jet stream.

The jet stream is a ‘core of strong winds around five to seven miles above the Earth’s surface, blowing from west to east’,’ according to the meteorological office.

During autumn last year, there was a period of rapidly cooling weather that helped to speed these winds up.

Scientists were well aware of this and CNN meteorologist Sara Tonks explained the implications.

She said at the time: “This week’s burst of cold air in the United States has upped the difference in temperature between the United States (cold!) and the Atlantic Ocean (warm!).

“This increase in the temperature gradient is amplifying the speed of the jet stream, which is driven by temperature differences.

According to reports, the Boeing 777 flight was flying from New York’s JFK airport to London Heathrow last year in October and reached speeds faster than the speed of sound.(Getty Stock Image)

According to reports, the Boeing 777 flight was flying from New York’s JFK airport to London Heathrow last year in October and reached speeds faster than the speed of sound.(Getty Stock Image)

“The jet stream is expected to help strengthen Storm Ciaran, a low-pressure system and potential bomb cyclone.”

CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam added: “Remember, ground speed is how fast an airplane is traveling, relative to a fixed point on the ground versus airspeed which is the speed of an aircraft relative to the air through which it is moving.

“Either way, these planes are saving time and money.”

A shame this won’t be the norm, but a travelling man can dream.

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By admin