A storm helped a BA plane from NY to London smash the record for the fastest-ever transatlantic flight

Business Insider US
  • A British Airways flight from New York to London beat the world record for the fastest-ever transatlantic flight on Saturday.
  • Flight BA112 took just four hours and 56 minutes, landing around two hours earlier than expected at London Heathrow Airport, according to FlightRadar24.
  • The Boeing 747 plane's speedy journey was completed thanks to 320 lph winds in the "supercharged" jet stream, CNN reported.
  • The strong winds came as Storm Ciara battered the UK and Ireland from Saturday. A man died in Southern England on Monday after the wind toppled a tree, which fell on his car, the BBC reported.
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A British Airways flight smashed the record for the fastest-ever subsonic passenger flight to have flown across the Atlantic on Saturday, after a storm battering the UK hugely accelerated wind speeds in the jet stream.

Flight BA112 took just four hours and 56 minutes to make its journey from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to London Heathrow Airport on Saturday.

It arrived at 4:43 a.m. UK time that day, almost two hours earlier than expected, according to flight-tracking site FlightRadar24. The average time for this journey is normally six hours and 30 minutes.

The accelerated journey also decreased the total amount of fuel consumption, FlightRadar24 said.

"The flight took advantage of a well-placed and strong jet stream to reach London in under 5 hours," FlightRadar24 said.

The jet stream is a core of strong winds, measuring between eight to eleven km, that blow from west to east - so, from North America to Europe - across the North Atlantic Ocean. It's located in the tropopause, above the Earth's surface. Winds in the jet stream reached 320 kph at the time of the flight, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.

You can see the jet stream around the time of Saturday's record flight illustrated here:

The exceptionally strong winds on Saturday came around the same time Storm Ciara arrived in the UK and Ireland, bringing severe winds and widespread flooding to the country over the weekend.

A 58-year-old man died on Monday after a tree fell on his car while he was driving in southern England, the BBC reported.

The jet stream that turbo-charged the British Airways flight also helped power Storm Ciara's winds toward the UK and Ireland, CNN reported.

British Airways beat a Virgin Atlantic plane, which was travelling on the same night, by exactly one minute, FlightRadar24 reported. Flight VS4 took a total of four hours and 57 minutes.

The previous record for the same New-York-to-London route was held by a Boeing 787 plane flown by Norwegian Airlines, which took five hours and 13 minutes in January 2018.

Referring to its Saturday flight, a British Airways spokesman told Business Insider: "We always prioritize safety over speed records, but our highly trained pilots made the most of the conditions to get customers back to London well ahead of time."

Storm Ciara was responsible for major travel disruptions across over the weekend, with 25,000 passengers affected by flight cancellations from Heathrow Airport alone, according to the Independent.

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