British Airways 747 sets New York-London subsonic record

February 10, 2020
Photo: Eluveitie/Wikimedia Commons

A British Airways Boeing 747 lived up to the airline’s Speedbird call sign on Sunday by breaking the record for the fastest ever subsonic flight between New York and London.

The feat, flagged on Twitter by flight tracking platform Flightradar24, saw the plane land almost two hours ahead of schedule after crossing the Atlantic in four hours and 56 minutes.

It beat a Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 flight by a minute and was significantly ahead of the previous record of five hours and 13 minutes held by Norwegian.

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Its top speed during the flight was reportedly clocked at 825mph (1,327kmh) as it was pushed by a powerful jetstream associated with Storm Ciara.

British Airways already held the record for the fastest trans-Atlantic crossing by a scheduled service after a Concorde flew from New York to London in two hours 52 minutes and 59 seconds.

British Airways was circumspect about the new record, telling the BBC: “We always prioritize safety over speed records.

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