A Virgin Atlantic 787 Dreamliner running from from Los Angeles to London has set an astonishing new speed record thanks to the good old mysteries of the jet stream, hitting a maximum speed of 801mph in tailwinds at 35,000 feet above the US.
This does not mean it went supersonic, mind, as the technical ground speed level was reached thanks to a 200mph push from the jet stream, meaning it was moving in a big old bunch of fast-moving air already so the engines were only doing what's normally asked of them. It was going at 600mph in a 200mph river of air, sort of thing. And that's added up. That's how actual pilots explained it anyway.
Amazed passengers on Monday's flight VS8 therefore landed in Heathrow a staggering 48 minutes ahead of schedule, leaving them with barely enough time to fit in two films and a nap before arrival. [Popular Mechanics]
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