A Virgin Atlantic flight from Los Angeles to London has left aviation enthusiasts awestruck after the routine commute reached a jaw-dropping 801 mph (1,289kph) – nearly breaking the sound barrier – due to a powerful jet stream.
The Boeing 787-9 twin jet was passing over Pennsylvania when it crossed paths with a conspicuously vigorous jet stream – fast flowing, narrow air currents in the atmosphere.
At 35,000 feet (almost 11km), the aircraft was propelled forward by Mother Nature at a whopping 801mph (1,289kph). Not too shabby for a plane which has a cruising speed of 561mph (903 kph). Thanks to the helpful boost, the Virgin Atlantic flight arrived in London a full 48 minutes early.
The flight – which may have set a Dreamliner speed record – immediately caught the attention of Twitter, with even aviation industry insiders expressing their amazement.
“Never ever seen this kind of tailwind in my life as a commercial pilot,” wrote Peter James, whose Twitter bio lists him as a jet captain with 25 years of experience.