British Airways Breaks Record for Fastest Subsonic Flight from New York to London

The plane completed its journey in just under five hours

British Airways Boeing 747-400 commercial aircraft as seen on final approach with landing gear down landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport. (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
British Airways Boeing 747-400 commercial aircraft as seen on final approach with landing gear down landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport. (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / February 9, 2020 2:02 pm

A British Airways flight has broken the record for the fastest subsonic flight from New York to London, completing the journey in just four hours and 56 minutes.

The Boeing 747 took off from New York on Saturday night and landed at London’s Heathrow Airport at 4:43 a.m. on Sunday, almost two hours ahead of schedule. It reached a top speed of 825 miles per hour.

“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,” a British Airways spokesperson said in a statement.

The previous record, set by Norwegian Air in January 2018, was five hours and 13 minutes. The average time it takes for a plane to fly from New York to London is six hours and 13 minutes.

As CNN notes, “Although the BA plane was clocked apparently going faster than the speed of sound — 767 mph — it would not have breached the sonic barrier because it was being pushed by the air around it. Even when traveling at more than 800mph, the 747 was traveling much slower than the speed of sound relative to the air around it.”

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