Planes flying from the United States to Europe have reached speeds comparable to the speed of sound.
The jet stream over the Atlantic Ocean is currently so strong that one Emirates flight from Dallas, Texas, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), arrived at ground speed about an hour early on November 1, according to CNN analysis. As a result, flight time has been significantly shortened. 1250km/h.
“No, there was no sonic boom like we heard or felt on the ground,” explained CNN weather anchor Derek Van Dam.
“That’s because the speed of sound, which is Mach 1, or approximately 767 miles per hour (1,234 kilometers per hour) at a fixed point on Earth, is not the same as you increase altitude.
“It also has to do with the speed of the plane and the air it travels through.
“By the way, the ground speed that we’re reporting, the 760 miles per hour (1223 kilometers per hour) that these jetliners are flying in the North Atlantic, is actually a product not only of the plane’s speed, but also of the wind speed. ”
Van Dam said Mother Nature “gives the jet a slight boost, a tailwind, as it crosses the Atlantic, with wind speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour (322 kilometers per hour) in the upper atmosphere.”
He said this would mean the amount of fuel needed to travel from the US to Europe would be “significantly reduced” and the time needed to travel the distance would also be reduced.
CNN meteorologist Sarah Tonks said it was “this week’s blast of cold air” that is making the jet stream so strong in the United States right now.
He said the speed of the jet stream is determined by the temperature difference between the colder United States and the warmer Atlantic Ocean.
Nature’s speedy flight is a boon for passengers who have been waiting for the development of commercial supersonic aircraft to shorten flight times.
An American company has designed a new aircraft that can fly from Melbourne to Los Angeles in just eight and a half hours, and is expected to begin flying the first passengers within six years.
Colorado-based company Boom is developing a commercial supersonic aircraft called Overture and has already received orders from three airlines: Japan Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines.
Mr Boom told news.com.au that Australians aboard Overture could travel to overseas destinations in almost half the time.
This includes Melbourne to Los Angeles in just over 8.5 hours instead of around 14 hours, Brisbane to Shanghai in 5 hours instead of 10 hours, and Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur in less than 5 hours instead of 8 hours.
Commercial supersonic flights have been suspended since Concorde was retired 20 years ago after flying for 27 years.
The last civilian Concorde plane landed in Bristol, England, in 2003.
Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson and Queen Elizabeth II are other celebrities who have flown on the Concorde flight.
Musician Phil Collins famously performed at the 1985 Live Aid charity concert, held in London and Philadelphia, USA, on the same day, thanks to Concorde.
But Overture’s plans call for supersonic commercial flight to be less exclusive.