It was only last month that I wrote about a Norwegian Airlines 787-9 Dreamliner setting a transatlantic speed record from New York to London for a subsonic jet. It took less than a month to break the record.
Last Thursday, February 8th, Norwegian broke its own record, flying a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from New York JFK to London Gatwick in 5hrs, 9min. That’s four minutes faster than the last month’s record.
Thanks to a very strong jetstream, the aircraft was able to reach speeds of 799mph.
Led by Captain Martin Wood, the flight arrived into Gatwick almost an hour ahead of schedule.
Did the 787-9 Break the Sound Barrier?
The speed of sound varies by altitude, but is about 768 miles per hour at 30,000 feet. Does that mean the Norwegian flight broke the sound barrier?
No. While the plane traveled 799mph in terms of ground speed, airspeed is actually slower. The flight likely approached Mach 0.9, but did no (and could not) break the sound barrier. Even if had, there would have been no one but fish to hear it.
If a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound?
There’s always a flip-side to short flights: no sleep. If I paid big bucks for a flat bed seat only to have dinner served, sleep an hour, than being woken up for breakfast…I’d be ticked! 😉