Norwegian Dreamliner Trans-Atlantic Breaks Speed Record

For a short while, the Concorde made the connection from New York to London in just less than 3 hours, but safety concerns, cost factors and environmental issues ensured that the aircraft, which retired in 2002, never became a viable transportation option. A new record for the fastest transatlantic flight in a subsonic aircraft has been set after a Norwegian Dreamliner rode a strong jet stream from New York to London.

Flight DY7014 from John F Kennedy International to Gatwick completed the 3,470-mile journey in just five hours and 13 minutes, shaving 30 minutes off the average duration and stealing three minutes off the previous record set by British Airways in January 2015.

Norwegian Dreamliner Trans-Atlantic Breaks Speed Record Concorde

The airline said the flight benefited from strong tailwinds, which reached a maximum of 176 knots (202 mph) over the Atlantic Ocean, pushing the aircraft to a top speed of 776 mph. “The 787 Dreamliner is a pleasure to fly and it’s a great feeling to know that we have set a new record in this aircraft,” said Captain Harold van Dam at Norwegian. “We were actually in the air for just over five hours and if it had not been for forecasted turbulence at lower altitude, we could have flown even faster.”

Jet streams, air currents that form at high altitudes, are often a pilot's and an airline's best friend: By slipping into the currents that, even on bad days, can blow at 80 to 100 miles per hour, flight time is cut and fuel (and therefore money) is saved. Jet stream patterns are why it's faster to fly east than west, and in the winter the effect is magnified

The aircraft's tail features a portrait of Amy Johnson, the first female pilot to fly solo from the UK to Australia in 1930.