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Jet Stream Reduces Transatlantic Flight Time

Air travelers heading east for the holiday season had another thing to be thankful for ... the jet stream. According to CNN meteorologist Sara Tonks, the jet stream, the air current about five miles above the earth’s surface, is stronger than usual. She attributes the difference to a burst of cold air, which has increased the difference in temperature between the colder United States and the warmer Atlantic Ocean. “This increase in the temperature gradient is amplifying the speed of the jet stream, which is driven by temperature differences.”

The jet stream has always been a boon to travelers heading west-to-east, but its recent trend has allowed planes to travel at speeds approaching the speed of sound, estimated at about 761 mph.

It's important to note that these planes don’t actually break the sound barrier, because of the differences between airspeed (the speed of something traveling through air, which itself is also moving) and groundspeed (the speed of an object relative to a fixed point on the ground).

Still, these recent flights have resulted in several impressive flight times. For example, an American Airlines flight from JFK in New York to Heathrow in London touched down almost an hour early.

In 2019, a Virgin Atlantic plane from Los Angeles to London achieved a speed of 801 mph while flying over the state of Pennsylvania. Afterward, Virgin founder Richard Branson described it as flying “faster than any other commercial non-supersonic plane in history.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Like a runner or cyclist with the wind at their back, the Spirit of God can refresh us, give us energy, and multiply the efficacy of our work so that through him we can accomplish so much more than we could on our own.

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