A Virgin Atlantic flight from Los Angeles to London reached the ground speed of 801 mph with the help of strong winds, according to reports.
The blistering speed was reached while at 35,000 feet above Pennsylvania. The Boeing 787 twin-jet aircraft was given a boost by a furious jet stream, the high-altitude air current along which storms travel.
“[N]ever ever seen this kind of tailwind in my life as a commercial pilot,” tweeted Peter James, a jet captain.
Monday's record was above the speed of sound-- which is 767 mph-- however, whether air travel breaks the sound barrier is dependent on its airspeed, not ground speed. Commercial aircraft are not designed to fly at supersonic speeds.
The Virgin Atlantic flight arrived in London 48 minutes early. The Boeing 787 airliner has reached top speeds of 776 mph before and has a cruising speed of around 561 mph, the Washington Post reported.
Several other high speeds were recorded Monday. A flight from Los Angeles to New York City hit 678 mph at 39,000 feet over Ohio, while a 737 aircraft en route from Chicago to New York passed 700 mph Tuesday morning.
The jet stream was so strong, flight times from Dallas to Boston dipped below three hours.