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2 passenger planes surpassed 800 mph on recent flights with strong winds. That's over 200 mph as fast as a typical plane ride.

2 passenger planes surpassed 800 mph on recent flights with strong winds. That's over 200 mph as fast as a typical plane ride.
  • On Saturday, a Virgin Atlantic plane and a United Airlines plane reached speeds of more than 800 mph.

  • These are some of the highest-known recorded speeds for passenger flights.

  • Near record-breaking winds are to blame.

On Saturday, two flights arrived at their destinations early.

A Virgin Atlantic flight from Washington, DC, to London landed 45 minutes ahead of schedule. Meanwhile, a United Airlines flight from Newark, New Jersey, arrived in Lisbon 20 minutes early.

The passengers have strong winds to thank for that.

High-altitude winds over the mid-Atlantic helped the planes surpass speeds of 800 mph, The Washington Post reported.

According to Simple Flying, passenger planes typically have a cruising speed of about 600 mph.

The planes flew faster than the speed of sound

The National Weather Service in the DC area reported that the winds reached speeds of 265 mph.

NPR reported that the highest recorded wind speed in the area was 267 mph in 2002. This would make Saturday's winds the second highest in the region.

Contrasting temperatures often cause strong winds, which seems to be what happened on Saturday. The Washington Post reported that cold air from the Northeast and warm air from the Southeast led to the winds.

These winds pushed Virgin's Boeing 787 to a ground speed of 802 mph and United's Boeing 787 to 838 mph.

The speed of sound is 767 mph. While they were flying faster than the speed of sound, the planes didn't break the sound barrier, The Washington Post reported.

That's because the planes were still flying at their typical cruising speeds — they were just flying in unusually fast air.

While there isn't an official record of top ground speeds, The Washington Post reported that the two Saturday flights were among the highest known recorded speeds.

Some of the other top recorded speeds include a China Airlines flight that reached 826 mph over the Pacific Ocean last month and a British Airways flight that reached 825 mph in 2020.

Read the original article on Business Insider