Anyone know what the fastest subsonic crossing of the Atlantic is?
In the late 1980's I was on a BA 747 Boston > Heathrow which took off in the teeth of a gale and did a rollercoaster ride all the way. On landing the pilot announced we had completed the "second fastest subsonic Atlantic crossing". The background was that the aircraft had arrived two hours late from Philadelphia. We boarded immediately but were then held for another two hours while the aircraft was deiced and the runway ploughed clear of snow (a massive storm was approaching) We left nearly four hours late and arrived virtually on time after sitting in a 300+ mph jet stream all the way So anyone know what would have beaten that? A VC-10?
Location: Why oh why would I wanna be anywhere else?
The performance of the VC10 was such that it achieved the fastest crossing of the Atlantic - London to New York, by a jet airliner, a record still held in 2009 for a sub-sonic airliner although beaten by the supersonic Concorde.
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
An ex-Lightning mate of mine transferred to the VC10 in 1973. He said that, if necessary (VIP trips) it would cruise at M0.94.
Not many jets of that era or this could achieve that.
The VC10 being one of them. M0.94 is, I'm sorry to say, WIWOL exaggeration (as in 'AI 23 picked up targets at over 10 miles')....
Cruising at an indicated M0.91 was outside the release to service limits, but very probably just about possible in a very highly polished VIP jet - fuel consumption would have been horrendous though. I've certainly cruised the Pond at M0.88 indicated, but the only time I took the RAF VC10 over M0.9 was during properly authorised post-maintenance air tests.
I suspect that the Convair 990 'Coronado' was quicker than the VC10, but probably didn't have the fuel to cruise at high IMN for very far.
Fastest subsonic currently has to be on Air Canada St Johns Newfoundland to Heathrow A319, which is 2,012 nm Great Circle, compared to the example Boston to Heathrow flight which is 2,837 nm. Boston to Shannon on Aer Lingus is 2,516 nm. In the days when Air Canada did Gander-Prestwick on a Tristar that was only 1,844 nm and probably was the minimum you could achieve, I believe they were often well under 4 hours. The timetable time in a 1962 timetable I have here for a DC8 on this route is 4 hours 5 minutes.
However the OP's example might have been a near-record for this particular combination of carrier and route. Or for the skipper's log book.
Regarding the Convair 990 Coronado it was never used on Transatlantic schedules.
A 1968 BOAC timetable shows a Super VC10 trip from New York to London: departure 02:00 GMT, arrival 08:40 GMT. For the opposite direction the scheduled trip time is one hour longer.
In comparison a B707 (taken from a 1966 timetable) is planned for a 9:00 departure from New York (EST, so this would be 14:00 GMT) and scheduled to arrive in London at 20:30 GMT, 10 minutes less than in the VC10 planning.
All down to the jetstream being in the right place but I recall a Laker DC10-10 in the late '70's with an actual flying time Bangor to Gatwick at 4 hrs 25 min. The computer flight plan showed 4 hr 20 min....I recall querying it at the time and requested our supplier to resend it - still came back with the same answer! On another date a DC10-30 achieved LAX-LGW in approx 8 hrs 45 mins.