How is this possible? Let’s just say that it had a little help from Mother Nature. More specifically, it had assistance from the Jet Stream, the high-altitude air current along which storms travel. The Virgin Atlantic flight from Los Angeles to London reached the record breaking speed with the help of this strong tail wind flowing across the North American continent.
One jet captain, Peter James, tweeted: “[N]ever ever seen this kind of tailwind in my life as a commercial pilot.” How right he was! The record velocity attained by the Boeing 787 twin-jet aircraft was well above the speed of sound - which is 767 mph.
Now, obviously, commercial aircraft are not designed to fly at supersonic speeds. But then again, whether an aircraft breaks the sound barrier is dependent on its airspeed, and not its ground speed. In any event, all’s well that ends well! The flight arrived in London a full 48 minutes early.
Now, the typical Boeing 787 has a cruising speed of around 561 mph. And prior flights have reached top speeds of 776 mph before. But this is still way below the new pace set that eventful Monday this past February.
Apparently the record setting flight was not alone, as several other high speed flights were also recorded that day. One from Los Angeles to New York City hit 678 mph at 39,000 feet over Ohio; and a 737 aircraft en-route from Chicago to New York passed 700 mph the following morning.
The article states that the jet stream was so strong that flight times from Dallas to Boston dipped from the customary three-and-a-half hours to below three hours. Such is the awesome power of the jet stream!
As I read this article, I found myself remembering the words of Jesus to the Pharisee Nicodemus in the New Testament Gospel of John (chapter 3, verse 8), when He described the work of the Spirit in the life of those who believe in Him as similar to the way the wind works.
Later, in the New Testament Book of Acts (chapter 2, verses 1 and 2) the Bible says: “1When the day of Pentecost came, the believers were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.”
From that point forward, it is arguable that the remainder of the New Testament is the record of the Holy Spirit bearing various believers aloft as they undertake one incredible feat after another in the name of Jesus Christ!
I do not know where you are at right now in your life, or what you are up against at this particular moment. But this much I do know. The Bible promises us that the Holy Spirit of God provides direction and strength and power to rise above and to overcome whatever difficulties anyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ may be up against.
As the “Paraclete”, or “one called out alongside of”, the Holy Spirit literally comes alongside of us and gives us the added wherewithal to break all spiritual barriers, to accomplish our goal, to arrive at our destination, and to win the race as we do!
In light of this, I agree with the hymn-writer of old, who put it this way:
“O Holy Spirit, wind of God,
O Holy Spirit, wind of God,
give me your power today,
to live in you always:
O Holy Spirit, breathe on me.”
HYMN LYRICS SOURCE: