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800 mph ride

Started by Riley Smith, Jan 28, 2024, 06:14 PM

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Riley Smith

There have been several airline flights lately over the Pacific that have taken advantage of the jet stream boost in tailwinds to clock above 800 mph. That's NOT 800 true airspeed, as the jet stream has been clocked at 250 mph in places. It took a whole hour off some flights. Reminds me of that flight near the holidays coming back from Africa that had a 200 mph headwind as a big storm came off North America. Longest flight EVER as it ADDED an hour and some to our flight and was terribly bumpy out over that blackness. I don't miss it at all. 


My military flight back from Europe went fine to the Azores, where we refueled and had a hot meal, Spaghetti and meatballs, but from there to Maguire AFB, we had strong headwinds from the jet stream, and diverted to Gander, Newfoundland.

C 54 is no speed demon to start with, and refueling with gasoline requires that the plane be empty, so we had breakfast there.  Net, we left Gander about the time we had expected to arrive in New Jersey.

Airborne at about 8 AM, Paris time, Maguire AFB 6 AM local the next morning.  22 hours, plus 6 hours time difference, 28 hours flight and refueling time.  Just two pilots flew the whole trip. :o

Riley Smith

I added it all up once and that coming home day was about 30 hours long, as I couldn't sleep in the airliner. LONG day but always a good one. We had to divert to San Juan on that headwind trip to refuel. I never want to see that ocean again at night from 40,000 ft, although I'll have to say that the view of the Milky Way was awe inspiring. Somewhere over that ocean once I saw a blinking light a long way off and watched as an aircraft passed below us about half a mile. EXACTLY below us. It must have been coming from South America heading to Europe. I only flew once on something other than a Boeing 767  and wound up going through Amsterdam that time. I have many friends that make a commute half way around the world still.