Wind Circle

Copyright 2009 by Paul Niquette. All rights reserved.

 
ere is a telephoto of an Airbus A380 cruising at altitude, with up to 853 passengers on board seated on two decks. 

Let us suppose it is a Green Flight, by which is meant conservation trumps speed, as described in a puzzle in this collection by that name. The flight is maximizing fuel economy and minimizing its 'carbon footprint' by flying slower than its normal cruise speed of 500 knots (575 MPH). 

Aptly named, the airbus has been throttled back to its 'minimum drag speed' of 228 knots (262 MPH), which is still faster than the fastest bullet trains in service.
The flight log shows a time of 2:32 for a 562-nautical-mile leg between two waypoints.

 
How fast were the winds aloft that day?

Almost forgot: The return trip the same day took exactly the same time for the same leg.

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