Hey Kids, there was once an aeroplane called, Concorde. It was a super fast aircraft, a turbojet powered supersonic passenger aircraft that could travel at a maximum velocity of over twice the speed of sound.
Concorde was a joint project by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) of United Kingdom and Aerospatiale of France. The name Concorde, which means harmony or union, aptly reflects the co-operation between both countries. In the UK, it was simply known as Concorde, without an article like “the” or “a”.
· The first Concorde, 001 was built in France, and made its first test run on the 2nd of March 1969.
· The second Concorde, 002 was built in United Kingdom, and first flew on the 9th of April 1969.
· Concorde 002's first commercial flight was from Heathrow to Bahrain, and Concorde 001's from Paris to Rio was on January 21st 1976.
· 20 Concordes were built, and 14 flew commercially
· Concorde sat 100 passengers
· Air France and British Airways were the only airlines to purchase Concorde.
· Concorde flights originated from London Heathrow and Paris Charles De Gaulle Airports only.
· Concorde traveled at more than twice the speed of sound with a loud rumble, so noisy that it was not allowed to fly over some countries such as Saudi Arabia, so it doesn’t affect their camel breeding.
· A typical trans-Atlantic flight to John F. Kennedy airport in New York, and Dulles airport in Washington amongst other destinations, took less than half the time of a regular commercial flight.
· Its fastest journey was New York to London on January 1st 1983, 2hrs and 56mins.
· It flew up to 60,000 feet; at this height, it was possible for passengers to see the curvature of the earth.
· The aircraft stretched between 6 and 10 inches during flights; this was as a result of the intense heat generated by the airframe.
· Every surface on the aircraft, including the windows was very warm to the touch after a flight.
· The aircraft was painted in special white paint to help cool the plane after a flight.
· Concorde provided the ideal flying option for the very busy business executive, as it afforded the opportunity and convenience to meet same day appointments in Europe and America.
· Air France recorded its last Concorde flight on May 31st 2003, and British Airways on October 24th 2003. After which the aircraft was retired as a result of declining patronage due to environmental concerns, high oil price, as well as the Concorde crash of 2000 in Paris.
Will Concorde Ever Return?
It will be nice to see a return of this iconic supersonic aircraft.
Were you privileged to fly the Concorde? Please share your ‘Concorde Experience’ in the comments box.
- Terence McArthur