Can you imagine travelling faster than the speed of sound….in real life…not science fiction? Well, that happened (and still happens with some military aircrafts), but did you know it used happen on a commercial level.
Introducing the Concorde aircraft-
This was the only commercial aircraft to achieve supersonic flight; it could fly from London to New York in only 3 hours, 30 minutes at a speed of Mach 2.5. There were several versions built over a period of time, the very first however, was the F-WTSS (production designation 001) it was the first Concorde to fly and the historic flight took place on the 2nd of March 1969 (47 years ago).
In total, only 20 Concordes were ever built, of which 14 entered airline service. At that time, it was the height of luxury aviation.
Why the Concorde was scrapped-
On 10 April 2003, Air France and British Airways simultaneously announced that they would retire Concorde later that year. They cited low passenger numbers following the 25 July 2000 crash, the slump in air travel following the 11 September attacks and rising maintenance costs.
For those of us who never got the opportunity to see one in action, at the entrance of London Heathrow Airport, there is one on display…and there are several on display in different museums, some of which are as follows:
- The Museum of Air and Space, Le Bourget, France
- Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton, England, UK
- Imperial War Museum, DUxford, England, UK
- Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum, Germany
Airlines with Concorde Airplanes-
There were only a few airlines that included the Concorde in its fleet-
- Air France
- British Airways
- Braniff International Airways (1 on short term lease)
- Singapore Airlines (1 on short term lease)
I wonder what commercial travel would be like now, had the Concorde not been decommissioned, they were actually planning on building the Concorde 2.0, which would have been able to travel from London to New York in only 1 hour….imagine that!