Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde is a retired turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner, a supersonic transport (SST). It was a product of an Anglo-French government treaty, combining the manufacturing efforts of Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued working for 27 years
20 Concordes were built and 14 entered airline service. There were 2 prototypes, 2 pre-production models and 2 "first off the line" production models. Of these, five are on show in museums and the sixth will eventally go on display.
It was all down to Cost: The Airlines were not making back the money spent on the safety modifications and other upgrades, with some other big costs coming up (tens of millions, before any life extension programme), BA need to write off £84M now rather than £150M in 3 or 4 years. Air France wrote off a large sum of money too.
The Anglo-French plane took off from Toulouse and was in the air for just 27 minutes before the pilot made the decision to land. The first pilot, Andre Turcat, said on his return to the airport: "Finally the big bird flies, and I can say now that it flies pretty well.
The British government has so far invested £155m in the project. It is hoped Concorde will begin flying commercially in 1973, when it will cut the flying time between London and New York from seven hours 40 minutes to three hours 25 minutes.
This aircraft, serial no. 100-010 (G-BOAD), first flew on August 25, 1976. Concordes crossed the Atlantic in under three hours, or less than half the time of any other jetliner flying that route even today. Protests from environmentalists prevented its supersonic use over the United States and limited airport operation. A crash upon takeoff in July 2000 grounded the fleet until 2001
Concorde measures 204ft in length - stretching between six and ten inches in-flight due to heating of the airframe. She is painted in a specially developed white paint to accommodate these changes and to dissipate the heat generated by supersonic flight. The wingspan is 83ft 8ins - much less than conventional subsonic aircraft as Concorde flies in totally a different way using "Vortex Lift" to achieve her exceptional performance. The height is 37ft 1ins.
On 21 May 2003 Concorde made its final flight from New York to Paris in under four hours, at a speed of almost 2 500 km/h (1 553 mph). During its 27 years in the skies, this beautiful Franco-British bird failed to nest permanently in the long-distance aviation hypermarket, which has stayed resolutely subsonic.
In the aftermath of the crash of an Air France Concorde near Paris, some of the pilots who have flown them pondered a paradox today. The supersonic airliner, according to one, is tough and robust, with ''tremendous reserve capacity'' to power its way out of trouble. But, according to another, if the plane lost a side-by-side pair of its four engines at low speed just after takeoff, it would be ''impossible to control.''
Brian Trubshaw, the former Concorde test pilot who flew the plane on its maiden flight over Britain in 1969, told reporters at the Farnborough Air Show that ''she is in her essence a safe plane.'' He was at the show to promote his autobiography, ''Concorde: The Inside Story.''
A UK businessman has paid a sky-high $162,000 for a nose cone from a British Airways Concorde.
The property magnate, who wished to remain anonymous, bought the nose of supersonic passenger jet to hang on the wall of his London home,
The devastating accident, on 25 July 2000, heralded the end of the plane that had taken to the skies in 1969 and became a byword for five-star travel.
Three years later its two operators, Air France and British Airways, took the aircraft out of service.
A French judge ordered Continental Airlines and five people to stand trial on charges of manslaughter for the 2000 crash of a Concorde jet that killed 113 people, a prosecutor said Thursday.