5 things you might not know about... Concorde
The last Concorde has recently gone on show in a new £19m aerospace museum in Filton, near Bristol. We bring you five facts about the supersonic plane
1 It went supersonic in 1969
Concorde completed its first successful supersonic flight in October 1969, yet its first commercial flights didn’t take place until January 1976, after 5,000 hours of testing. These commercial flights saw British Airways fly from London Heathrow to Bahrain, and Air France from Paris to Rio de Janeiro via Dakar. Concorde’s final flight took place in 2003.
2 It crossed the Atlantic in less than 3.5 hours
Concorde first crossed the Atlantic in September 1973, flying from Washington to Orly airport in Paris. The London to New York route was inaugurated in November 1977 with passengers reaching their destination in less than three and a half hours – four and a half hours faster than a subsonic flight.
3 It cruised at 1,350mph
Concorde’s take-off speed was 250mph and it could cruise at a speed of 1,350mph – around twice the speed of sound. Its fastest transatlantic crossing was in February 1996 when it completed the New York to London flight in 2hrs, 52mins and 59secs.
4 It flew around the world
On 8 November 1986, Concorde made its first round-the-world flight. The journey took 29 hours, 59 minutes and covered 28,238 miles. The supersonic plane could reach heights of 60,000ft – high enough for passengers to see the curvature of the Earth.
5 It transported its first prime minister in 1977
The first British prime minister to travel by Concorde was James Callaghan, in 1977. Callaghan flew to the US to meet president Jimmy Carter to discuss a range of issues, including the question of landing rights at Kennedy International Airport for Concorde.