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

BBC History Magazine - - History Now / News -

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.

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