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Flight of the Concorde

In 1976, commercial supersonic passenger service began with two simultaneous Concorde jet airplane flights. One left London's Heathrow Airport for Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. The other flew from Orly Airport outside Paris to Rio de Janeiro via Senegal in West Africa. With engines twice as powerful as those of normal jets, their 1,350 mph cruising speed was double the speed of sound (Mach 2.04), and halved air travel time, at a cruise altitude of 60,000 feet (17,700-m). Their huge production cost was shared between Britain and France governments. Technical challenges included building the aircraft's frame to withstand immense pressure from shock waves and endure high temperatures from air friction. The Concorde had a delta wing configuration, and was the first civil airliner to be equipped with an analogue fly-by-wire flight control system. Regular transatlanticflights from Europe began to Washington D.C. on 24 May 1976 and service to New York on 22 Nov 1977. The final commercial Concorde flight was on 24 Oct 2003.

Books in our Collection:

Concorde by Philip Birtles

Concorde: the Inside Story by Brian Trubshaw

Concorde: Story of a Supersonic Pioneer by Kenneth Owen