A decade since Concorde's last flight
It was arguably the fastest passenger aircraft in service, if you consider the commercial failure of its contemporary, the Soviet-era Tupolev Tu-144. The supersonic Concorde, jointly built and developed by the French Aerospatiale and British Aerospace, was first flown in 1969. Taking off at 400 kmph, Concorde was capable of attaining cruising speeds of 2,160 kmph (or Mach 2, twice the speed of sound) at an altitude of 18,228 m (60,000 feet). Concorde could seat 100 passengers, six cabin crew and was manned by two pilots and a flight engineer. The distance from New York to London was completed in about three hours, less than half the time taken by a commercial airline flight. On February 7, 1996, Concord made its fastest trans-Atlantic crossing, covering the New York-London flight in two hours, 52 minutes and 59 seconds.
During a 27-year period, Concord flew over 2.5 million passengers, including dignitaries such as the Queen and Pope John Paul II. Other famous passengers included pop stars The Bee Gees and Phil Collins, soccer star David Beckham, and British Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair.
Only 20 Concorde aircraft were ever built. On entering commercial service in 1976, Concorde passenger flights were operated successfully by Air France and British Airways until 2003, when it was retired owing to a number of reasons, foremost among them safety concerns. On July 25, 2000, Air France Concorde flight 4590 burst into flames on takeoff and crashed into a hotel, killing 109 passengers and crew and four people on the ground. In addition, concerns over assembly and structural issues, overheating of the fuselage, noise pollution and environmental damage (to the ozone layer), together with the perceived high cost of flying, put additional pressure on the manufacturers. Airbus, the successor of the Aerospatiale-British Aerospace joint venture, withdrew maintenance support and finally forced Concorde into retirement after its last commercial flight in 2003. It is remembered, however, as an icon in aviation history. The seven Concord owned by British Airways were retired and despatched to museums in Barbados, Edinburgh, Filton, Manchester, New York and Seattle. One aircraft remained at Heathrow.
Enjoy these moments from the 27 years of Concorde's history.
- No live matches are in progress.
Latest Photo Albums
The biggest buys of the IPL 2017 auction.More » Sneak peak into the IPL 2017 Auction
Despite the hype and the heavy base price, these star attractions found no takers at the latest IPL auction, in Bangalore on February 20, 2017.More » IPL 2017 Auction: Big Unsold Players
Action images from the only Test played between February 9-13, 2017. ScorecardMore » Photos: India vs Bangladesh, only Test in Hyderabad
Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim became R Ashwin’s 250th scalp in Test cricket. Take a look at the big names Ashwin had to surpass in order to achieve this feat:
As England’s most prolific scorer Alastair Cook steps down from Test captaincy, we take a look at a few highlights from his brilliant career so far. (With inputs from Reuters)More » Pictures: From Cook to Master Chef
S Sreesanth, the pace bowler from Kerala, turns 34 on February 6, 2017. He has been one of the most controversial faces in Indian cricket. From the match-fixing scandal to his match-winning heroics in India’s first Test victory in South Africa, Sreesanth was quite a colourful character both on and … More » From famous to infamous: Sreesanth turns 34
RCB’s wonder boy Yuzvendra Chahal created havoc at his favourite hunting ground, sending the English batsmen packing with an astonishing spell, the first time an Indian has picked up six wickets in a T20I game. … More » Photos: India's stunning stats in the 3rd T20I vs England
Ricky Ponting bowed out in style as the former Australia captain hit 169 not out for Surrey in his final first-class innings against Nottinghamshire on July 11, 2013.
Ponting, who retired from international cricket in December 2012 with a Test average of 51.85, had reached the landmark of 24,000 … More » The last roll of Ponting's bat
The Indian legend turned 44 on January 11th, 2017. We look back at some special moments from his life and career. More » Rahul Dravid: Another brick in the wall