Concorde’s First Flight 1976

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Concorde (note: the aircraft’s name is not “The” Concorde) featured a maximum speed of Mach 2.04 with seating for 92 to 128 passengers. First flown in 1969, it entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years. The first commercial flights took place on January 21 1976  on the London–Bahrain and Paris–Rio (via Dakar) routes.

From the Concorde page at designmuseum.org: 

When the British government established the Supersonic Transport Aircraft Committee in 1956 to explore the possibility of developing the world’s first passenger aircraft able to fly faster than the speed of sound, it could take as long as eighteen hours for a commercial jet to fly from London to New York.

It was to take nearly twenty years for the committee’s work to culminate in the first commercial flight of a supersonic aircraft, but the subsequent performance of that jet, Concorde, exceeded even the most optimistic expectations. Routinely flying faster than twice the speed of sound, Concorde sported a take-off speed of 250 mph (400 kmph) and a cruising speed of 1,350 mph (2,160 kmph) at an altitude of up to 60,000 feet, twice the height of Mount Everest. At its fastest on 7 February 1996, Concorde flew from New York to London in just 2 hours, 52 minutes and 59 seconds, less than a sixth of the time that the same journey would have taken by air in 1956.

Hailed for its beauty as well as its speed, Concorde seemed to belong less to the modern world than to the future. During 27 years of commercial service from 1976 to 2003, it became one of the best-loved engineering design projects of the 20th century. An exemplar of technological excellence, Concorde struck such a strong emotional chord with the public that children cheered whenever they spotted it in the sky.


Concorde Facts

Capacity: 100 passengers and 2.5 tonnes of cargo

Seating: 100 seats, 40 in the front cabin and 60 in the rear cabin

Range: 4,143 miles (6,667 kms)

Engines: Four Rolls-Royce/SNECMA Olympus 593s, each producing 38,000lbs of thrust with reheat

Take-off speed: 250mph (400kph)

Cruising speed: 1,350mph (2,160kph/Mach Two) up to 60,000 ft

Landing speed: 187mph (300kph)

Length: 203ft 9ins (62.1m)

Wing span: 83ft 8ins (25.5m)

Height: 37ft 1in (11.3m)

Fuselage width: 9ft 6ins (2.9m)

Fuel capacity: 26,286 Imperial gallons (119,500 litres)

Fuel consumption: 5,638 Imperial gallons (25,629 litres) per hour

Maximum take-off weight: 408,000lbs (185 tonnes)

Landing gear: Eight main wheels, two nose wheels

Flight crew: Two pilots, one flight engineer

Cabin crew: Six

First commercial flight pilot: Captain Norman Todd

Last commercial flight: New York JFK to London Heathrow, BA2 on 24 October 2003 (Captain Mike Bannister)

Concorde resources: Design Museum (warning – tiny font) | British Airways Concorde page | Heritage Concorde

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