On November 29, 1962, the French and British governments sign an agreement to jointly design and manufacture the first commercial supersonic jet after several researches that had begun as early as 1958. After years of tests, the French-built 001 prototype Concorde makes its maiden flight, a 42-minute circle trajectory from the airport of Toulouse.
British prototype 002 makes its maiden flight a month later. ‘’One of the 20th century’s greatest design icons and the world’s supersonic aircraft, flying at around twice the speed of sound at 1,350mph and at an altitude of 60,000 feet.’’ As London Air Travel quoted, the Concorde was a true master piece during its flying days. With the “You Leave. Arrive Before” promise, The Concorde sometimes if not most times land ahead of schedule.
March 28, 1985, Concorde registration G-BOAC Cunard charter flight to carry passengers to and from QE2 on its world cruise a “now’ retired British ocean liner converted into a floating hotel. Set new London to Cape Town speed record for its class.
The British Airways supersonic Concorde jetliner broke the speed record for a flight from London to Cape Town, taking 8 hours and 8 minutes with a refueling stop in Monrovia, Liberia. This beat the previous record of 11 hours and 54 minutes, set by a Boeing 747 in 1977.
″That is indeed a record, ″ the then British Airways spokesman David Snelling said. ″The flight was 15 minutes ahead of schedule, so it was even better than we hoped.″
Concorde was grounded in July 2000 following An Air France Concorde crash just after take-off from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, killing all 109 on board and four people on the ground. Pending an inquiry, and the withdrawal of its airworthiness certificate. It returned to commercial service in November 2001.
This followed a package of improvements including new fuel tank liners to prevent leaks and new tyres that were less likely to explode if punctured.
Article featured in our December Magazine issue: www.theaviator.co.ug/magazine