Concorde: Meet the supersonic commercial aircraft


The Concorde is one of the first supersonic commercial aircraft, which flew from 1976 to 2003 and became synonymous with travel in style. This amazing device could make the journey from London to Sydney in 17 hours, three minutes and 45 seconds, considerably less than the 22 hours it takes for a Boeing-747.

The Concorde was best known as the aircraft of an exclusive club of two members: Air France and British Airways. The other plane that broke the sound velocity was the Tupolev Tu-144 (we will be talking about this airplane also in another post) of the Soviet Union, which flew until 1999.

Concorde was discontinued by Airbus on 2003 due to the downturn in aviation after a crash in the year 2000 and the September 11 attacks.

Concorde was a cooperation between United Kingdom and France. Discussions between both lasted more than a year, finally signed an agreement in November 1962, by which aircraft costs would be shared between BAC and Sud Aviation. Rolls-Royce and SNECMA developed the reactor which would operate the Concorde, the Olympus 593, a derivative of the British Olympus. In reality the British worked on the model to be used on transatlantic flights, while the French worked with those for middle reaches.

The Concorde made its first test flight in March 1969 under the direction of André Turcat, the duration was of 29 minutes. It reached supersonic speeds for the first time in October of that year, reaching Mach 2 speed a year later. January 21, 1976 the first commercial flights on the routes London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio de Janeiro began.

Flying in supersonic regime gives a number of problems that do not exist in subsonic flight, for example, in supersonic flights in the pressure center of the plane moves. To fly the aircraft balanced, the center of pressure must match the center of gravity. So if the plane had been designed so that both centers coincide in subsonic, supersonic did not. The problem was solved by minimizing the displacement of the pressure center with good design of the wings, and making the fuel tanks shift along with the change of regime, moving the center of gravity until the plane was balanced.


The Concorde landing


The concorde is a magical plane… the pleasure to fly on it is almost carnal

Joelle Cornet-Temple, Chief hostess of Air France

(Part 2 is in work…)

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