Which is quicker: light or sound? Light is quicker than sound. Likewise, which is faster sound or Concorde flight? It’s a Concorde super flight. That’s right! Concorde was the fastest aircraft, in addition to that, it was the world’s fastest airliner. I was thrilled to have read the story of Concorde. I am quite delighted to write about it. Now it’s your turn to get into the thrill.
Evolution of Concorde
The aviation industry was booming at the time. Every country along with their airline company was experimenting a thing or two with aircraft.
- Firstly, there was a huge competition as to “who would create a supersonic airliner first”. Even so, the US developed a supersonic military jet in 1947.
- Secondly, the UK and France wanted to create a supersonic passenger airplane. Surely, people could travel in the air faster than the speed of sound.
- Finally, the UK and France successfully tested a flight in 1969. It traveled two times faster than the speed of sound speed. What! Was it even possible?
Introducing the Concorde
The UK and France holding hands together introduced a brand new passenger aircraft. Yes, Concorde was introduced in 1976. Concorde traveled from New York to London in just 3 hours 30 minutes. Wow! That is fast. Concorde traveled fast, like twice as fast as the sound speed. It was a Mach 2 airliner to be exact. It flew over 60000 ft, nearly touching the sky.
Boeing lost the race – I’m not kidding! Boeing was about to build the same kind of supersonic passenger airplane. Costs and risks played a major role, whereas they dropped off the supersonic project.
Russia’s Tupolev Tu 144
Why are we even talking about the country now? Russia was no less in their aircraft business too. They created a supersonic flight too. Believe it or not, it was known as Tupolev Tu 144, a Mach 2 version. It was introduced in 1975. That made it the world’s first-ever supersonic airliner.
The aircraft met with an accident just after 3 years. They blamed it on some technical issues. Sadly, Russia just stopped it from flying around.
That was the end of Russia’s supersonic airliner.
Why can’t we fly with Concorde anymore?
We can’t see a single Concorde flying now, can we?
Alternatively, the flights now take 8 hours to travel between New York and London. Why is it so? Why can’t we travel faster than the sound of speed in today’s modern world?
Be aware of radiation
Every airplane has a radiation level increase while flying in the sky. However, Concorde has high radiation levels, besides flying so high. Concorde had to fly high to travel faster right! In addition, they also fixed a radiometer in the cockpit. The pilot would fly low whenever the Concorde showed high radiation levels.
Concorde tends to heat up when they fly high. Their bodies would go over 120 degrees. The design experts used the coolant pump all over the flight.
The Concorde had some unique aerodynamics. Pilots often found it harder to land and take off. Thus, they created an exotic front for the airliner. That’s how it was! The pilots were able to move the front fuselage body up to 12 degrees lower. It was rather helpful for better take-off and landing.
People were not so fond of the Concorde anymore. You know what? Concorde flew faster, apart from that it has done great damage too. Concorde sounded like a thunderbolt when it took off. It even did damage to nearby houses and broke their windows. It was time to face the consequences, okay!
The Concorde had higher fares. Concorde was not a cost-effective airplane without a doubt. Also, their gas capacity and efficiency were a big question mark. It needed tons of fuel too. It had high making costs as well as maintenance costs. It was no wonder.
Concorde made a big mess in the air. It caused large air pollution.
The 21st century was no good for Concorde – Air France flew the Concorde airliner in the year 2000. The flight crashed just after a few seconds of its take-off. All passengers were killed including some people on the ground where it crashed. Undoubtedly that was not the fault of Concorde. Air France confirmed it after a thorough investigation.
Could you trust that a small metal piece made a big accident? You see the DC 10 left a metal piece outside on the runways. The tires of Concorde picked it up. A large shred went straight to the fuel tank. Then the fuel tanks exploded within a matter of seconds. Concorde the supersonic flight fell to the ground. Such a mess!
Concorde made its last journey between London and New York in the year 2003. Concorde the legend left us. However, there was no more speed traveling. It was a sad end to the world’s first supersonic flight. But Some thought it was good riddance. Now, what do you think? and you can read more about the Concorde on Wikipedia.
Get to know more about the British Airways that flew the Concorde – Story Of British Airways – How Has The Airline Got So Big?