The world's only supersonic passenger liner enters 25 years of active service. Concorde first flew at Toulouse, France March 2, 1969, two months after the Tupolev Tu-144. On October 1, 1969 the Concorde achieved Mach 1 for the first time. Thirteen months later the first of the British and French assembled aircraft each achieved Mach 2. These two prototypes were followed by two pre production examples then sixteen production versions.
The first production Concorde flew on December 6, 1973 with the inaugural service beginning on May 24, 1976 between both France and England to Washington DC.
In listening to a pilot interview, the pilot described the Concorde as a plane which is happiest at it's design speed (Mach 2+.) The enormous power of it's SNECMA engines is used mainly at take off and to break through the sound barrier after which they are throttled back. The Concorde has perfomed admirably during it's tour of duty and the pilots and crews are justifiably proud of this fine aircraft.
Specifications; Engines; (four) 169.3 kN. (38,050 lb.) thrust Rolls Royce SNECMA Olympus 593 MK 610 turbojets (with reheat) mounted in pairs. Wing span; 25.56 m. (83' 10"), Length; 62.1 m. (203' 9"), Maximum take-off weight; 185,065 kg. (408,000 lbs.), Cruising speed; Mach 2.2, Range; 6,580 km. (4,090 miles), Capacity up to 128 passengers (144 passenger layout design as well.)
The nose can be hydraulically tilted to allow for increased pilot visibility during take-off and landings.