The Concorde Story

(Based on a post on found on silodrome.com)

The Concorde was, without doubt the most daring and most beautiful passenger aircraft ever created. It also marks the swan song of the British aircraft industry.

The almost one hour video below provides a history of the development of the aircraft with good insights to the process and the vision behind it.

One interesting facet of the development of Concorde was the trialing of its engine. A Vulcan bomber was fitted with one Concorde engine pretty much bolted onto its underside as a test bed. It was an impressive variation on a Vulcan. I saw this aircraft at the Biggin Hill Air Show in the early sixties and had the opportunity of being with the crowd at the rear of it when it took off. It was impressively loud.

The Concorde's engine was flight tested by being fitted to a Vulcan bomber.

The Concorde’s engine was flight tested by being fitted to a Vulcan bomber.

Consideration of the Concorde and its service history would not be complete without looking at the infamous accident which brought the aircraft’s retirement after 27 years. There is good evidence to indicate that the Concorde involved in that accident was overloaded and that a fatal error had been made in the maintenance of its undercarriage. There are two good articles on this:-

You’ll find the report from the Guardian newspaper if you click here.

You’ll find a post on Patrick Smith’s “Ask the Pilot” if you click here.

For more general information on Concorde here are some links.

The Wikipedia page is excellent. You’ll find it if you click here.

For the Encyclopedia Britannica page click here.

The Concorde flight deck.

The Concorde flight deck.

Concorde was a product of extraordinary vision and courage. Ultimately it proved to be a vision that did not fit with the commercial realities of passenger carrying aviation, with its persistent pressure for cheapest price and profit margin. So, Boeing’s 747 prevailed and the niche Concorde had hoped to fill did not fully materialize. Nonetheless Concorde pushed the envelope of what people believed might be possible and has paved the way technologically in case someone in the future decides that supersonic passenger travel might just be a commercial propostion.

(Picture courtesy of kids.britannica.com)

(Picture courtesy of kids.britannica.com)

(Feature image at the head of this post courtesy of wodumedia.com)

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