Concorde (1969)

Concorde (1969)

The first supersonic passenger airliner entered service in 1976.



Concorde, aviation, airplane, passenger carrier, supersonic, speed of sound, engine, jet engine, elevator, Great Britain, France, sound wave, speed record, invention, transportation, history of science, public transport, aerodynamics, technology

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Supersonic passenger airliner

Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde is a retired turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in January 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years. It was operated by British Airways and Air France and was retired in 2003 due to several unfavourable events. Only 20 aircraft were built.
Concorde (from the French word 'condorde' meaning agreement, harmony) set several records (e.g. the fastest transatlantic flight, from Heathrow Airport, London to JFK Airport, New York, taking only 2 hours 52 minutes and 59 seconds). It is considered a symbol of modern aviation even today.


Top view


Concorde had a very slender fuselage, a pointed droop-nose cone and characteristic delta wings. It was about 62 m long and 11 m wide, with a wingspan of less than 26 m and a wing area of 359 m². Its empty weight was nearly 79 tonnes, while the maximum takeoff weight was 185 tonnes. It had a maximum fuel capacity of 119,500 l.

The aircraft was capable of a maximum speed of about 2,368 km/h (Mach 2.23), the average cruise speed was Mach 2.04, about 2,166 km/h. Supersonic flight was permitted only above the ocean, not above inhabited areas. This incredible speed was provided by four Rolls-Royce/SNECMA Olympus 593 Mk 610 afterburning turbojet engines, each with a 169 kN thrust.
The maximum operating altitude was 18,300 m. Its staff consisted of nine members: three pilots and six flight attendants.

Schematic diagram


  • jet engine
  • delta wings
  • cockpit
  • cabin door
  • droop nose
  • vertical stabiliser
  • fuselage


Sonic boom

  • shock wave - When the aircraft reaches the speed of sound while passing through the air (depending on the density of air, Mach 1 is equal to about 1,062 km/h), its speed is equal to the speed of the series of sound waves it creates. These sound waves are forced together or compressed, and eventually, they merge into a single shock wave.
  • sonic boom - When the aircraft breaks the speed of sound while passing through the air (depending on the density of air, Mach 1 is equal to about 1,062 km/h), it is faster than the the series of sound waves it creates. The compressed sound waves form a high-energy shock wave and the observer can hear a loud, explosion-like noise.
  • sound wave

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