Creating Concorde, the first supersonic passenger jet, 1964-1969

The Anglo-French Concorde was co-developed by BAC, a precursor to BAE Systems, and Aérospatiale, now a part of Airbus, and has a storied history. New technology was needed throughout the aircraft. A distinctive design innovation was the inclined nose of the aircraft, which was lowered during takeoff and landing to increase the pilot's view of the runway.

Steering and control systems use an electronic interface known as fly-by-wire. There was a minor dispute regarding the spelling of the name. The English spelling of the word Concorde was the French Concorde. In both the languages, the word means agreement, harmony or union. The French version was eventually adopted by the British.

The first Concorde flight took place on March 2, 1969, with the first commercial flight almost seven years later, on January 21, 1976. US banned Concorde from its airports until the following year. In total, only 20 aircraft were built, including prototypes.

During the planning of Concorde, there was tremendous interest from several airline companies, who saw supersonic flight as the next frontier in the aviation industry. However, unseen overheads and technical adjustments increased the unit cost of the aircraft, with units exceeding $20 million at Concorde's launch.

This increase in price discouraged many potential buyers from buying the units. The Concorde was primarily used for transatlantic flights along the Singapore–Bahrain route used by Singapore Airlines. It targeted the affluent traveler space with a London-New York return ticket fetching an average of $8,000.

Concorde started experiencing its downfall shortly after its launch. During development, the aircraft attracted significant interest from airline companies but the unit cost at launch proved prohibitive for most.

Another factor reducing the appeal of the aircraft was its high fuel consumption rate, especially compared to existing options such as the Boeing 747 and 707.

The Concorde had a passenger capacity of 100 people and consumed over 89,000 liters of fuel for transatlantic flight, while a Boeing 747 with a capacity of over 400 passengers consumed about 59,000 liters over the same distance.

The oil crisis of 1977 pushed global oil prices to an unprecedented peak and exacerbated the issue. In the late 20th century, Concorde competitors Boeing and Airbus made several improvements to passenger accommodation, including increased seating and the provision of better in-flight entertainment.

This left speed as the Concorde's primary advantage over other types of aircraft. However, this supersonic speed also proved to be a demerit for the aircraft. With the speed came a supersonic boom, which according to some researchers affected occupants under its flight path and was considered an environmental pollutant.

Another significant event that heightened public apathy towards Concorde was the Air France accident of July 2000, where a Concorde crashed in France, killing all passengers and crew.

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks brought with it a drop in overall aviation passenger numbers. On April 10, 2003, British Airways and Air France publicly announced the closure of Concorde operations that year.

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