History of the Concorde Airplane Flight
The first scheduled service of the Concorde airplane occurred on January 21, 1976 from London to Bahrain and Paris to Rio. Although the vehicles were fashionable for a brief period of time, the overall public outcry against the aircraft resulted in many flights only securing 50 percent usage. By 1981, construction of the Concorde airplane was losing money. The consortium was forced to raise prices to accommodate, causing further declining sales.
The only crash of a Concorde airplane occurred on July 25, 2000, when Air France Flight 4590 went down in Gonesse, France, killing everyone on board. In total, 100 passengers and nine crew perished, along with four people on the ground. According to investigators, a titanium strip from a thrust reverser aboard another flight fell onto the runway before the Concorde took off. The left main tire was punctured and exploded, causing rubber to impact the fuel tank and an electrical cable. The fuel leak was ignited by the sparks. After the pilots shut down the engine, the landing gear could not be retracted, causing the airplane to roll left and lose control, ultimately hitting the Hotelissimo Hotel.
Due to the airplane crash, additional safety features were installed aboard the Concorde. However, the decision was made in 2003 to permanently ground the fleet. During its run, many attempts at speed records were made with the Concorde. The fastest flight of the aircraft occurred between Miami and London, lasting only 3 hours and 47 minutes at Mach 2.02 or 1,330 miles per hour (2,140 km/h) at 60,000 feet (18,300 m).
Above right: Concorde on its last flight. (Supplied by Arpingstone at Wikimedia Commons; Public Domain; http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/06/Concorde_on_Bristol.jpg)