How the world’s first supersonic airliner the Concorde failed

In 2003, the aircraft touched down for the last time.
Loukia Papadopoulos

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In 1976, the aviation industry witnessed the flight of the Concorde – the world’s first supersonic commercial aircraft. It was, at the time a revolutionary event but the aircraft's lifespan would only last till 2003 when the plane touched down for the last time ever.

During its heyday, only the Concorde - a joint undertaking between France’s Sud Aviation and the British Aircraft Corporation - could ferry passengers from New York to London in just under three hours. So how did this incredible aircraft flop?

There was a very simple reason for this failure: money.  The aircraft was incredibly expensive – for consumers, the environment, and airline companies alike making it an impractical choice.

Only the rich and famous could afford to fly on the Concorde and only Air France and British Airways had Concordes in their fleets. Round-trip tickets on this aircraft cost, on average, a whopping $12,000. That's the equivalent of over $50,000 today.

The Concorde was so expensive that private jets were actually deemed a much more affordable and practical option for anyone who needed a quick, direct, and private mode of travel.

So what ended up happening to the Concorde? What is the state of supersonic flight currently? This video answers all these questions.

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