10 years without a Concorde
• 10 years without Concorde
Ten years ago, November 26, 2003, the supersonic Concorde passenger plane made a final flight. Over 27 years of operation, it carried more than 3 million people.
Developing speed to 2440 km / h, Concorde overcame distance between London and New York for 3 hours and 20 minutes - two times faster than conventional aircraft. Ticket "round-trip" cost $ 10 500. A total of 20 aircraft have been built, six of them carried out test flights; seven ships had British Airways and Air France.
The history of the Concorde begins in the 1950s. Several countries - the US, France, Britain and the Soviet Union - came to the idea to create a supersonic passenger plane. The Americans dropped out of the "race for speed", comparing the costs and the prospects of development of the project. The Soviet Union continued research by developing the Tu-144 (commercial operation which lasted only 7 months).
France and Britain together and eventually created a Concorde (in the translation of "consent"). In 1962, when the program is only a start, its costs were estimated at £ 150-170 million 12 years later became known the real figure:.. Since the development of the aircraft and to the commercial launch spent around £ 1 billion in all funds allocated governments of France and Great Britain. The developers have explained many times more expensive project inflation, currency depreciation and technical problems. The latter were the most expensive: because before no one built aircraft carrying 100 people twice the speed of sound.
The development led the French company Sud Aviation (Aerospatiale) and the British BAC (British Aircraft Corporation)
The first flight of a unique ship held March 2, 1969, and from January 1976 started its commercial operation in British Airways and Air France. Concorde first flew from London to Bahrain from Paris to Rio de Janeiro. A year later - after complex negotiations with the US authorities - routes were opened in Washington and New York. It was flying from Europe to New York became the principal. Flights to Asia (ie Japan) were not possible due to the Soviet Union, which banned supersonic aircraft flying through the Trans-Siberian route.
The economic crisis of the 1980s forced the British government to reflect on the future of Concorde: planes brought losses and flew almost empty. In the end, British Airways bought at the state aircraft and spare parts to it. The airline took over all program support costs - about £ 50 million per year at the first stage and hundreds of millions in the next 20 years of operation. During the high demand for flights in first class every British Concorde in average brought £ 30-50 million operating profit a year. British Airways reported a revenue of £ 1, 75 billion while the operating cost £ 1 billion. Revenues Air France were much lower.
Concorde operated companies British Airways and Air France, but in short periods of time performing domestic flights within the United States for the company Braniff
Concorde made flights for Singapore Airlines
Both airlines supersonic airliners were "advertising locomotives": they flew policy, business leaders and show business stars; flights have always attracted media interest, and Concorde circuit became expensive and a recognizable brand. For 27 years, the aircraft was in 150 airports around the world, including at Sheremetyevo, Pulkovo, and even at Baikonur.
The second in the world supersonic passenger plane was the Soviet Tu-144
Tu-144 and Concorde at the air show in Le Bourget, June 1973
The number of crew - two pilots and one engineer
In order to improve visibility from the cockpit, the aircraft nose down on take-off and landing
The aircraft flew at a speed of 2440 km / h and up to a height of up to 18 km
After the disaster of the French Concorde July 25, 2000 and the terrorist attacks September 11, 2001 there was a sharp decline in air travel. Aviakontserna Airbus announced that it would stop production of spare parts, and British Airways and Air France reported that Concorde will cease operation in 2003.
October 24, 2003 supersonic airliner made the last commercial flight from New York to London, and on November 26 he made his last flight to Bristol - it was there once, and the first aircraft was built.
As part of the advertising campaign of the new Pepsi logo in 1996, one of the Air France aircraft was repainted in its corporate colors
Now the German Museum Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum, two supersonic competitor - Concorde and Tu-144 - are installed side by side. This is the only place in the world where you can see just two aircraft together