First Concorde Test Flight
On this day in history, 1969, the Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde made its first test flight from Toulouse, piloted by André Turcat. The test flight reached about 10,000 ft., but the aircraft didn’t fly more than 300 mph. The Concorde was later featured to fly at a maximum speed of Mach 2.04.
The Concorde spent just 27 minutes in the air before its descent back to Earth using a braking parachute and reverse thrust. At this point in history, the British government had invested £155m in the project. They had hoped the aircraft would cut the flying time between London and New York from seven hours and 40 minutes to three hours and 25 minutes.
The first commercial flights finally took place on January 21, 1976, when British Airways flew from London to Bahrain and Air France flew from Paris to Rio. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of fuel at the time and a crash on July 25, 2000 in Paris, the Concorde was officially retired in 2003.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense