The Concorde jet, one of the world's most famous and luxurious airliners, was grounded 10 years ago today.
In other flighty news previously reported by The Inquisitr, an expansion at O'Hare airport has a goat solution, with locals complaining about the noise that will come with it.
Long held to be synonymous with high glamour and technological advancement, this writer thought the 10 year anniversary of the Concorde jet's final run would be a good time to take a look back at the supersonic British airliner.
From 1976 to 2003, the Concorde jet made commercial flights around the world. It was the first to have computer controlled engine air intakes, carbon fiber brakes and was the first airliner available to commercial passengers to break Mach 2. The Concorde was widely heralded as making significant strides in aviation technology.
Jock Lowe, former Concorde pilot and former Royal Aeronautical Society president, looks back at the Concorde's accomplishments:
"It was probably more advanced than Apollo 11, which put the first men on the Moon. No military plane came anywhere close. It was so maneuverable and there was so much spare power, even ex-fighter pilots weren't used to it. The time we took it to the Toronto International Airshow, 750,000 people turned out to watch. I'll never forget that sight."In 2008, an American firm called Aerion tried to reimagine the European airliner, with a business class supersonic line. This comes as a bit of a surprise as American intervened in the form of multiples bans against the Concorde to fly in American airspace. The US also had a general downtrend in commercial flight after 9/11, which is part of the downfall of the British airliner in the fist place.
Mostly, though, the Concorde was retired due to unsustainable operating costs. Ben Lord of Save Concorde Group thinks the reason for the airliners retirement was a little more sinister:
"The only real reason for Concorde's retirement was politics and that remains the single obstacle in the way of her return to the skies."This makes some sense, as some have blamed the Concorde's retirement on corporate greed. Jock Lowe insists the Concord was indeed making a profit of 30 million British pounds a year.
In the past 10 years the Concorde has not entirely receded from the world's spotlight. Museums around the world still celebrate the Concorde's achievements, including the Concord Museum at Filton in Bristol, UK and The Museum of Flight in Seattle, US.
So will the Concorde or it's kind ever be available to commercial passengers ever again? Many say the answer to that question is no. British Airways knows what their answer is: "We firmly believe that the technical and safety challenges of returning a Concorde to the skies are absolutely prohibitive." But that's not to say that something similar won't one day claim it's time in the skies.
Would you like to one day have the opportunity to experience a supersonic flight?