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Science and Technology of France

The Concorde
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Facts and History

  • Cruising speed: Mach 2, about 2,100 km/h (twice the speed of sound)
  • Cruising altitude: 15,000-18,000 metres
  • Takeoff speed: 360 km/h
  • Landing speed: 300 km/h
  • Runway length required for takeoff: 3,590 metres
  • Acceleration on takeoff: zero to 360 km/h in 20 seconds
  • Passenger capacity: 100
  • Overall length: 62 metres
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 185,000 kilograms
  • Engines: Four, with 17,000 kilograms thrust each
  • Fuel capacity: 94,800 kilograms
  • Range: 6,545 kilometres
  • Round-trip fare, New York-Paris: $US 8,720Flight time, New York-Paris: three hours 35 minutes
  • A total of twenty Concorde aircraft were built at Toulouse in France and Filton in England. There were two prototypes (001-002), two pre-production aircraft (01-02) and sixteen production aircraft (201-216). The first two were retained by the manufacturers, seven were delivered to British Airways and seven to Air France. The first flight of Concorde (001) was on 2nd March 1969. The last flight was on 26th November 2003.

    Concorde flew at Mach 2.02-2.04 (approx. 1350mph) and carried 100 passengers to the edge of space at a cruising altitude of 55,000 feet (16765m). On the ground Concorde was 203 feet 9 inches long but stretched by almost 10 inches in flight due to heating of the airframe. The famous swing-nose reached 127 Celsius - a stark contrast to the outside temperature of a subsonic aircraft of -50 Celsius. This high skin temperature also accounted for the excellent condition of the plane because the corrosion effects of moisture in the air were significantly reduced.

    The inauguration of commercial supersonic travel by British Airways from London to Bahrain and by Air France from Paris to Rio was on 21st January 1976. Concorde made many firsts and broke numerous records such as the New York to London record which was broken on 7th February 1996 by Captain Leslie Scott in a time of 2 hours 52 minutes 59 seconds.

    French II 4th Period Danielle Montalvo