The Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde was the first supersonic passenger airliner. Its first flight took place on March 2nd, 1969 and later that year it was first presented to the public at the International Paris Air Show.
Concorde was manufactured by British and French corporations. 10 units were built in France and 10 in the United Kingdom. The other supersonic transport for civilians was Tupolev Tu-144 which was manufactured by a Russian company. Both models are officially retired from service.
British Airways and Air France were the primary users of the Concorde in round trip flights from London (Heatrhow) and Paris (Charles de Gaulle) respectively, to New York (JFK). Concorde used to fly from New York to Paris in less than 3.5 hours, at a cruise speed of Mach 2.02.
Air France made its final commercial Concorde flight on May 30th, 2003 and a retirement flight took place almost 8 years ago on June 27th 2003.
According to Heritage Concorde, there have been more U.S.A astronauts than British Airways Concorde pilots. Pilots wanting to fly Concorde had to complete an intensive six month conversion programme consisting of a six week technical course, nineteen weeks on the simulator, route briefing and route flying training.
Some of the 20 units built are now displayed at museums, however, some units are being considered for restoration in order to taxi under its own power, or even make exhibition flights. According to the BBC there were plans to make the Concorde fly as a part of the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, however no further information on the matter is available at the moment.
Engineered to be the best, Concorde flew above the rest…
July 5th, 2011.
Source: Heritage Concorde / Wikipedia