From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Role: Supersonic airliner
Manufacturer: BAC (now BAE Systems), Sud Aviation (later Aerospatiale, now EADS)
First flight: 2 March 1969
Introduction: 21 January 1976
Retired: 26 November 2003
Status: Retired from service
PrimaryÊusers: British Airways, Air France
Number built: 20 (including 6 non airline aircraft)
Program cost: £ 1.3 billion
Unit cost: £ 23Êmillion in 1977 (£ 121Êmillion in 2013 pounds)
Aerospatiale - BAC Concorde is a retired turbojet powered supersonic passenger airliner or supersonic transport (SST). It is one of only two SSTs to have entered commercial service; the other was the Tupolev Tu-144. Concorde was jointly developed and produced by Aerospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) under an Anglo French treaty. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years.
Among other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights from London Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York JFK and Washington Dulles; it profitably flew these routes in less than half the time of other airliners. With only 20 aircraft built, the development of Concorde was a substantial economic loss; Air France and British Airways also received considerable government subsidies to purchase them. Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the aviation industry after the type's only crash in 2000, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and a decision by Airbus, the successor firm of Aerospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support.
Concorde's name reflects the development agreement between the United Kingdom and France. In the United Kingdom, any or all of the type, unusual for an aircraft, are known simply as ''Concorde'', without an article. The aircraft is regarded by many people as an aviation icon and an engineering marvel.