The Concorde was one of two Supersonic Transport (SST) aircraft that entered commercial service. The Soviet TU-144 did enter service shortly before Concorde, however was in service for only a few years before being retired. The Concorde was the West’s only SST, designed and built through a partnership between Aerospatiale of France and British Aircraft Corporation of the United Kingdom. Though the United States was also planning their own in the form of the Boeing 2707 (Boeing beat Lockheed’s L-2000 and North American’s NAC-60 SST concepts for a governmental research grant). The Boeing 2707 did not get far past the drawing board with only a non-functional full scale model being built.
The Concorde could fly 100 passengers at just over twice the speed of sound (Mach 2) at 60,000 feet between Trans-Atlantic city pairs such as New York – Paris and New York – London with Air France and British Airways respectively. Only 20 were built and flew commercially from January 21, 1976 to October 23, 2003. Having flown for 27 years, it is not currently possible to fly commercially at supersonic speeds today.
The Flight Path Museum LAX has a large scale floor model with a transparent see-through side of an Air France Concorde, this model is located in the LAX room. Though it never served LAX with regularly scheduled passengers, it did visit LAX on an Americas tour in October of 1974.
Concorde and LAX
In the early 1970s, Aerospatiale and British Aerospace, the companies behind Concorde were eager to show the West’s first Supersonic Transport to the world. In 1974.
On October 23rd, 1974, the Concorde arrived from Anchorage Alaska. On display for three days, over 200,000 people came to LAX to catch a glimpse of the Concorde.