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Concorde and LAX

Arrival of Concorde 02 at LAX on October 23, 1974 on an Americas tour.

On Display

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.

For more information on Concorde.

Concorde and LAX

The Concorde on public display at 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.

Original planned itinerary for Concorde America Tour. Actual schedule may have differed.

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.

Automobile traffic jammed all streets in the vicinity of LAX when thousands thronged to see the supersonic transport on static display. During the aircraft’s landing and takeoff, similar crowds lined roadways and nearby tall buildings to witness the aircraft’s landing and takeoff.
Concorde arrives on Runway 25L.
The Concorde used on the Americas tour was Concorde 02, the fourth Concorde built. Painted in the colors of Air France on the port side and British Airways on the Starboard. Both carriers were the flag carriers of the nations that built the aircraft.
While not all visitors could enter the Concorde, certain members of the press, aviation industry professionals and certain lucky ones were able to tour the inside.
Concorde towed to gate for VIP ceremonies.

 

Sources: Flight Path Museum LAX Archives, Wikipedia

Jean-Christophe Dick

Jean-Christophe has over 15 years experience as Airport Planner, currently at ESA, and has been on the Board of the Flight Path Museum since 2017. He is currently serving as the Museum President and Airport Historian. He is also a pilot and award-winning photographer.
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