On March 27, 1970, the Aerospatiale-BAC Concorde took to the skies for the first time. In some respects the project was a failure. Due to the 1970s energy crisis raising the price of jet fuel (and therefore ticket prices) as well as reluctance from most countries to allow the noisy Concorde to overfly their airspace, only 20 were made, and only owned by the countries whose governments footed the project’s bill (France and the UK). Still, it was the only regularly operated supersonic airliner (the American Boeing 2707 SST and Lockheed L-2000 projects was canceled while still on paper and the Soviet Tupolev 144 suffered from poor range and a bad safety record and was retired early).
Although the cabin was quite cramped (much narrower than even a Boeing 737 cabin), the average trip from New York to London took only three and a half hours. Due to the four hour time difference between the two cities, passengers arrived half an hour before they departed. I never got to fly on Concorde (the tickets cost around $6,500 for the hop across the pond), but once while at Heathrow I saw it take off. even though the terminal is completely soundproofed, when the four Rolls Royce-SNECMA Olympus 593 engines went into full afterburner, the whole building shook. Then, in 2006, three years after the final flight of a Concorde, I finally got to step inside Concorde; G-BOAC is now a permanent exhibit at the Museum of Flight‘s airpark, just across the street from Boeing field.