When technology goes backwards

The retirement of Concorde, ten years ago today, might just represent the largest technological leap backwards since the retirement of the space shuttle. Concorde was a source of National pride, we could cross the Atlantic at supersonic speeds and (for those who could afford it), arrive in New York in just under three hours. Today, that trip would take around nine hours – three times as long.


20 Concorde planes were built in an Anglo-French collaboration.

There is a great story of how two SR71 Blackbird fighter pilots were advised to make way for Concorde. Sitting there in their space-suits, they would have seen the remarkable and distinctive plane coming past them, full of passengers, flying comfortably at altitudes normally reserved for top-secret aircraft.

Following the tragic crash at Paris in 2000, low passenger numbers and the high cost of maintenance saw the Concorde plane retired and with it the dream of supersonic air travel. It is unlikely that the plane will ever fly again due to safety concerns, also there are very few pilots who have the necessary skills to pilot the plane.



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