The Best of British Engineering: Concorde

Flying faster than the speed of sound...

200,000 spectators watched in awe as the the pointy-nosed plane darted down the runway and into the air at Le Bourget Airport in 1973. Ascending into the horizon faster than the speed of light, the air show of ‘73 signalled that the supersonic era had arrived - and that the Concorde would be its vanguard.

>From 1976 to 2003, the Concorde shrank the Atlantic Ocean in half, ferrying passengers from New York to London or Paris in just three and a half hours. Concorde cruised higher than 50,000 feet, revealing the curvature of the Earth like no commercial flight had ever done before. This year signals 17 years since the Concorde has taken flight, but the legacy of it’s engineering genius lives on, particularly in the new breed of aviation startups and companies seeking to bring back supersonic travel. 

In commemoration of this, here is an overview of the top 5 facts about this engineering prowess that change the notion of  travel forever.

  1. Cruising in at an experimental Bell X-1 aircraft at an altitude of 50,000 ft, Concord first took flight on October 14th, 1947. The test pilot, Chuck Yeager, made history by breaking through the sound barrier and becoming the fastest man in a plane to date.

  2. The Concorde was equipped with four Rolls-Royce afterburner engines, the same kind utilised on fighter jets, each of which generated 38,000 pounds of thrust. The aircraft had a pointed droop-nose that lowered upon takeoff and landing so that pilots were able to see the runway.

  3. Concorde had a take-off speed of 220 knots (250mph) and a cruising speed of 1350mph - more than twice the speed of sound. Its landing speed at approximately 187 mph. As a consequence of this supersonic speed,  the intense heat of the airframe caused each aircraft to stretch anywhere from 6 to 10 inches during flight.

  4. Due to the plane’s nose temperature climbing to a staggering 278 degrees while it flew, each aircraft was pictured in a special white paint to adapt temperature changes and to dissipate the heat generated by supersonic flight.

  5. One of the Concorde’s most impressive features is it’s triangular delta wings which enabled it to navigate different angles of attack while soaring at breakneck speed, which continued to soar for more than 50,000 flights and carried over 2.5 million passengers - the only people in the world who were able to fly supersonically with Concorde.

Have your own piece of aviation history…

With an absence from the skies forever, you can now own an iconic piece of aviation memorabilia which represents the heyday of supersonic flying.

We have developed and produced in collaboration with the Duxford Aviation Society (DAS),  limited edition cufflinks, which have been cast from the air intake assembly of Concorde 101 (G AXDN) - the fastest ever example of this majestic aircraft type. T.

The genuine and authenticated Hiduminium RR58 aluminium alloy used in the Concorde fleet has been melted down and re-cast in the UK by our master jewellers and finishers. These products blend the best of British craftsmanship with the most legendary of aircraft designs, to produce a truly unique piece of aviation history. Limited to a worldwide population of 4,500 sets, these cufflinks have been individually laser etched with the aircraft’s registration number and the highest ever recorded Concorde speed of 1450 mph, achieved by this very aircraft.

Copyright 2020 Icarus Originals Ltd All rights reserved.
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