Concorde Experience at Air & Space Museum, Paris

Concorde was a supersonic plane of the 20th century. It was able to fly between London and New York in just about 3 hours, flying at a speed of over 2000 kmph. (Today it takes 7 to 8 hours to fly between London and New York).

Concorde is popular among aviation enthusiasts due to its unique shape- an ultra wide wing, engines almost integrated into the fuselage, a sharp front and so on. Most of us never had a chance to fly in one as most of these were flying between Europe and America and we were not even born during Concorde’s peak flying years.

But I am fortunate to see Concorde aircraft on display at two places- First at Washington’s Smith Museum and second time at Paris Air and Space Museum.

Concorde was envisioned with the thought that business people would be happy to pay a lot of money to reach their destination ahead of time. Concorde could seat just about 100 passengers and was short of space. Thus per seat price had to be kept high. But soon people realized that it is ok to sit in a plane for a few more hours if they can fly in comfort and save some money- there is no urgency to travel across the atlantic in supersonic speed. Thus Concorde didn’t see commercial success. Only British Airways and Air France flew most of the concorde planes that were made and pressed into service. There were more orders but they were canceled over time due to declining appetite, delay, cost escalation and other factors.

There was a fatal crash of a concorde aircraft in July 2000- Air France flight 4590, killing all people on board and few on ground (Total 113 dead). After this all other concorde flights were grounded

Our own Air India had ordered 2 Concorde planes back then, but of course never got them delivered.

Air and space Museum in Paris has two concords on display indoors, facing each other. Visitors can walk up, enter one, pass through its aisles, come out, enter the second one and walk down. We can walk around the plane and see its wide wings, engine pay (with artificial sound mimicking a running engine).

Unfortunately they haven’t kept a few seats accessible such that we can sit on it for a minute. We will only get a walking view. The fuselage of the Concorde is really cramped.

At least I am happy I saw the Concorde plane up close and got to go inside it, if not fly in it.

I have flown A380, Dreamliner, 777 and A330, 340 and 350 but yet to fly in a 747. A few 747 are still in operation so I hope to fly them some day. And know what? I could check out 747 as well at the Air and Space Museum- that will be a separate post.

Would you fly in a Concorde like plane if it promises to take you to your destination in half the time for twice the ticket price?

No comments

Powered by Blogger.