Flown primarily by British Airways and Air France, the Concorde supersonic jet was an impressive achievement in aviation technology. The delta-wing style plane first flew in 1976. After a few years of operation, the Concorde was relegated mostly to transoceanic flights, because its noisy sonic booms caused problems for people who lived under the plane’s flight path. The Concorde was officially retired in 2003, with most of the fleet winding up in aviation museums around the world.
Due to the its unique design and limited cabin capacity compared to other modern airliners, Concorde tickets were usually out of the price range of everyday travelers. If you wanted to get from London to New York in speedy style aboard a Concorde, you’d have to shell out thousands of dollars above the average ticket price. For this reason, the Concorde was often utilized by celebrities and wealthy business people. And while the economy probably hasn’t improved that dramatically for most people over the last twelve years, there are still some deep-pocketed travelers who’d like to see the Concorde return.
A group calling itself Club Concorde is pooling money together to revive the supersonic jet and they believe they’ll be able to achieve this goal as early as 2019. It’s unclear as to how the club will actually get its airplanes. Pulling old Concordes out of mothballs and restoring them to flying status doesn’t seem like a viable option, so brand new planes would have to be built. And while the group has raised over $180 million so far, it’s going to need much more than that to fund just one working Concorde.
Original image by Roger W on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.