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The Tudors

In the year that the United States put men on the moon, in fact about 4 months earlier, Britain and France carried out initial trials on the first supersonic passenger airliner. Supersonic means it could go faster that the speed of sound. For those of you who haven't tried running to catch up with sound, it goes at a speed of 767 mph (1235kph). This first supersonic passenger aircraft was called Concorde. It took its first test flight on 2 March 1969 and started to take passengers on 21 January 1976. It meant that flights in Concorde were about twice as quick as in normal aeroplanes.

However the plane never really took off, in popularity terms, and it was retired in 2003. Only 14 Concordes were ever made and no other airline, apart from the British and French, bought a plane. One of the problems may have been that it was more expensive than an ordinary flight. In 1984 it cost 2,399 for a return flight from London to New York. In an ordinary plane a first class ticket, all Concorde seats were first class, would cost 1986. The maximum number of passengers on a Concorde flight was 128 while a Boeing 747, a non-supersonic airline at the same time, could carry over 400.

Three years before it was retired a French owned Concorde crashed on take-off from Paris killing all 100 passengers on board and 9 crew. The final flights took place in October 2003 and although some people have offered to buy the fleet of planes, nothing has happened. Funnily enough, after a brief flurry of sending men to the moon, nothing much has happened there either.

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