Captain Les Evans flew Concorde as co-pilot from 1999 – 2003, and gave a very lucid account of its design and construction – the French and British working frictionlessly together (as engineers should!). It captivated the world with its glamour and its speed (3 hours to New York at 1 mile every 3 seconds!)
Passengers fell into three categories: business people, celebrities and those wanting the ‘Concorde Experience’. All were probably disappointed with their somewhat cramped cabin space. They were actually sitting on top of a vast flying fuel lake: fortunately, the safety record was 100%.
Inaugurated in 1976, Concorde was decommissioned in 2003 – for political reasons.
Commercially it was viable but the trend now was towards smaller, subsonic aircraft, able to use a greater number of smaller airports. Supersonic flights have noise problems and other environmental concerns, although could still be acceptable over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
But are China, Japan and other Asian countries planning to develop their own ‘Concordes’? There is still strong demand from the rich of the West too.