The Forgotten American Concordes

History |

While most are aware of the Concorde, a supersonic passenger airliner that was the result of a joint venture between the French Aérospatiale and British Aircraft Corporation, many have forgotten that there were three competing designs from the United States and Russia. The Concorde operated from 1976 to 2003, but in the ’60s and ’70s…

Before Concorde had complete development, competitors attempted to beat them to the punch. Under an Anglo-French treaty, Sud Aviation, which became Aérospatiale, and the BAC would go on to create an aircraft that had a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.04, which was 1,354 mph at cruise altitude. Air France and British Airways were the only airlines to purchase and fly Concorde.

Twenty Concordes were built, along with six prototypes and development aircraft. It is one of only two supersonic transports to have ever been operated commercially, but not the only one to try. The other that made it was the Soviet-built Tupolev Tu-144. Read ahead to learn about it, and the two American attempts to compete with the only long term supersonic passenger jet service to operate anywhere in the world...