Concorde Flight London to New York

To celebrate the 100th year of the invention of the airplane by my distant cousins the Wright Brothers and the last year of Concorde, I took my first Concorde flight on August 31, 2003 which happened to be the 6th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, another distant cousin. The flight from London Heathrow to New York JFK required just 3 hours and 23 minutes. We took off and landed on time. Our maximum speed was 1340 mph -- faster than some bullets. Our maximum altitude was 57500 feet and the outside temperature reached minus 66 degrees Celsius which is minus 87 degrees Fahrenheit. In spite of the extreme cold and the thin air, the friction of moving at 1300 mph caused heat to radiate from the small windows.

The whole Concorde experience is a positive one. The gate is a luxury lounge where you are served champaign and other treats while you are waiting to board. The plane is sleek, small and luxurious. The crew is friendly and accomodating. When money is not a consideration, this is the best way to travel.

I learned from talks by a Concorde pilot given on the ship Queen Elizabeth 2 that the final reason in the British Airways decision to abandon the Concorde was the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. Forty of the Concorde's best customers who travelled a minimum of 20 times a year worked at the World Trade Center, and were killed in the terrorist attack. The Concorde is a magnificient airplane. I was glad to have experienced it.

Concorde at gate in London The plane is small and sleek with a uniquely curved wing which straightens out during supersonic flight. Concorde Lounge in London What a logical idea: make the gate a luxury lounge.
Don Parrish on Concorde We cruised most of the flight at Mach 2.0. There is no sensation of the extreme speed. Concorde Interior The cabin is cozy with leather seats and interesting passengers.
Concorde Toilet No detail is too small to enhance the Concorde experience even in the toilet. Concorde Crew I checked in with the captain, co-captain and flight engineer after we landed.