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Concorde, a supersonic passenger jet airliner, operated between 1976 and 2003. Use Concorde as a starting point for cross-curricular activities.


Concorde was a joint project between the U.K and France. It was able to fly regular transatlantic flights in half the time of rival airlines. With its unusual drooping nose, designed to achieve optimum aerodynamic efficiency, and high ticket price, Concorde became an iconic symbol of design and luxury travel.

Flight leading up to Concorde

Begin the topic by placing Concorde within the context of the history of aviation. Over the millennia, man made many attempts to take to the sky but it wasn’t until 1891 that astronomer Samuel Langley realised that a helping hand was needed if we were ever to leave the ground. Langley successfully built and flew a steam-powered model plane but his full-sized version was too heavy to stay airborne and ultimately crashed – never to fly again.

Over the next twelve years, pioneering brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright studied how the power of the wind affected flight, developing an engine to power the perfect glider. In 1903 Orville Wright piloted the first heavier-than-air plane, the ‘Flyer’, travelling one hundred and twenty feet in twelve seconds.

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