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How Long Did It Take Concorde 001 to Break the Sound Barrier?

In the spirit of #TBT (“Throwback Thursday,” not Brazil’s Tabatinga Airport) FlyerTalk takes a look back at the events that helped shape modern aviation. Here are just a few moments from history that changed the face of the industry during the week of September 27.


September 27, 2011

After years of anticipation, Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) delivered the very first Boeing 787 Dreamliner to its headquarters at Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND). The brand new aircraft was received by executives at the Boeing factory the day before at a celebration before making the overnight trip back to Japan.

The first commercial flight of the new aircraft happened one month later, before electrical problems began grounding the Dreamliner in 2013.

September 28, 1934

Eight years after two German air carriers merged to form Deutsche Luft Hansa, the brand new carrier celebrated another critical milestone. Around this date, the German flag carrier served its one millionth passenger after aggressive growth to serve destinations in Asia and the U.S.

Today, Lufthansa carriers over 50 million passengers every year.

September 29, 2009

In a strange case of traded identities, Greek flag carrier Olympic Airlines officially ceased business due to the sale of the airline by the Greek government to a private corporation. In the same day, successor Olympic Air opened its business, filling in for the formerly failed airline.

By 2013, Olympic Air would be purchased by competitor Aegean Airlines and converted to a regional carrier.

September 30, 1982

H. Ross Perot, Jr., son of future presidential candidate Ross Perot, landed his Bell 206 helicopter in Dallas, becoming the first pilot to circumnavigate the world in a helicopter.

The 30-day flight, financed by Ross Sr., took less than a month to organize and included a water landing aboard a boat in the Pacific Ocean. Ross Jr. organized the trip after hearing about another pilot who planned on completing a similar feat over the course of a year.

October 1, 1969

After 44 test flights, Concorde 001 finally broke the sound barrier for the first time just outside Tolouse, France. During the test flight, the supersonic aircraft held speed at just over Mach 1 at 36,000 feet above the air for around 9 minutes.

Seven years later, the Concorde would be ready to serve passengers on the first commercial flight from London to Rio de Janeiro.

October 2, 1970

After the pilots settled on taking a “scenic” flight route, one of two charter Martin 4-0-4 aircraft transporting the Wichita State University football team crashed outside of Denver. Over 30 souls, including 14 Wichita State football players.

The NTSB determined pilot error to be the cause of the accident. Every year, the Wichita State community gathers at Memorial ’70 to remember those lost in the tragedy.

October 3, 1946

Flagship New England, a Douglas DC-4 operated by American Overseas Airlines, crashed shortly after takeoff from an Air Force Base in northeast Canada. All aboard the flight, consisting primarily of the wives and children of American soldiers stationed in Germany, were killed in the accident.

After investigation, pilot error was determined to be the cause of the crash, as the pilot was unfamiliar with a local rule requiring aircraft to turn immediately after takeoff to avoid high terrain. Today, the incident remains one of Canada’s worst accidents.


[Photo: BAC]

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