Like the Titanic, the Concorde is one of the few transports that entered into popular culture as a name onto itself. Unlike the Titanic, the Concorde was built for speed rather than luxury – all to the good, as it had a much safer record. An exhaustive 5,000 hours of testing and development, on top of decades of research on flight dynamics went into the world’s first supersonic passenger jet before it ever got off the ground.
On this day, January 9th, in 1969, the Concorde made its maiden test flight out of Bristol, England. The trial went smoothly, but the plane had not yet broken the sound barrier. The first supersonic Concord flight would have to wait until the early days of October of that year.
Reflecting the joint British-French effort on the Concorde, its name represented the same idea in both languages – agreement, cooperation – though the extra “e” appended to the end was a constant source of irritation between the two countries.