After twenty-four years of accident-free service, will the flight choice of the rich and famous be grounded forever? That is what authorities are now trying to figure out as they are finally collecting the final evidence in the crash of the Concorde in late July. The world's fastest passenger aircraft crashed and went into flames near the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France. One hundred and nine passengers and four people on the ground died due to the crash. And now British Airways, Air France, and the rest of the world are asking themselves why.
Due to the crash, the Concorde's airworthiness certificate was withdrawn last month and all thirteen of the Concordes, owned by British Airways and Air France, were grounded. The Civil Aviation Authority, the British safety regulator, grounded these supersonic transport jets indefinitely.
Just how superior is the Concorde compared to other airlines? The Concorde makes flights only over the Atlantic Ocean from Paris or London to New York. The average speed of the Concorde is approximately 1,350 miles per hour at almost 60,000 feet. The average flight time is about three and a half hours, compared to that of regular plane at almost eight hours.
Passenger Capacity Up to 100 416 to 524
Cruising Speed Mach 2 (1,334 mph) Mach 0.85 (575 mph)
Cruising Altitude 55,000 feet 35,000 feet
Average Flying Time from Paris to New York 3 hours and 45 minutes 7 hours, 55 minutes
Average Cost of one Paris-New York round-trip ticket $9,000 $900 for coach$3,800 for business classFares can vary
Aircraft in service 12 524 (480 are passenger)
These prestige only and low profit needle-nose jets need to fill just half of each of the aircraft's seats to break even. British Airways and Air France wanted to keep them in the skys for at least another fourteen or fifteen years, but now those chances are very unlikely. They were all built between 1975 and 1980 and they wer...