Concorde - A Record Breaker
On January 1st 1983 a British Airways Concorde set a new record for the eastbound crossing of the Atlantic, travelling from New York to London Heathrow in 2 hours 56 minutes. This record latest until 1996 when another British Airways Concorde aided by a 175 mph tailwind reduced the time to 2 hours 52 minutes. Currently the average scheduled flight from New York to London will take around seven hours.
During its operational life Concorde set many records, it was however not the first supersonic jet. That honour goes to the Russian built Tupolev Tu-144, which first flew on 31st December 1968.
It became the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2 in 1970.
The Concordski, as it became known, only made a few internal commercial flights before being grounded for passenger service. It was subsequently used to transport mail and freight within the Soviet Union.
The fastest around the world flight by a commercial aircraft was set by Air France Concorde F-BTSD, routing JFK-TLS-DXB-BKK-GUM-HNL-ACA-JFK. The journey lasted 31 hours 27 mins with a flight time of 24 hours 42 minutes.
Even while it was being retired, it managed another record. On route to its final home, one Concorde was given permission to fly supersonic over the Northern Territories of Canada. It made the trip from New York to Seatte in 3 hours 55 minutes - the aircraft is now displayed in the Seattle Museum of flight.