I’m scared of flying, but I fly a lot.
I also regularly watch flight disaster programmes, mainly because people usually survive. On one programme recently they showed Concorde’s hairy landing at Leeds Bradford Airport. Strong crosswinds … plane pushed sideways … aborted landing … vertical acceleration (space shuttle style) … try again, and … voila. Last year, flying in from Dusseldorf, my Easyjet plane did the same thing and I was positive we were headed for a messy orange crash.
But back to the plane. The Concorde was really something. Flying on the margins of space, accelerating through the sound barrier with a sonic boom, then cruising on at twice the speed of sound (Mach 2). In this BBC interview, one of Concorde’s pilots is thrilled that he could fly so far and so fast in normal clothes. No spacesuit. His excitement is charming.
On 10 February 2003 I saw Concorde leave Heathrow with a ROAR. Exactly ten years later I was back, but there were no cool planes to watch. But there might be one day.
The Spaceliner is covered in this month’s Lufthansa inflight magazine, and they talk about journey times of London to Sydney in 90 minutes. Only time to watch one movie instead of twelve! Wow. Unfortunately it’s at least 40 years away, and tickets will cost, well…quite a bit.
Pic from here.