Concorde: Story of a Supersonic Pioneer
"This book is an attempt to explain the technology of the world's most beautiful aeroplane, both for those with a professional interest and for the general reader." So began the introduction to the classic Concorde: New Shape in the Sky, the original edition of this book, published in 1982. The story is here brought up to date for the new millennium, covering some 20 years continued airline service, a decade of research effort to explore the prospects for a second-generation supersonic transport (SST), and the crucial implications of the tragic accident at Gonesse, France, on 25 July 2000. The story of the world's only successful supersonic transport is told largely in the words of the participants -- the scientists, designers and engineers, pilots, civil servants and managers. Their words bring the project to life; their achievement is unique. Neither of the rival contenders matched this success. The planned American SST had been aborted by the US Congress in 1971, and the Russian rival, the Tupolev Tu-144, failed in service -- though, ironically, it re-emerged in 1996-99 as a supersonic flying laboratory for the American High Speed Research programme. In a new, final chapter, the book traces the sequence of events leading to the July 2000 accident at Gonesse and describes the outcome of the meticulous investigation that followed. The author concludes by drawing together the main lessons to be learned from the truly heroic endeavour that is the Concorde project.
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