Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of Air France Concorde flight number 4590 crashing into a hotel 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). The aircraft, with registration number F-BTSC, had been chartered by German travel company Peter Deilmann Cruises to take passengers to New York to join MS Deutschland for a 16-day cruise to Ecuador.
Before we get into what happened on that fateful summer day, let’s first look at what was and remains today the world’s only ever supersonic passenger jet. An icon of beauty and style Concorde was much more than just an engineering marvel with every aspect of the aircraft designed for aerodynamic efficiency. Truly elegant and instantly recognized around the globe, Concorde was much more than a plane; she was society’s attempt to make the world a smaller place.
Concorde had afterburners
Able to fly on the edge of space faster than a speeding bullet, Concorde gave its passengers the chance to see the Earth’s curvature without the need for a G-suit and oxygen mask. Built as a joint venture between the United Kingdom and France when the aviation industry was fixated on supersonic travel, Concorde was a remarkably advanced and unique aircraft that was ahead of its day.