Aviation is progressive, iterations of design and procedure evolving to defeat limitations. Robin Evans investigates how the unique problems posed by the development of Concorde required exceptional solutions, many of which are now commonplace in modern aircraft.

’V1…Rotate!’ Take-off from JFK with full reheat – full vortex lift is now being generated.
Leonid Faerberg / Transport-Photo Images

Innovations gradually recede into obsolescence but Concorde is that rare thing, a benchmark that remains unequalled and unsurpassed: both past icon and future vision. It was retired in 2003 and first flew in 1969 yet its influence is still felt today on more recent aircraft designs. Plus supersonic speed still has its appeal with a crop of start-ups looking at potential civil aircraft designs. Concorde was an incredibly futuristic aircraft that still inspires.

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