Step aboard Concorde | Tourism in Toulouse
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Le Concorde au musée Aeroscopia
Dominique Viet

Step aboardConcorde

Concorde is the legendary aircraft that stood for aeronautical excellence in the 1970s. Its superhero nickname, « Supersonic », is right on the money; this really is an extraordinary airplane! And it was a Franco-British venture.

Speed: Mach 2 (2,200 km/h)

Alongside its Russian cousin, the Tupolev Tu-144, it was the only passenger transport aircraft to break the sound barrier.

Its aerodynamic profile gave it a very graceful silhouette. The long and pointed nose, which changed position according to its phases of flight, made every take-off and landing a truly special moment, as if we were watching a giant bird take flight from the runway.

The first prototype, Concorde 001, was assembled in Toulouse in April 1966 and the maiden test flight of Concorde took place on 2nd March 1969 from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport.

This airplane was a real feat of engineering. It was the very first civil aircraft to boast entirely electronic controls. During supersonic flight, the friction produced by the wind against the craft’s metallic exterior produced so much heat that the fuselage would extend by more than 20 centimetres!

Cockpit du Concorde
Chloé Sabatier

Aeroscopia

At the Aeroscopia Museum you can step aboard Concorde 201, the first of its series. This is no prototype: this was the craft that undertook the test flights required to obtain its flight safety certificates. It flew from 1973 to 1985 and also served as a presidential plane: Valérie Giscard d’Estain travelled aboard on many occasions, as did a great many ministers. It also flew at a record speed of Mach 2.22 on 28th November 1974. This is a unique opportunity to explore all the flight instruments, to see the cockpit and its multitude of dials, buttons and controls (200 dials, 200 indicators and 100 switches) and to enjoy the comfort in which passengers travelled at the time.

On the tarmac, you can admire the last ever French Concorde to have flown before its flight certificates were finally withdrawn on 27th June 2003. This craft is number 209 and flew from Paris to Toulouse.

Did you know?

  • The name « Concorde » was selected to underline the co-operation between France and Great Britain during this project.
  • During Paris to New York flights, Concorde would take off around 11am and land at around 8:30am local time with a flight time of 3h30. In other words, thanks to the time difference, it would actually land before it had taken off!
  • At its cruising altitude (between 15,000 and 18,000 metres), it was possible to see the curvature of the Earth from Concorde’s little windows (they were the size of a postcard).
  • This aircraft only has First Class seats. The most comfortable places were towards the front (less noise).
  • The uniforms of the flight crew were designed by the great couturiers: Jean Patou, Nina Ricci…
  • The menu served on board was dreamed up by the great chefs (Alain Ducasse…) and featured hot meals served on porcelain tableware with crystal glasses.
  • Upon landing, whilst the main section of the craft touched the runway the cockpit remained about 11m from the ground.
  • Passengers received a diploma as evidence that they had broken the sound barrier. They were able to keep an eye on this thanks to a machometer installed in the aircraft.

Musée Aeroscopia

 

Musée Aeroscopia
Dominique Viet

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