In late 1962, the two European rivals, Britain and France, put aside their differences, and signed a treaty to jointly develop and produce a commercial passenger aeroplane that would fly beyond than the speed of sound.
The resultant aircraft — aptly named “Concorde” — was a magnificient engineering triumph and a showcase of mastery of aerodynamics. It fired the imaginations of impressionable young techie-wannabes like me.
But commercially, the project was an epoch failure – with the press calling it “The Fastest Flop”. Skyrocketing oil prices especially in the years following the Arab oil embargo, made it economically unviable. The rise of environmental concerns such as side-effects of the “sonic boom” also hastened its demise.
The crash of Air France flight 4590 on 25 July 2000 put the final nail in the coffin for this beautiful speedbird.