The Only Picture Ever Taken...of a Supersonic Concorde

This is the only supersonic picture ever taken of Concorde...

April 1985, Photographer Adrian Meredith climbed into a Royal Air Force Panavia Tornado twin-engine afterburning, variable-sweep multirole combat aircraft with a single mission...to capture a supersonic Concorde at altitude, high over the Irish Sea.

As expected, the interception was successful, and after expending much of her fuel, the Tornado rendezvoused with Concorde south of Ireland at over twice the speed of sound (Mach 2.0).

The Royal Air Force Fighter could only do so for a short time due to the enormous rate of fuel burn.

Soon after joining the white delta-winged SST airliner 5 miles above the ocean, the Tornado fighter jet was forced to break formation and head home, while Concorde effortlessly and gracefully cruised faster than words can be carried...on to New York City.

How do you like your coffee, Captain - cream & sugar?'
We are at 30 west, the half-way point between the European & North American continents, & the stewardess in charge of the forward galley is looking after her aircrew during a pause in serving the passengers' meals.
Mach 2. On autopilot, eleven miles high, moving at 23 miles a minute. Nearly twice as high as Mount Everest, faster than a rifle bullet leaving its barrel. The side windows are hot to the touch, from friction of the passing air. Despite the speed we can talk without raising our voices.
"Milk, please, & no sugar".

— Brian Calvert, the opening paragraphs of Flying Concorde, 1982.

 


1 comment


  • Steve Wood

    If it was going west, how is the sun in the north that day?


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