Concorde Flight Testing - Powerplant and Performance Flying 912192
The certification of the Western world's first supersonic civil transport did not have the benefit of past experience as has been the case in the subsonic field. Supersonic experience was limited to military aircraft which possessed in the main a relatively short duration supersonic dash capability. Concorde has been in Airline service since 1976 and has built up over 150,000 hours of which over 112,000 are at supersonic speeds on a worldwide basis. This achievement came about following a flight development and certification programme covering approximately 5,500 hours over six and a half years.
This wealth of experience creates a totally different scene to that existing at the time of Concorde's conception and many lessons are available for the next generation of supersonic civil transport.