Part 3: "The Big Bird Flies!"


Dec 19 2022 • 33 mins

Years of hard work, innovation, and unprecedented collaboration between teams in the U.K. and France make the impossible, possible: the first French Concorde prototype takes flight, and a new page in aviation history is written. But the supersonic airplane isn’t ready to ferry passengers just yet. As you’ll hear in episode 3, Concorde’s journey from prototype to commercial air travel is beset by unforeseen challenges throughout the 1970s. The Oil Crisis makes the gas-guzzling plane commercially unviable, and several international carriers cancel their orders. Environmentalists protest against Concorde with claims of "Aviation Colonialism," and some communities are dealing with "sonic booms" – the thunderous clap heard from the ground when a Concorde flying overhead breaks the speed of sound. Not everyone’s happy with the realities of the supersonic dream – and they make their displeasure known.