392005 02: (FILE PHOTO) A British Airways Concorde takes off from Heathrow airport July 17, 2001 in London. There have only been test flights since 113 people died in the crash of Air France Concorde flight AFR4590 July 25, 2000. Aviation observers believe that the jet will resume commercial service. (Photo by Hugh Thomas/BWP Media/Getty Images)

Supersonic travel in the cabin of a New York-bound Concorde wasn’t all about crossing the Atlantic in less than three-and-a-half hours. It was impossibly glamorous, a world of Dom Perignon and Havana cigars – on the maiden flight at least – where the odds of sitting next to Sting or Elizabeth Taylor were thrillingly high.
Now, 14 years since Concorde made its last commercial flight, from New York to London, a new generation of supersonic aircraft is promising faster-than-sound flight again. Whether they will be affordable to those who don’t run a major corporation remains to be seen, but the allure of travelling at the speed of a bullet seems as strong as ever.
In the years since that final Concorde flight, rapid technological progress has transformed our lives – yet commercial air passengers are still flying more slowly than they did when Concorde made its maiden journey in January 1976.
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