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Throwback Thursday: Air France’s Concorde world tour stopped at DFW

“An Air France Concorde sits at D/FW International Airport terminal after arriving from New York to begin an around the world flight. The Concorde’s next stop is Las Vegas.” FWST photographer Kelley Chinn.
“An Air France Concorde sits at D/FW International Airport terminal after arriving from New York to begin an around the world flight. The Concorde’s next stop is Las Vegas.” FWST photographer Kelley Chinn. Star-Telegram archives

Happy Bastille Day!

This Throwback Thursday photo shows an Air France Concorde parked at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in 1997. The supersonic jet was on an around-a-world trip.

The Concorde was a on 24-day tour that included stops in Las Vegas, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, China, India, Kenya, France and New York. The world tour cost $56,000 per person and included guided tours at each stop. The flight covered 26,000 miles.

The Star-Telegram’s G. Chambers Williams III flew on the New York to DFW portion of the trip and wrote this description, published on November 2, 1997.

“The Concorde is a cross between an airliner and a rocket ship. Without strapping into a military jet or joining a space-shuttle mission, it’s the fastest a human being can travel on this planet. And you get champagne with that...

“This big white bird, nearly as long as a 747 but narrow and sleek like an egret, roars down the runway like a rocket ship, reaching its takeoff speed of 225 mph in 20 seconds. It climbs at an angle that seems to approach vertical as it races to its supersonic cruising altitude of 60,000 feet - above the clouds and the turbulence nearly 12 miles up.

“In supersonic cruise-control, the Concorde makes 1,350 mph, twice the speed of sound, powered by its four Rolls-Royce jet engines. We didn't go that fast on this trip because the jet is not allowed to create sonic booms over populated areas in the United States. Our speed was Mach .95, which is about 15 percent faster than the average jetliner.

“Inside the cabin, where all 100 seats are first-class, the flight is as smooth and quiet as an interstate-highway ride in a Lexus.

“Ah, and that luxury cabin service. There is French food, champagne and wine; flight attendants speak with elegant French accents, and the seats are like easy chairs.”

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