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The Supersonic Showdown

The 1960’s were a decade of fantastic innovation and achievement in the aerospace industry. In particular, 1969 stands out due to the ‘triple-crown’ of the first flight of the Boeing 747, the first flight of the Anglo-French Concorde, and of course the Apollo 11 Moon landing (more on that in the future!).

TheAvGeeks team has already celebrated the Jumbo and now turn our attention to Concorde as she celebrates her milestone event on 2nd March.

With her unmistakable slender delta-wing planform, Concorde was a revolutionary design optimized for high-speed flight. She captured the imagination of millions as she made transatlantic crossings at Mach 2 seem nearly routine. Often, the mainstream media represents Concorde as, “the first supersonic airliner.” But, was she?

In the heat of the Cold War, the Soviet Union’s aerospace engineers were hard at work on their own version of a supersonic airliner, the TU-144. The TU-144 first flew from Zhukovsky airfield on 31 December 1968, beating Concorde into the air by more than three months.

TU-144 Line Drawing

And of course, not to be left out of the race, the Americans were hard at work on their versions of a Supersonic Transport (SST) – the Boeing 2707 and the Lockheed L-2000 – which were both subsequently cancelled.

In the latest edition of TheAvGeek Challenge, “The Supersonic Showdown,” Arthur and Scottie face off to determine the best supersonic airliner. Will it be Arthur’s Concorde or Scottie’s TU-144? 

Watch below and then you decide.

Vote in our Twitter poll to let us know!

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