Concorde flying at supersonic speed

Concorde Flying Supersonic MACH 2

This is a dramatic picture of Concorde G-BOAG flying at supersonic speed and is the only picture ever taken of Concorde flying at Mach 2, 1350 mph (2173 km/h).

Concorde at Mach 2. Photo: Adrian Meredith
Concorde at Mach 2. Photo: Adrian Meredith |

This unique image was taken from a Tornado fighter jet, which rendezvoused with Concorde for just four minutes over the Irish Sea in April 1985. The RAF Tornado, rapidly running out of fuel, was struggling to keep up with Concorde.

Cruising at Mach 2, Concorde stretches six inches from her normal 204ft length. Due to the heating of the airframe, she reaches 127 °C at the nose and trailing edges but the special ‘high-reflectivity’ white paint helps reflect and radiate heat.


The Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde is a Franco-British turbojet-powered supersonic airliner that was operated from 1976 until 2003.

British Airways Concorde in 1986
British Airways Concorde in 1986

It had a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound, at Mach 2.04 (1,354 mph or 2,180 km/h at cruise altitude), with seating for 92 to 128 passengers.

First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and operated for 27 years. It is one of only two supersonic jetliner models to operate commercially; the other is the Soviet-built Tupolev Tu-144, which operated in the late 1970s.

Aircraft flying at supersonic speeds cause a shock wave in the air that is heard on the ground as a loud “boom.” Because of this, Concorde only went supersonic over the sea or away from inhabited areas.

Concorde could cross the Atlantic Ocean in about 3.5 hours, compared to around 8 hours for a normal airliner.

Concorde flight deck layout
Concorde flight deck layout

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