Concorde is one of the most iconic aircraft ever created for several reasons.
It was the plane of choice for celebrities, flew faster than the speed of sound, and could get you to New York earlier than you’d left London.
But one design element made this plane extra unique: its drooped nose.
Here’s why the engineers gave it this strange look and how it actually enhanced the flying experience.
Two decades after the final Concorde journey, it appears that supersonic flight is poised to make a comeback.
But before all these new jets there was Concorde.
At the height of its popularity, Concorde was frequented by the rich and famous.
It gained popularity for its incredible speed and the glamorous experience it offered, which included bottles of Dom Perignon and caviar.
Besides the unique thrill of flying at supersonic speeds, the plane’s design was also one-of-a-kind.
Its body and wings were shaped especially to enhance its aerodynamics.
Most notable was its nose, which could turn downwards, giving the plane a very strange look.
The nose played a crucial role in the plane’s flight operations.
It would be placed in a lowered position during takeoff and landing.
This gave the pilots a better view of the runway, helping them maneuver the oddly-shaped aircraft during these critical phases of the journey.
Once at cruising height, which was 60,000 feet, the nose would be raised to its regular position.
This would create a more streamlined silhouette, reducing drag and fuel usage.
No other aircraft has ever made use of this innovative design, which allowed Concorde to operate at both low takeoff speeds and supersonic cruising speeds.
But with so many new supersonic jets in the works, we just might see this pioneering nose shape make a comeback.