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    CONCORDE
    January 21, 1976 - Heathrow Airport for Bahrain in the Persian Gulf

    The commercial supersonic passenger service began with two simultaneous Concorde jet airplane flights. One left London's Heathrow Airport for Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. The other flew from Orly Airport outside Paris to Rio de Janeiro via Senegal in West Africa. With engines twice as powerful as those of normal jets, their 1,350 mph cruising speed was double the speed of sound (Mach 2.04), and halved air travel time, at a cruise altitude of 60,000 feet (17,700 m). Their huge production cost was shared between Britain and France governments. Technical challenges included building the aircraft's frame to withstand immense pressure of shock waves and endure high temperatures from air friction. The Concorde had a delta wing configuration, and was the first civil airliner to be equipped with an analogue fly-by-wire flight control system. Regular transatlantic flights from Europe began in Washington, D.C. on 24 May 1976 and service to New York on 22 Nov 1977. The final commercial Concorde flight was on 24 Oct 2003.

    JUMBO JET
    January 21, 1970 - From New York's John F. Kennedy Airport and Heathrow Airport in London, England

    The first wide body jet was put into service as the Pan American Airways Boeing 747 flew its first flight between from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport and Heathrow Airport in London, England. This "jumbo jet" had a cabin almost twice as wide as a 707 and a length of 231 feet. The cockpit and first-class section were above the first floor of the passengers. With the ability to carry more than 400 passengers more than 5,500 miles, the 747 opened up economic long-distance travel to the masses.

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