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- end of an era?
or New York, everybody stops and looks up. Faster than sound and higher than any
other plane, Concorde is the most elegant, expensive, and exciting
to fly. A luxury of the rich and famous, most of us can only look at Concorde
and dream ... And now, after thirty-four years in the air, Concorde will make
its last journey. On 24 October 2003 the last Concorde will fly from New York to
London – across the Atlantic Ocean and into history for ever.
started carrying passengers in 1976, but oil prices were sky-high and the
tickets were very expensive. Famous people from film, music, sport and politics
became the most frequent customers. Today, too, famous people such as Madonna
and David Beckham regularly
was great for business too: businessmen soon discovered they could leave London
at 9.00 a.m. and arrive in New York at 7.20 a.m. – almost two hours earlier!
(There is a five-hour time difference between London and New York. And a
Concorde flight between the two cities takes only 3 hours and 20 minutes!)
Tickets were expensive, but Concorde was more popular than ever.
was developed by French and British scientists during the 1950s and 1960s. This
was the most exciting era of new technology
in the twentieth
In March 1969 Concorde made its first successful test flight.
And only a few months later, Neil Armstrong became the first man on the Moon.
When Concorde first travelled faster than sound, in October of the same year, it
seemed science could make anything possible.
the 1990s, computer technology developed very quickly. Many international
companies started using quick, cheap video-meetings, instead of paying for
expensive flights. So the airlines
changed their business too: they made their planes bigger and their tickets
cheaper. International travel was not a luxury now – it was affordable
easy for everyone.
11 September, 2001, everything changed. Two planes were flown into the World
Trade Center buildings in New York, and thousands of people were killed.
Governments and businesses became nervous,
stopped spending their money on travelling. Companies around the world suffered
badly, and many airlines had to stop completely.
April this year, British Airways (BA) and Air France announced
the end of Concorde flights. One month later, the world sadly watched the last
Air France Concorde arrive in Paris. You will soon see their Concorde planes in
important museums around
world. But, after October, the future of BA’s Concordes is less certain.
British businessman, Richard Branson, tried to buy BA’s planes for £5
million, but his offer was not accepted.
exactly 100 years after the world’s first aeroplane flight, Concorde’s
flying days are finished. But many people can’t stop dreaming of supersonic
flight. Money for new flight technology is not easy to find. But who knows what
the next 100 years of air travel will bring? Penguin
fly over: terbang di atas
exciting way: cara yang menyenangkan
supersonic: melebihi kecepatan suara
twentieth century: abad ke-20
airline: perusahaan penerbangan
affordable: harganya terjangkau
around the world: di seluruh dunia