Here’s the Only Picture Of Concorde Flying At Supersonic Speed

Taken in April 1985, this photo is the only picture ever taken of the Concorde flying at supersonic speed. The image was taken by Adrian Meredith, who was flying a Royal Air Force Tornado jet during a rendezvous with the Concorde over the Irish Sea. Although the Tornado could match Concorde’s cruising speed, it could only do so for a matter of minutes due to the enormous rate of fuel consumption. Several attempts were made to take the photo, and eventually the Concorde had to slow down from Mach 2 to Mach 1.5 so the Tornado crew could get the shot. The Tornado was stripped of everything but the essentials to get it up to that speed for as long as possible. After racing to catch the Concorde and struggling to keep up, the Tornado broke off the rendezvous after just four minutes, while the Concorde cruised serenely on to JFK Airport in New York. The Concorde’s fastest transatlantic crossing was on Feb. 7, 1996, when it completed the New York to London flight in 2 hours 52 minutes and 59 seconds. The Concorde was eventually retired in 2003 after the crash of Air France Flight 4590 on July 25, 2000, in which all passengers and crew were killed.