Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde ( /ˈkɒŋkɔrd/) is a retired turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner or supersonic transport (SST), and remains one of only two SSTs to enter commercial service. Concorde was a product of the manufacturing efforts of Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), produced under a joint Franco-British treaty. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years.
Among other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights from London Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York JFK and Washington Dulles; it profitably flew these routes in less than half the time of other airliners. With only 20 aircraft built, the development of Concorde was a substantial economic loss; Air France and British Airways also received considerable government subsidies to purchase them. Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the aviation industry after the type’s only crash in 2000, the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and a decision by Airbus, the successor firm of Aerospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support.
Concorde’s name reflects the development agreement between the United Kingdom and France. In the UK, any or all of the type—unusual for an aircraft—are known simply as “Concorde”, without an article. The aircraft is regarded by many people as an aviation icon and an engineering marvel.