The anomaly in progress – part I


Building Concorde

Building Concorde

Often progress and technological evolution is seen as a continuous and relentless process. Some industries progress faster than others, and every now and then, there are huge steps that create a huge gap with the precedent technology. But extremely rarely, evolution goes backwards and progress is inverted, creating an anomaly in progress, a situation in which something that was technically possible is not possible anymore.

This is the case of Commercial Supersonic Travel and the incredible machine that made it possible for 27 years. Concorde.

The more I look into the history of how this beautiful craft was designed and built, the more admiration I develop for the huge, quantum leap that designers and engineers managed to make using 1950’s and early 1960’s technology. Interestingly, some of the techniques and technologies developed for Concorde are still being introduced gradually into modern airliners, like fly by wire. Now widely adopted (Airbus first introduced it after Concorde in 1988 on the A320 family, whilst Boeing waited until the 777 was introduced in 1994), it was an example of how Concorde was way ahead of its time.

A controversial machine, though, environmentally unfriendly for the noise its four Rolls Royce Olympus engines generated, and its generous fuel burning, yet an incredible breakthrough in progress, so big, it constituted one of the very few anomalies in progress. Nearly a decade after it was withdrawn from commercial service, there is no sign that Commercial Supersonic Travel will be possible again in the near future.

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About Iker Ibanez

Over the years I have developed passion for a number of things, like airlines and aviation, cars and technology. I think the item that links them all is sophistication. I love sophisticated stuff, I love the sophistication of modern air travel. The sophistication of modern technology and cars. You can find more about me in my linkedin profile: http://sg.linkedin.com/in/ikeribanez

Posted on January 17, 2012, in Aircraft, Airlines, Engineering, Evolution, Progress, Technology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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