unlike other passenger jets, which become airborne
Yes, I had flown the Concorde. That ultimate time machine. Faster than a speeding bullet. The most beautiful and exciting of all passenger planes. Long, slim and gracefully curved, it still turns heads on runways after 20 years. A monument to 1:1 replica handbags Anglo French cooperation (hence, "concord'), built in defiance of economic reality and social needs.
Air France had oversold my original flight, and an agent called wondering if I'd "mind" taking the Concorde instead. I didn't mind.
Everything about the Concorde is fast, even the check in. From here I follow the clip clop of high heels bearing two elegantly dressed women, each spraying perfume like a crop duster and toting Louis Vuitton carry ons, to l'Espace Concorde the special lounge.
It is laid out like an art gallery large tapestries, brown leather chairs, signed etchings and wall to wall carpeting. There are framed, signed photographs of famous Air France passengers Alain Delon, Walt Disney, Elizabeth Taylor, Anthony Quinn, Chevalier, Hitchcock, Hayworth, Cardinale, Signoret, Brynner, Satchmo and Fonda (Henry and Jane). There is an open bottle of Laurent Perrier Champagne in a silver bucket aaa replica designer handbags surrounded by canapes. Croissants, petits pain, juices, coffee, tea and all manner of drinks are available.
Beautiful people are sitting, sipping, munching and reading the International Herald Tribune, Frankfurt Allgemeine, Le Monde, Le Figaro and the Times of London. Beside some of them are large shopping bags with logos of Gucci, Tiffany and Bloomingdale's. The Concorde's round trip price of around $7,000 tends to keep out the riff raff.
Boarding is directly from the lounge, through a special security check. From here it's a 20 yard walk to the gate, where I pass through a chirpy gauntlet of flight attendants replica louis vuitton bags from china and ground personnel. "Bonjour, Monsieur... Bonjour, Monsieur... Bonjour, Monsieur."
I step aboard and, surprise! This is not a big plane. While the Concorde is almost as long as a DC 10, it is no wider than a Greyhound bus. A single aisle divides 100 seats, two on each replica designer handbags side. The seats are snug, but very comfortable. Everyone flies cheap louis vuitton bags from china uk first class. The Concorde recently had a total facelift carpets, lighting, seats, overhead luggage bins, window blinds, galleys, china and silver. For the task, Air Designer Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags France high quality designer replica handbags wholesale summoned the services of the noted French interior designer, Andree Putman. The visual impact consists of white walls and headrest covers, gray and rose seats, deep blue and beige carpets. Flight attendants wear outfits designed by Nina Ricci. Or so I'm told. As we taxi out for takeoff, it is announced that the flight attendants speak German, Chinese, Spanish and English, as well as French.
Now the Concorde is poised for takeoff. The pilot revs the four Rolls Royce Perfect Quality Louis Vuitton Replica engines, and then we are rocketing forward. Unlike other passenger jets, which become airborne in a slow, lumbering fashion, the Concorde sprints to a takeoff speed of 300 miles per hour (nearly twice that of normal planes) in just 29 seconds with an enormous shudder of sound. The surge thrusts me against the back of my fake designer bags seat.
Then the engines quiet down and digital displays at the front of the cabin keep me abreast of the steady rise in altitude and the approach of Mach 1, the speed of sound, the onetime sound barrier shattered just 50 years ago (1947) by test pilot Chuck Yeager. The Concorde does not exceed the speed of sound cheap louis vuitton bags from china until it is over water because in doing so it makes an explosive noise (the "sonic boom") that can shatter windows and disturb earthlings.
aaa replica designer handbags Barely 15 replica louis vuitton bags minutes into the flight, about 150 miles south of Nantucket, the Machmeter goes from 0.99 to 1.0, and, voila!, we are supersonic. We never hear the sonic boom, of course, because the noise can never catch up with us. About 25 minutes later, we reach Mach 2, twice the speed of sound, about 1,500 miles per hour, a mile every three seconds. This is cruising speed on the Concorde. We are traveling faster than a bullet fired from a.45 automatic pistol. Were we to pass over a DC 10 or Boeing 747 also bound for Europe, it would appear to be going backward at 800 mph.
For the next 2 1/2 hours, we will fly at supersonic speed, yet there is no sensation of speed in the cabin. We just cruise along as smooth as an eel swimming in oil. The only unusual sign is the windows they're hot to the touch. The friction from the speed creates heat so intense that the fuselage grows 10 inches during the flight and resumes its original length only upon landing. The heat also is the key to the Concorde's longevity because corrosion of the airframe is nonexistent. The plane dries out in flight.
I'm handed a breakfast menu. If there's one piece of advice I have for anyone contemplating a ride on the Concorde, it's don't eat anything for 12 hours before. On this day, I can have: 1) pancake purse stuffed with crab; 2) baked shrimp in pastry with leeks and ginger; 3) zucchini quiche, Provence style; 4) creamed morel mushrooms in a puff pastry shell. I can have any or all of them, and I can have them in any order I wish. In addition, there are assorted cheeses and dried fruits, sliced fresh fruit, French breakfast pastries, and cereals and yogurt. And don't forget to save room for the Champagne and caviar served just before arrival.
The entire flight is rather one leisurely meal. There is no time for a movie. No time to complete the crossword puzzle. No need to go to the lavatory. Not even time for a nap. Jet lag is a physical impossibility.