1986: Supersonic Concorde touches down in Indianapolis

Posted at 5:30 AM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-29 07:46:37-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Thousands gathered to see the sound barrier-breaking Concorde as it touched down at the Indianapolis International Airport on April 28, 1986.

British Airways flew its Concorde airliners to several cities throughout the United States to celebrate the aircraft’s 10th anniversary in 1986.

Former WRTV anchor and reporter Clyde Lee was on the maiden voyage which originated in Heathrow, and stopped in New York City before coming to Indianapolis.

Lee spoke with several crew members and passengers about the Concorde.

“It’s very, very precise,” said a British Airways flight crew member.

“It flies more like a jet aircraft, a fighter that is, in terms of the precision in which you can actually put it in any particular place. If you have to fly it at a certain degree of bank angle, that is the rate of turn, then you can actually put it precisely in that position.”

Precision was also the name of the game for the six flight attendants who aimed to provide excellent service.

“Just as if our passengers are guests in our own homes for dinner,” said employee David Westall. “Efficiency, professionalism, but above all, a real friendly and welcoming atmosphere.”

Lee spoke with one passenger who had two takeaways from the flight.

“One, when they announced that we were 54,000 feet and we could reach over and touch the window, and it was hot off of the friction. And the other thing was we finished our meal, tucked in our napkins, and the landing light came on for New York.”

The Concorde was capable of speeds up to 1,354 miles per hour. It could fly at 60,000 feet, which allowed passengers to actually see the curvature of earth. Concorde was capable of climbing 8 thousand feet per minute.

A one-way ticket on this trip cost $2,500, but that also entitled you to a six-course meal, champagne, chocolates, cocktails and hot towels.