A French-British organization is working to determine if Air France's Concorde could return to limited "heritage" flight. The powerful Rolls-Royce engines last pushed the planes to supersonic speeds in 2003, but such magnificent beasts shouldn't lay silent. Photo: James Gordon
At the tender age of nine years, standing on the National Mall in Washington DC, waiting for dusk and the fireworks of our Bicentennial Independence Day, I met one, ever so briefly.
My father grasped my shoulder, turned me and pointed. "Look at that."
It came out of the growing twilight, racing ahead of the night it had left into the sun. A giant arrow shot from the minds of brilliant scientists and iron pilots, a dart into the heart of the supersonic shockwave.
It flashed overhead, subsonic but still so fast that the shout with which it greeted us cheering Americans and the giant delta shape arrived at the same time. It made a roar to shake the world.
I stood amazed. "Is that...?"
"Oh yeah." Dad was never a big car buff, never a big plane buff, but he was still impressed.
I was so thrilled, so excited just to have seen it with my own eyes, I almost wept. "Wow."
I have carried that moment with me for over thirty years.