Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hurled Through Time and Space: Concorde Episode 3: Boarding The Airplane

Loathe to leave the sumptuous Concorde Lounge at Heathrow, but eager to board the Concorde itself, we entered through a jetway that bore absolutely no resemblance to any jetway we'd seen before. This one was large, with windows, and plush carpeting underfoot.
We found ourselves ushered into a small, but very elegant airplane cabin; its interior tastefully decorated in shades of grey with touches of red. Our seats were grey leather!
Digital displays on the forward bulkheads would give us readouts throughout the flight of airspeed, altitude and outside temperature.
We were given a packet containing a small leather journal, a book about the Concorde and In-Flight magazines. Upon getting settled in our seats we were presented with a beautiful large menu (more about this later), which I still have today. We ordered champagne to be served after takeoff (our second glass of the morning-remember the lounge?) and were then given hot Oshibori Towels, presented with silver filigreed tongs, so we could freshen up before takeoff.
Next, our French Food Service Director (who seemed to be the senior cabin attendant) introduced the rest of the crew and announced that meal service would begin 40 minutes after the takeoff roll. Why, oh why, when I took such meticulous notes about events, did I not think to record the names of the crew members?
The four Rolls-Royce Snecma Olympus 593 engines provided 38,000 lbs. of thrust at take-off for each engine. The surge of acceleration pressed us into our plush leather seats. We knew we were in for the ride of our lives when we broke ground and immediately began climbing at an astonishing rate.

Next Post: Hurled Through Time and Space: Concorde Episode 4: The "Being Hurled" Part

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