Warplanes: April 25, 2001


The sixteen Concorde supersonic airliners have logged more time at supersonic (faster than sound) speed than all military aircraft ever in service. You typical military aircraft spends, at most, a few percent of its flight hours at supersonic speed. Few ever hit their rated top speed (usually Mach 2 or thereabouts.) Even at that, the rated top speed is usually only achieved if the aircraft is carrying no weapons and not much fuel. And after such a sprint, the engines have to be carefully checked. 


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