concorde illustration
As a fan of shows like “Modern Marvels” and “Build it Bigger” I’ve always been fascinated with giant bridges, buildings, tunnels, and other man-made wonders. My absolute favorite engineering accomplishment is something on a smaller scale, it’s claim to fame being speed. Co-developed by the the British and French governments in the sixties, Concorde still makes me gasp anytime I see a picture of this futuristic icon.

I grew up on Long Island, NY, and I remember the day the British and French Concordes were due to simultaneously arrive at JFK airport for the first time. On my way to school, sure enough, first the British Airways, then the Air France Concorde popped in and out of the clouds overhead, each accompanied by a distinctive guttural shriek that I’d never heard before. I remember they looked like needle-nosed models, their white fuselages stark and quite surreal against the overcast sky. I was incredibly excited and when I got to school I told my Social Studies teacher about it, who casually dismissed my claim (in front of the class) as “highly unlikely”, as they would have been flying too high to see at that point of their approach. Anyway, I like to think I was vindicated by the subsequent Concorde appearances over our town that became more commonplace after that.

I created this vector image of a Concorde some years ago. Looking at it now I think the landing gear interrupts the sinuous curves of the classic delta shape that I love so much, but it was a fun technical illustration anyway.

Do you have any favorite feats of engineering? I’d love to hear about them.

About the author