The date: June 1975. The place:
Nord Airport, Paris. Passengers are checking in for one of the first supersonic Concorde flights to New York. Each passenger is weighed with his baggage, while an adding machine tots up the mounting burden: 18,000 Ibs. . . .
19,000 Ibs 19,800 Ibs. At that point
a corpulent Frenchman steps on the scales, clocking 220 Ibs. "Pardon, M'sieur," says the clerk. "You cannot travel today. Even without your baggage you would put the Concorde over its weight limit."
That look into the future may not be farfetched. The Concorde's small payload, mounting costs and environmental effects are...