Environment: Listening Hard

Environmental opponents of the Franco-British Concorde have long maintained that the 1,400-m.p.h. aircraft is simply too loud to use U.S. airports. That argument seemed very fragile early last week as the first commercial flights slipped quietly into Washington's Dulles International Airport. But then, the next day, the environmentalists' case against the Concorde revived with a whoosh. Returning to France, one of the $60 million planes took off with an earsplitting roar that re-ignited debate over the plane's noise levels and seemed sure to reinforce resistance that is now keeping the craft out of New York.

Bird of Prey. The Concorde's arrival was...

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