A Supersonic Flight Path

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Oct. 14, 1947 U.S. military test pilot Chuck Yeager, right, becomes the first man to break the sound barrier, although the feat is not disclosed until months later.Nov. 29, 1962 France's Sud-Aviation and the British Aircraft Corporation and their respective governments sign cooperation agreements for the development of a super-sonic passenger aircraft.

Dec. 11, 1967 The first prototype, Concorde 001, is unveiled in Toulouse.

March 2, 1969 The Concorde is test-flown from Toulouse to Le Bourget, France. Later that year it completes its first supersonic flight.

June 30, 1973 Scientists aboard a specially modified Concorde observe a solar eclipse during a flight from the Canary Islands to Chad.

June 17, 1974 An Air France Concorde flies from Boston to Paris, leaving at the same time as a 747 headed from Paris to Boston. The Concorde returns to Boston after spending an hour on the ground in Paris, arriving 11 minutes before the 747.

Sept. 1, 1975 A Concorde logs four Atlantic crossings in one day, with two round trips from London to Newfoundland.

Jan. 21, 1976 British Airways and Air France inaugurate the era of supersonic passenger travel with the first regularly scheduled Concorde flights. BA's initial route is from London to Bahrain, Air France's from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

Nov. 22, 1977 New York-London Concorde service begins after a noise-related ban on the plane is overruled.

Dec. 16, 1979 A plane from New York to London sets a Concorde record by completing the flight in less than three hours.

1981 After Concordes burst tires on four separate occasions in the U.S., the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board warns that the aircraft's landing gear should not be retracted if tires have blown.

Oct. 10, 1981 A computer malfunction on a London to New York BA Concorde forces the pilot to shut down one of the engines and land in Boston.

May 26, 1998 A London to New York Concorde is forced to turn back one hour into flight after the plane loses a section of an elevon, a panel on the back of the wing that is used to control the plane.

Jan. 2000 Two BA Concordes are forced to make emergency landings within 24 hours. An engine on a flight from Barbados to London fails shortly before arrival at Heathrow Airport, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing. The following day a plane headed for a pleasure tour around the Bay of Biscay returns to Heathrow shortly after takeoff when a cockpit fire alarm sounds.

March 17, 2000 A BA Concorde bound from New York to London is forced to make an emergency landing at Ireland's Shannon Airport after its number three engine has to be shut down.

July 23, 2000 British Airways reports that microscopic cracks have been discovered on the wings of all of its seven Concordes. The following day Air France announces that it has made a similar discovery on the wings of four of its six Concordes. BA pulls one of its Concordes out of service, but Air France continues to fly its entire fleet, saying the cracks pose no safety threat.

July 25, 2000 Air France chartered flight AF 4590 crashes shortly after takeoff from Charles de Gaulle Airport, killing all 109 people on board and five on the ground.