JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Concorde undergoing maintenance. Concorde, the world's only supersonic passenger airliner, in its maintenance hangar. The swept-back delta wings are designed to maximise lift generation during take-off and to minimise drag at high speeds. The 'ogee' curve on the leading edge of each wing particularly improves lift during slow flight. The wing design also provides sufficient stability that horizontal stabilisers are not needed on the tail, unlike conventional passenger aircraft. Concorde made its first commercial flight in 1976 and is being retired from service in 2003. Photographed in the maintenance hangar at Heathrow Airport, London, England.
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