Midday at 58,000 feet
In the Cabin
When I got back to my seat I took some more video of the flight and photos out of my window.
We where now over the mid Atlantic and a quarter of an hour earlier we had seen sunrise, clouds far below me now looked like they where made of cotton wool, it was like a continental quilt had covered the ground below me. During the course of the flight the clouds had gradually gone from various shades of yellow, yellowy orange, orange, orangey pink and now the clouds where now very light pink almost white.
Light orangey pink clouds – The wings looked navy blue this wasn’t due to them changing colour at speed, they where just reflecting the colour of sky above them, the sky above them was deep space.
Light orangey pink clouds
View mid way across the Atlantic ocean, the sun is as bright as it is at midday on a summers day.
Within 2-3 minutes the sky gradually turned in to hard white light.
In the UK it was 8.30 pm, pitch black and icy cold, on Concorde it was 8.30pm UK time, but here flying at 58,000 feet and twice the speed of sound the sky was bright and looked as bright as midday sun on a hot summer’s day but in real life summer had ended 2 months ago, we where now in the last week of October 2003 and a few days before the clocks went back one hour and the dark days of winter where going to come.
But currently we where 1 ½ hours in to our flight at 58,000 feet flying in the stratosphere on Concorde, flying at mach 2 (1,320 mph) and it looked like a bright summer’s day out side, this was unreal, this was mind blowing stuff.
It was hard to understand that in just 4 days time Concorde would be no more and confined to museums for all eternity or face the scrap man, It was hard to understand that I was on the penultimate (second to last ever) London-Heathrow to New York- JFK BA001 Concorde flight.
It was hard to comprehend all this as Concorde didn’t feel like a weak, rusty clapped out old banger, Concorde felt so so strong, so so safe, so so powerful, so so smooth and so very “futuristic“ that it didn’t seem possible to think in only “4 days time” she would be “resting“ in a museum for “ old age planes ” …… it just didn’t seem possible for this to happen, but it was going to happen and there was nothing I could do to stop it from happening.
I looked out of the window, the horizon and above it the sky went from light blue to dark blue/black and in the distant horizon it had a 1 cm high slither of turquoise which glowed like light blue luminous day-glo paint.
(Left) - View mid way across the North Atlantic ocean
at 58,000ft and travelling at twice the speed
of sound (1,320 mph).
The sun is as bright as it is at midday on a summers day.