As the developers of tomorrow’s high-speed aircraft reflect on the 50th anniversary of the Concorde’s first flight, they can also draw on lessons learned from two costly civil supersonic failures of the same era: the Soviet Union’s ill-starred Tupolev Tu-144 and the aborted U.S. Supersonic Transport (SST) program.  Both projects were officially launched in 1963 and, just like the space race between the two superpowers, quickly assumed importance as a matter of ...

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