National Geographic : 1969 Sep
PHOTOGRAPH FROMNOVOSTI 304 Soaring into a new age, fledgling supersonic jet transports flex their wings. The British-French Concorde 001 surges skyward for the first time at Toulouse, France, last March 2 (above). Designed to fly the Atlantic in three hours, it will carry as many as 132 passengers at speeds up to 1,400 miles an hour-twice as fast as sound. The Soviet Union's TU-144 makes a maiden flight with a MIG-21 escort last December (left). The Russian supersonic transport and the Con corde possess similar capabilities and vie for first entry into commercial service-perhaps by 1972. Both have a "droop snoot," a nose that hinges downward slightly on take-off and landing to help pilots see the runway. In the United States, Boeing plans an 1,800-mph SST that will carry 300.