I know that the Tu-144 had the first prototype flight and it also beat Concorde in reaching supersonic speed, but what I am really curious to know is which design carried passengers first (not crew and test engineers only) as a commercially operated aircraft. Is it still the Tu-144 or was it Concorde? Could anyone offer some insight, please?
Concorde was first by almost two years:
The Tu-144 commenced commercial on the 1st of November 1977 (according to Sinsheim Museum)
According to some sources the first commercial flights of the Concorde took place on the 21st of January 1976. (On that day two Concords flew with flight numbers AF085 & BA300)
So the Concorde was the first to transport "real" passengers.