Concorde in the Flight archives

As the Concorde prototype celebrates its 40th anniversary of its first flight here are some of Concorde’s best moments.

Flight has covered Concorde, the supersonic aircraft, from its embryonic stage (between 1956-1962) to the last flight in November 2003 and even the Concorde model on the roundabout being taken down at Heathrow Airport last year.

Concorde landing at Fairford.jpg


Flight reported on the independent studies into supersonic transports by French and UK companies between 1956 and 1962. See Flight’s artist impression of what the aircraft, then called the BAC-Sud Mach 2.2 supersonic transport project, might look like compared with Super Caravelle model exhibited by Sud at the 1961 Paris Air Show.

In June 1963 Flight printed a general arrangement of the aircraft which was to be known from January as Concorde. Read about Concorde’s conception published in the same year which includes a cutaway and graphs showing aerodynamic efficiency. 

Britain’s Minister for Aerospace, Mr Michael Heseltine, made on May 7 1972, his first public speech since his appointment, and chose Concorde as his subject. His speech to Rotary International at Long Eaton, Derbyshire, was reproduced in its entirety in Flight at the time.

In the speech he said: “Concorde is not being developed to demonstrate our technological prowess, or to show the way into Europe, important and significant though it may be in both these respects. It is being developed in order to sell a new form of travel to the world’s airlines. And here again the implications of Concorde are tremendously exciting.”

In 1976 Flight reported how both houses of the New York State legislature moved to block proposed Concorde operations into New York Kennedy airport. See the Flight entry: “Concorde USA: Decision awaited”.

On the same page in the magazine Flight reported that the “total number of passengers carried has been 1,137, of whom 612 flew from Paris to Rio. Air France tells Flight that under the present fare arrangement break-even load factor is 55 per cent.”  

In 1986,as Concorde celebrated its 10th anniversary Flight reported that “British Airways and Air France are reaping the benefits of a fast-developing charter market for the type of service which only Concorde can offer.” Nobody, wrote Flight, is complaining that this is scarcely what the aircraft’s backers had in mind at its conception.

Concorde’s nose was chopped off on the Flight magazine page but it did at least capture the :flypast in 1969 at the Paris Air Show.

And here is a Concorde mockup shown from an aerial photograph of the static display at the Paris Air Show in 1967.

For more of the Concorde timeline see Flight’s 21-27 October 2003 issue in our archive.





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