The lighter side of Flight International.

Concorde: the movie

The Bristol Aerospace Collection Trust has put together a film to celebrate Concorde and commemorate the 20th anniversary of the supersonic passenger jet’s final flight.

The 150min documentary has been compiled using rare archive footage and features test pilots Godfrey Auty and Brian Trubshaw. There are also interviews with the programme engineers, and excerpts of the first flights from Toulouse and Bristol in 1969 – as well as the final sortie on 26 November 2003, when Alpha Foxtrot returned to her birthplace in Filton.


Source: FlightGlobal archive

The film includes a British Airways flight from London Heathrow to New York on the flightdeck of that same aircraft, and a flightdeck tour of Alpha Charlie in Manchester.

Priced at £14.95, Concorde – First to Last is available as a DVD or HD stream from

Field trips

Pilots of a Ural Airlines Airbus A320 successfully landed in a corn field on 12 September during an attempted diversion to Novosibirsk – four years after a remarkably similar occurrence, when a Ural A321 touched down in a wheat field after a bird-strike.

There were no casualties in either incident. But the airline’s, er, cereal offending did not go unnoticed during an Aviation Club lunch on the same day as the A320 occurrence, during which one attendee was overheard suggesting that the carrier “should probably rebrand as Rural Airlines”.

Things that go bump

Tom Grundy and Stephen Fitzpatrick, respectively the leaders of would-be disruptors Hybrid Air Vehicles and Vertical Aerospace, shared the stage at a recent Aviation Club evening event in London.

As they both acknowledged, the two companies have something in common other than a desire to change the way we think about aviation. They have both pranged prototypes – fortunately without injuries sustained.

The original Airlander 10 (pictured) in fact suffered two slow motion crashes – in 2016 and also in 2017 – during its flight test campaign in Bedford.

Original Airlander

Source: IanC66/Shutterstock

Meanwhile, Vertical’s VX4 electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, which was being flown remotely, had a harder than hoped for meeting with the ground at its Costwold airport base in August.


Our correspondent thought he’d turned up at the wrong event while attending the recent DSEI defence show in London. With organisers having embraced quiet press conference technology within the exhibition halls, he arrived at at his first on-stand briefing only to be handed a pair of “Silent Disco” headphones – needed to hear what the leading UK defence electronics firm and its international partners had to say, rather than some “upbeat bangers”.

Head-meltingly hot to wear and leaving journalists unable to record what is said during an event, we judge this remarkable technological “advance” to be a load of old glitterballs.

On time delivery?

Bravo to the moderator who closed an extended DSEI conference presentation by Andy Start, chief executive of the UK’s sprawling Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) organisation, with some friendly military banter.

Countering widespread suggestions that UK defence procurement could up its game, Start highlighted the multiple recent on-time and on-budget successes achieved by DE&S, along with its contribution in helping to arm Ukraine’s military. He conceded that more must be done, however, including making process efficiencies that will get new equipment to the frontline faster in the future.

“Thank you for the great presentation,” the compere said in summary. “Unfortunately, you’ve over-run your allotted time schedule, so there’s no room left for questions.”

All at sea?

Not confusing at all: the land-sector business development manager for a defence contractor taking part in the DSEI show? Mr Shipp.