I remember watching the UK Concorde prototype lift off from Bristol Filton's runway in the late 1960s. There was a huge cheer from the many thousands of people who thronged the hills to witness the event.

To an extent air travel has always been about going faster. Anyone who has travelled by air from London to Sydney or Los Angeles to Auckland, say, knows only too well the meaning of long haul. What if these sorts of journeys could be completed in half the time?

It is now time to build a new Super Concorde which can carry at least 200 passengers together with a substantial amount of cargo with a guaranteed range of at least 11,100km (6,000nm). This new aircraft would have to be much quieter in the airport environment and must be permitted to overfly sparsely populated areas at supersonic speed as well as over the oceans.

The major advances made in areas such as electronic flight instrumentation would be incorporated into such a flying machine. Given the innovation of lightweight video systems, passenger windows would not be necessary.

Concorde must not be the end of supersonic transport, but the beginning. Pioneers often take the arrows, but it is time for the UK, in partnership with other interested states, to reap what has been sown by those who previously had the vision to complete what many thought would be impossible.

Robert Taylor Nottingham, UK

How ironic that the oil agenda should both help strangle Concorde at birth in the early 1970s and then contribute significantly to its demise into retirement.

Concorde's thirsty Rolls-Royce Olympus engines (in addition to noise and other issues) cost order cancellations when the price of fuel rocketed on the point of launch 30 years ago and now, if the Middle East agenda is truly about control of oil, the Iraq conflict has helped kill the premium market.

It can only be hoped that, perhaps in a VIP role or similar, this beautiful bird will continue to grace our skies. This superb engineering should remain on view until its successor arrives.

Bob Ringrose Athersyone, UK

Source: Flight International