Ten years ago today, our ever-shrinking world got a little bit bigger again. Three Concordes, built by Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), landed in a procession at London Heathrow airport, while thousands of emotional fans looked on.
After 27 years, the world’s most famous plane had been pensioned off – first by Air France and then by British Airways – marking the end of supersonic passenger flight. So how is it that a noisy, polluting lump of aluminum, that was too pricey for most people to ride in, is still so popular?
“It was probably more advanced than Apollo 11, which put the first men on the Moon,” says Jock Lowe, who is not only Concorde’s longest-serving pilot, he’s a former president of the Royal Aeronautical Society. “No military plane came anywhere close. It was so maneuverable and there was so much spare power, even ex-fighter pilots weren’t used to it.”
For the complete story by Richard Westcott of BBC News, click here.