Duxford Hangar 1 - Airspace - Page 2

LINKS to pages in the IWM Duxford site and to the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

     1 : IWM History
     2 : IWM Duxford History
     3 : Indoor Displays
    4 : Outdoor Displays

HOME PAGE : Imperial War Museum Duxford

HOME PAGE : Colin Day's Links


Construction of the first two prototypes began in February 1965 - 001, built by Aerospatiale at Toulouse, and 002 by BAC at Filton, Bristol.

Concorde 001 made its first test flight from Toulouse on 2 March 1969, piloted by André Turcat, and first went supersonic on 1 October. The first UK-built Concorde flew from Filton to RAF Fairford on 9 April 1969, piloted by Brian Trubshaw.

Both prototypes were presented to the public for the first time on 7 and 8 June 1969 at the Paris Airshow. Concorde entered commercial service in January 1976 with British Airways and Air France.

Between 1984 and 1991 British Airways flew a thrice-weekly Concorde service between London and Miami, stopping at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Until 2003, Air France and British Airways continued to operate the New York services daily. Concorde also routinely flew to Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados during the winter holiday season.

Duxford's Concorde, number 101 (above, right and below), was the third to be built for test purposes before the world's first supersonic airliner went into production. It first flew in 1971 and carried 12 tons of test equipment for a five year period of test flying.

In this time all aspects of Concorde's structure and flight performance were measured with 209 flying hours at supersonic speed and 170 of these at twice the speed of sound. In 1974 this aircraft reached Mach 2.23 while making the fastest flight of any Concorde.

On 25 July 2000, Air France Flight 4590, registration F-BTSC, crashed in Gonesse, France after departing from Paris Charles de Gaulle en route to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, killing all 100 passengers and nine crew members on board the flight, and four people on the ground. It was the only fatal accident involving Concorde.

According to the official investigation the crash was caused by a titanium strip that fell from a Continental Airlines DC-10 that had taken off minutes earlier. This metal fragment punctured a tyre on Concorde's left main wheel bogie during takeoff.
The tyre exploded, a piece of rubber hit the fuel tank, and while the fuel tank was not punctured, the impact caused a shock-wave which caused one of the fuel valves in the wing to burst open.
This caused a major fuel leak from the tank, which then ignited due to sparking electrical landing gear wiring severed by another piece of the same tyre.
The aircraft was unable to gain height or speed and crashed into the Hôtelissimo Les Relais Bleus Hotel in Gonesse.

Safety improvements were made in the wake of the crash, including more secure electrical controls, Kevlar lining on the fuel tanks and specially developed burst-resistant tyres. The first flight after the modifications departed from London Heathrow on 17 July 2001, piloted by BA Chief Concorde Pilot Mike Bannister. The test flight, intended to resemble the London to New York route, was declared a success and was watched on live TV.

The first flight with passengers (all were BA employees) took place on 11 September 2001, landing shortly before the World Trade Center attacks in the United States. Normal commercial operations resumed on 7 November 2001 by British Airways and Air France.

On 10 April 2003, Air France and British Airways simultaneously announced that they would retire Concorde later that year.They cited low passenger numbers following the 25 July 2000 crash, the slump in air travel following 11 September 2001, and rising maintenance costs.

Concorde parade flight with the Red Arrows at the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations on 4 June 2002

Reproduced under 'GNU Free Documentation License' and
'Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License'

buttongo.jpg - 7212 Bytes
buttonnext.jpg - 5586 Bytes