History Transportation

The Life and Death of the Concorde


4 November 1970

The Concorde 002 is born, and the Mach 2 barrier is broken. In 1970 the Concorde finally reached one of Britain’s biggest airports; Heathrow.

1 June 1972

The Concorde starts a tour of Australia, the UAE and other countries to complete a 45,000 mile sales tour of the world.

26 September 1973

The 002 Concorde crosses the Atlantic for the first time, going from Washington to Paris in just over 3 and half hours.

6 December 1973

The maiden flight of the first ever production Concorde was carried out, the 201 made in Toulouse took to the skies and hit Mach 1.57 or 1,205 miles per hour!

21 January 1976

From London to Bahrain, captained by Norman Todd, the first flight of BA (British Airways) first ever Concorde took to the skies. The plane had only arrived a few days earlier to Filton, Bristol. This flight was a live TV broadcast.

21 January 1981

Celebrating its 5th birthday, the Concorde’s magnificence is starting to be appreciated. With an astounding record of over 700,000 passengers, 50,000 flying hours and over 15,800 flights, the craft is given its rightful place as one of the best planes of all time.

31 March 1984

The British Government decide their involvement in Concorde has been too intense and left all funding and decision making almost solely down to BA.

13 July 1985

The power and reliability of the Concorde is proven by Phil Collins after he uses the service to fly from the U.S. Concert on the very same day to Live Aid Charity concert in the U.K.

1 November 1986

After celebrating its first decade of commercial flights in the January, Concorde went on to complete its first round the world charter flight in an astounding 1 day, 7 hours and 51 minutes.

25 March 1993

The first female pilot takes the reins; Barbara Harmer. She flew from the U.K. to JFK in the U.S. later that year.

7 February 1996

Trans-Atlantic flight records were about to be broken with the Concorde managing the flight in 172 minutes and 59 seconds.

11 August 1999

2 Concorde’s managed a visually mind-blowing feat of chasing the sun’s total eclipse as they fly in supersonic formation.

25 July 2000

This was an awful day in the history of the Concorde. On this day in Paris, France, Air France’s Concorde crashes and kills 113 people.

15 August 2000

The first toll of Concorde’s death, BA announces that it would stop flying Concorde’s. This decision was made that quickly that it even caused one craft to be stopped mid take-off following the craft’s Airworthiness certificate being revoked.

21 January 2001

A day filled with mixed emotions for many Concorde fans, it was just a short while after their favorite aircraft was knocked from the skies, and yet it was its 25 year anniversary of commercial flight.

7 November 2001

The return of the Concorde. After a lengthy and very pricey safety improvement drive from the team over at Concorde, the plane hit the skies as a commercial jet once again.

12 January 2002

The Paris crash results are in, the French Accident Investigation Bureau say that the cause of the incident was a chunk of rubber, caused by a stray strip of metal puncturing a tire, had shot up into the fuel tank and caused a leak.

10 April 2003

British Airways and Air France start ringing the definitive final bell. Both companies agree to retire the craft after the commercial flight numbers dropped which was in doubt due to the Paris crash.

31 May 2003

Air France had their last Concorde flight from JFK to Paris’ Charles De Gaulle Airport. All the French Concorde’s are on display around the world. In the October, the last BA Concorde flight took place.

10 March 2005

Paris’ dreadful crash is brought back into the limelight when Continental Airlines are put under investigation. They of course deny and wrongdoing and say the fire wasn’t caused by the strip itself claiming they made no errors.

6 December 2010

Continental Airlines could be forced to pay $1.2 million (£910,000) to Air France for damaging the airlines reputation and a further compensation payment to all those involved.

29 November 2012

Continental Airlines are in the Versailles appeals court and are deemed to have no criminal responsibility for the Paris crash as there was no link between the strip and the fire.

7 February 2017

Concorde 216 is given pride and place at the Aerospace Bristol’s special hanger near Filton Airfield. A joint operation between BA and Airbus engineers, the craft was dragged up the ramp and left to bask in the glory and history of this wonderful plane.

So there we have it, one of the most awe inspiring crafts of the late 20th century from anywhere in the world dragged through the mud in its final years all down to the existence of a strip of metal and a definitely appalling crash.

We must remember this craft for the technological amazement but also the questions that were raised and those lives lost on that fateful day in Paris. Whatever happened, you have to agree that the craft itself was unbelievable as a visit to one of Air France’s is definitely on the horizon.


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Naveed Ayub

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