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Concorde A glorious history before tragic denouement

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: November 30, 2012

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1956 Rumours a passenger aircraft will be built to fly faster than a bullet, at twice the speed of sound, begin to emanate globally.

1960 BOAC (British Airways' forerunner) accepts the first reservation to fly supersonic.

1961 Plans start to take shape as talks begin between British and French authorities.

1963 President Charles de Gaulle first uses the word "Concorde" in reference to the project. Should the UK agree to keep the French "e?" – Well, yes.

1963 An experimental model is unveiled in Bristol.

1964 Olympus 593 engine first runs at Filton.

1965 Work begins at Filton. The UK makes a 40 per cent-share of the air-frame, the other 60 per cent being the responsibility of the French.

1966 A 16-tonne centre fuselage and wing section is delivered to Toulouse. Assembly of French prototype (001) begins.

1966 Assembly of the UK prototype (002) begins at Filton.

1967 001 is rolled out in Toulouse. Bristol MP Tony Benn says Concorde is a generation ahead of any other civil transport.

1968 The Concordski, the first supersonic airliner to fly, the Russian Tupolev Tu-144, takes off.

March, 1969 Captained by test pilot Andre Turcat, Concorde 001 flies from Toulouse.

April, 1969 Crewed by chief test pilot Brian Trubshaw, Concorde 002 makes its first flight from Filton to RAF Fairford.

June, 1973 Concordski crashes during the Paris air show, killing 14 people.

1974 To promote Concorde, Air France flies from Logan Airport, America, bound for Paris. This coincides with the departure of a scheduled flight from Paris to Boston. At the point when they pass, the 747 had travelled only 620 miles compared to Concorde's 2,400.

1976 Concorde 002 is retired to the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton. New York and New Jersey bans Concorde.

1977 The Queen returns home from Barbados by Concorde. Concorde services are allowed to use New York.

1979 An announcement is made that no more will be built.

1992 Concorde breaks the world record for the fastest round-the- world trip – 33 hours.

1993 Barbara Harmer becomes Concorde's first female pilot.

1999 Two BA Concordes chase the total eclipse of the sun.

July, 2000 Air France Concorde crashes, killing 113 people as it hits a hotel north of Paris.

2001 Services are restarted to New York. Tony Blair flies to Washington.

April/May, 2003 Concorde's retirement is announced.

November 26, 2003 The final chapter concludes with a farewell flight from Heathrow to Filton. Concorde flies at 2,000ft over Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon, Portishead and the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

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