Today, marks the 15th anniversary of the last Concorde flight – which landed right here at Heathrow on 24 October 2003! On that day, thousands looked on as the “Queen of the Skies” ended three decades of supersonic passenger flights. To celebrate Concorde on this day, we’ve put together some fun facts and a quiz for you to test your knowledge of this iconic aircraft!
The Concorde is perhaps the most popular aircraft of all time and it continues to inspire people’s imaginations around the world. The aircraft once flew lucky passengers at supersonic speeds and was commonly referred to as the ‘Queen of the Skies’.
Now in retirement, the Concorde no longer graces our skies around Heathrow. Yet, her legend lives on… she’s still a household name and an all-time favourite among many aviation fans – with her record breaking feats and unique appearance ensuring a permanent place in aviation folklore.
Today, British Airways’ Concordes are located around the world including Babdos (AE), Edinburgh (AA), Filton (AF), Manchester (AC), New York (AD), Seattle (AG) and one (AB) remaining at Heathrow – where it rests just outside the BA engineering facilities as pictured above.
The last Concorde flight at Heathrow…
At around 07.35am (12.35 BST) on 24 October 2003 the final Concorde flight took off from New York under flight number BA002 with British Airways’ Captain Mike Bannister at the helm.
On board the aircraft were over 100 celebrities including Jeremy Clarkson, Sir David Frost, and Joan Collins.
While in flight, a second British Airways Concorde took from Edinburgh, and a third from Heathrow, which completed a loop of the Bay of Biscay. A loop of the Bay of Biscay, just north of Spain, had been part of several earlier trips offered with Concorde over the years.
After circling around London, the three aircraft landed in the sequence with BA002 the final Concorde to touch down at 16.05 BST.
Concorde Facts and our Concorde Quiz!
To celebrate Concorde’s 15 years of retirement, we took a quick look at some of the facts and figures behind the incredible aircraft.
Birth: Concorde was born out of separate British and French projects which joined forces in 1962;
Primary users: British Airways, Air France
Cruising Speed: 1,350mph (2,160kph/Mach Two) up to 60,000 ft.
Range: 4,143 miles (6,667 kms)
Maximum take-off weight: 408,000lbs (185 tonnes)
First prototype: (001) was rolled out of its hangar at Toulouse, France in 1967
First supersonic flight: Successfully completed on October 1, 1969
Testing: 5,000 hours – making it the most tested aircraft ever