History Hour: Concorde prototype takes first flight
On the 2nd of March 1969, at Aéroport de Toulouse – Blagnac, Toulouse, France, the first supersonic airliner prototype, Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde Aircraft 001, registration F-WTSS, made its first flight. On the flight deck were Major André Edouard Turcat, Henri Perrier, Michel Retif and Jacques Guinard. The flight lasted 29 minutes.
During its testing, 001 flew a total of 812 hours, 19 minutes, including 254 hours 49 minutes supersonic.
Aircraft 001 is 51.80 meters (169 feet, 11.5 inches) long, with a wingspan of 23.80 meters (78 feet, 1 inch). It is powered by four Rolls-Royce/SNECMA Olympus 593 turbojet engines.
The flight test crew of Concorde 001. Left to right, André Edouard Turcat, Henri Perrier, Michel Retif and Jacques Guinard. (Photo courtesy of Neil Corbett, Test & Research Pilots, Flight Test Engineers)
The airplane was retired on arrival at the French air museum at Le Bourget Airport on 19th of October 1973, having made 397 flights covering 812 hours, of which 255 hours were at supersonic speeds.
Concord was developed from two prototypes, the F-WTSS and G-BSST. The G-BSST (Concord Aircraft 002) took first flight on the 9th of April 1969 from Filton to RAF Fairford. Its last flight was on the 4th of March 1976 when it flew to the Fleet Air Arm Museum at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, England. It had made 438 flights (836 hours), of which 196 flights were supersonic.
Previous History Hour installments:
First Class of Women Naval Aviators
How NASA intentionally crashed a Boeing 720
First jet landing on aircraft carrier
First England to Australia flight
Text Author: Bryan R. Swopes
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