Buckingham Covers - First Day Covers

Gilbert Defer


According to the British Concorde test pilot Peter Baker, Gilbert Defer was one of the most important of the Concorde Test Pilots. I visited him in his Toulouse house and he showed me the amazing number of aircraft he had tested. He has flown 70 different aircraft totaling 8500 hours of flying time 1450 on Concorde He was a fighter pilot in the French Air Force and became experimental test pilot, French Government. He then became an experimental Test Pilot, Aerospatiale – Senior Test Pilot for Aerospatiale and flight test manager. Gilbert Defer is today an aeronautical consultant

26th September 1973: Concorde slashes Atlantic flight time

Concorde has made its first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic in record-breaking time. The French model of the supersonic airliner flew from the US capital, Washington, to Orly airport in Paris in three hours 32 minutes. The pilots, Jean Franchi and Gilbert Defer, cut the previous record for a transatlantic airliner journey in half, flying the plane at an average speed of 954 mph (1,535 kph). Officials for Aerospatiale - the French company involved in the project - said the plane touched down at 1617 local time (1517 GMT), 13 minutes ahead of schedule. This second pre-production model of the aircraft being co-built with the British Aircraft Corporation was also carrying a small number of passengers.