|BCON039||50th Anniversary of the First Test Flight of Concorde 001||£15.95||Buy Now|
Issue Date: 01/03/2019
Issue Name: 50th Anniversary of the First Test Flight of Concorde 001
Producer: Buckingham Covers
Concorde was the first supersonic passenger-carrying commercial airplane (supersonic transport, SST), a joint project built by aircraft manufacturers in both Great Britain and France. Construction of two prototypes began in February 1965. The first flight took place on Sunday 2nd March 1969, when Concorde prototype 001 took off from Toulouse airport, the initial flight having been postponed from the previous day due to heavy mist.
This lovely cover features an image of an artist's vision of Concorde on the front page of a children's newspaper from 1963 and celebrates 50 years since the first test flight of the French built Concorde 001 prototype supersonic jetliner from Toulouse on the 2nd March 1969. It has a French Concorde stamp and a Toulouse postmark.
Concorde 001 exceeded Mach 1 for the first time on its 45th test flight. At an altitude of 36,000 feet and 75 miles from Toulouse it held Mach 1.05 for 9 minutes. 002 went supersonic for the ﬁrst time on the 25th March 1970, hitting Mach 1.15. Later that year both planes flew at Mach 2: 001 on the 4th November and 002 on 12th November. By this time both aircraft had been fitted with Olympus 593B engines, which enabled them to maintain Mach 2 cruise speeds over long distances.
Concorde 001 was modified for the 1973 solar eclipse mission with rooftop portholes and observation equipment. Its flight over Africa became the longest observation of a solar eclipse, lasting for some 74 minutes.
001 was retired on arrival at the French air museum at Le Bourget Airport on 19th October 1973, having made 397 flights (812 hours, of which 255 hours were at supersonic speeds). It remains in its Solar Eclipse mission livery complete with rooftop portholes. G-BSST (002) made its last flight on 4th 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.