The first flight of the Concorde happened exactly 50 years ago


On 2 March 1969, the Concorde took off for her very first flight. It was a “faultless” maiden flight. Two previous test flights had to be abandoned because of poor weather conditions.

The Anglo-French plane took off from Toulouse and was in the air for just 27 minutes before the pilot made the decision to land.

The first pilot, Andre Turcat, said on his return: “Finally the big bird flies, and I can say now that it flies pretty well.”

The test flight reached 10,000ft (3,000m), but Concorde’s speed never rose above 300mph (480kph). Concorde’s first supersonic flight was on 1 October 1969.

Mr Turcat, his co-pilot and two engineers taxied to the end of the runway at about 1530 GMT. Strong winds meant the test flight was in doubt for much of the day.

© Maarten Van Den Driessche


  1. Quite possibly the saddest moment in aviation history when the flight of three Concordes came in to land at Heathrow on 24/10/2003.
    Wonder how long it will be before someone (Branson?) decides to restore one back to flying condition?


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