USA: SUPERSONIC AIRCRAFT CONCORDE LANDS IN NEW YORK FOR THE LAST TIME ON EVE OF HISTORIC FINAL TRIP TO LONDON
- Title: USA: SUPERSONIC AIRCRAFT CONCORDE LANDS IN NEW YORK FOR THE LAST TIME ON EVE OF HISTORIC FINAL TRIP TO LONDON
- Date: 25th October 2003
- Summary: (W1)NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 23, 2003) (REUTERS) SLV CONCORDE TAXIING DOWN RUNWAY
- Reuters ID: LVAFCF09D3406JRYYEBSX6XB2Y6
- Location: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:00:09
- Topics: General,Transport
- Story Text: Concorde lands in New York for the last time on eve
of historic final trip to London
The world's only supersonic airliner, Concorde,
arrived in New York's JFK Airport for the final time on
Thursday (October 23). It retires from commercial flight on
Friday (October 24) after almost 30 years of jetting the
rich and famous across the Atlantic at up to twice the
speed of sound.
The last Concorde operated by British Airways will
leave New York's JFK airport on Friday morning bound for
The Anglo-French jet dubbed "Speedbird One" by
controllers, the only supersonic passenger aircraft in the
world, will retire from service on Friday after 27 years of
British Airways flight 001, piloted by Captain Adrian
Tomson, arrived in New York at 5:48pm after a 3 hour and 22
minute flight time. It's passengers were the last to make
the trip from London to New York.
Many of the well-heeled travelers will sorely miss the
convenience of traveling up to twice the speed of sound
across the Atlantic.
Bob Dillon-Schneider was asked if he'll miss Concorde
"Absolutely, saved me money, saved me time, saved my
health. Now I have to go back to first class," said
"It was spectacular," said Francios Dellaniello. "Just a
little bit sad that it was the last one out. But you get to
see it leaving back to London tomorrow, so you're luckier
than we are."
Passengers described a wing tilt "salute" as Concorde
jetted above London for its final departure, followed by
cheers from the crew. The scene onboard the flight was
described by some as festive.
"Yeah, it was just a party atmosphere and we were
having laughs and giggles. Yeah, it was really good," said
The Concorde was originally conceived in the early 1960s
as a joint development project between Paris and London,
the arrow-shaped airliner first took to the skies
commercially in 1976.
The French model, Concorde 001, took the first
fare-paying passengers in January that year from Paris to
Rio de Janeiro with the British Concorde 002 lifting off at
the same time headed from London to Bahrain.
Four months later both aircraft landed at the same time
at Dulles airport in Washington.
But already the writing was on the wall for the fuel
guzzler as the world's aircraft industry, propelled by the
first oil crisis in the early 1970s, switched to giants of
the skies carrying hundreds of passengers each.
Of an initial plan to make 300 Concordes, only 16 were
ever manufactured of which two were the prototypes and only
14 flew commercially. For years luxuriating in the title of the
safest airliner in the world, Concorde's immaculate image was
mauled in July 2000 when an Air France model crashed in
flames on takeoff from Paris, killing everyone on board.
Both fleets were promptly grounded for more than a year
for major safety refits.
The last Air France Concorde flew on May 31, and there
are only four British Airways models still in service
the last of which will fly in from New York on Friday to an
emotional reception with thousands expected to watch the
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