On This Day: Concorde - The Future of Flight

Supersonic aircraft took a giant leap forward when the French and British governments signed a treaty to join forces on designing Concorde on 29th November, 1962. Up until this point, the two countries had been developing their aircraft separately - which had already cost the United Kingdom £150 million.


Technologically superior and far more luxurious than any commercial passenger jet that had come before, it was also the fastest - capable of launching its wealthy clientele from London to New York in under three hours.


In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how the success of the 747 killed off supersonic flight; consider how Britain blew its chance to create 'the British Airbus'; and reveal why Pepsi’s blue paint-job for Air France could have proven truly explosive…


Further Reading:

• ‘Concorde and supersonic travel: The days when the sun rose in the west’ (The Independent, 2013): https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/concorde-and-supersonic-travel-the-days-when-the-sun-rose-in-the-west-8888836.html

• ‘Concorde’s first British test flight, 50 years on’ (History of government, gov.uk 2019): https://history.blog.gov.uk/2019/04/09/concordes-first-british-test-flight-50-years-on/

• ‘Anglo-French Airliner Model Concorde’ (British Pathé, 1962): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfPiPC6O7qs


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The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.

Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Emma Corsham.

Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2021.


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