Aim Higher, Fly Supersonic

Concorde Development

1962

ATLANTIC IN 3 HOURS

Lancaster House, London. Monsieur Geoffrey Chodron de Courcel, French Ambassador to Britain and Aviation Minister Julian Amery sign the treaty in Lancaster House for the joint development and production of a supersonic aircraft.

The Anglo-French Concorde airliner’s origins include various military development aircraft which lead to the successful entry into commercial service for a passenger jet capable of carrying 100 passengers. The Fairey Delta Two tested Concorde’s delta winged configuration along with the French Trident supersonic aircraft.

The clip shows the wind tunnel in Bedford, Bedfordshire, UK, and also shows the Handley Page 115 test aircraft, the Bristol T 188 ‘Flying Laboratory’ and a Vulcan bomber fitted with the Olympus engine. Dr Russell, Head of the Bristol Design team is also featured along with tests of the Bristol Siddeley Olympus jet engine.

ANGLO-FRENCH AIRLINER MODEL CONCORDE

Various shots of large Concorde model being examined by draughtsmen who are making checks against design blueprints.

1963

BRITAIN AND FRANCE POOL KNOW-HOW

Le Bourget, Paris, France. French President Charles De Gaulle walks through the 25th Paris Air Show with officials and looks at the key exhibits. This includes a model of the Franco-British supersonic project, Concorde, and one of its engines, a Bristol-Siddeley Olympus, later to become a Rolls-Royce powerplant.

AIRLINERS NOW AND LATER

Filton, Bristol, UK and Toulouse, France. Various shots of Concorde models, full scale mock-up and tests for components.

1964

SYDNEY SEES THE LOT

Sydney, Australia. The “Britain 1964″ exhibition in Sydney promotes various products and services from leading British companies in an attempt to increase trade, commerce and relations between the two countries and their respective continents. Of particular interest is a model of Conc0rde. Once developed, supersonic speeds could cut huge amounts of time off the very long journey between the UK and Australia.

OPEN DAY AT ROYAL AIRCRAFT ESTABLISHMENT

Bedford, Bedfordshire, UK. Various static models are tested for future aircraft shapes and the line of model aircraft show the gradual build up to the final design of Concorde. A Concorde model is suspended by wire to show how the aircraft will move during flight.

1965

AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY MENACED

Harold Wilson’s Labour government comes to power in Britain in October 1964 and questioned the ongoing investment in various aircraft projects sending the industry into crisis. This included the TSR2 (used to develop Concorde), Harrier jump jet, VC10 airliner (built in Weybridge, Surrey), BAC 111, Trident and Concorde.

On 19th November 1964, the British Government announced its intention to withdraw from the Concorde project. The attempt failed. A clause in the agreement to co-build Concorde meant if the British withdrew they would still have to part-fund the project.

Wilson stayed in power until June 1970 and then again from March 1974 to April 1976. This covered most of Concorde’s development period including the start of commercial operations in January 1976.

HAROLD WILSON IN PARIS TO DISCUSS CONCORD WITH DE GAULLE

Elysee Palace, Paris, France. British Prime Minister Harold Wilson meets with French President General de Gaulle and Georges Pompidou in an attempt to repair international relations after Wilson announced Britain is to withdraw from the development of Concorde in late 1964. Shots also at Quai d’Orsay for dinner include Mr. Couve de Murville.

 

1965 PARIS AIR SHOW – LE BOURGET

Le Bourget, Paris, France. Various shots of Concorde model, flight simulation, development, testing and production. Air Show includes military aircraft with delta wings similar to Concorde.

 

CONCORD CONSTRUCTION UNDER WAY AT FILTON

Concorde construction at Filton, Bristol, UK. Various shots of panel fitting to fuselage, the full size mock-up, nose and visor mechanism being lowered, the cockpit and interior.

1966

CONCORD PROGRESS

British efforts for Concorde are underway at Weybridge (Surrey), Filton (Bristol) and Preston (Lancashire). The fibre glass material for the famous movable Concorde nose cone is manufactured in a knitwear factory Scotland. Metal would interfere with the signals detecting storm clouds. Sud Aviation also hold a press conference in Toulouse, France, led by Managing Director Mr Guista and a section of the fuselage is sent by road transport at night for testing at another location.

THIS CONCORD FLIES NOW

A model of Concorde has been tested in the wind tunnel. It is now taken for a “flight” while suspended on a wire hanging underneath a Royal Air Force helicopter in Bedford, Bedfordshire, UK.

‘CONCORDE’ CORDIALE

Large Concorde parts move from Toulouse, France to Filton, Bristol in England. The slow journey is a far cry from future supersonic status and starts over land by road through many small towns and villages. It continues by sea over the English Channel to the UK by a Thoresen Car Ferry. The two country 50/50 partnership will see France build 60% of the airframe, the UK 40%. For the engines the UK will build 60% and France 40%. At ail section arrives in Filton delivered by a Belfast Freighter and each country is to build one prototype. France will be 6 months ahead of the UK programme.

KOSYGIN IN FRANCE

Soviet Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin and his wife make a visit to France that includes a visit to the Sud-Aviation works in Toulouse to see the progress with Concorde’s development.  He also visits an oil refinery near Lyon and the nuclear research centre in Grenoble. The Soviets are busy developing the Tupolev TU-144 supersonic passenger jet in competition with the Anglo-French Concorde.

CONCORD COSTS SOAR

Queen Elizabeth 2 and Prince Philip, himself a keen pilot, tour the British Aircraft Corporation factory at Filton, Bristol, and see the Concorde mock-up and model. The costs are now at £500m but the visit is crucial to keep the spirits high amongst the workers who are putting a huge efforts into designing and engineering the world’s first commercial supersonic passenger jet.

MAGNETIC SUSPENSION IN HYPERSONIC WIND TUNNEL – FARNBOROUGH aka HYPERSONIC WIND TUNNEL

This shows the staggering amount of research and development that went into supersonic flight and the amount of testing that was needed to perfect something that had never been done before. Of critical importance is the safety of all passengers when travelling at ultra-fast speeds. Taken at Farnborough, Hampshire, UK. Equipment includes hydraulic pumps, vacuum chambers, compressed air bottles, heat chambers, dials, gauges and the magnetic, hypersonic wind tunnel.

“Models were subjected to wind velocities of 6000 miles per hour (Mach 8.6). The power required to operate the magnets holding the models in position was 50 kilowatts. The model’s temperature rose to 150 degrees Centigrade after 10 seconds’ application of air at maximum velocity. This equipment was used to study the wake flow over models that had previously been impossible, thus ensuring far more accurate force measurements.”

MAN AND SPACE EXHIBITION IN GERMANY aka MAN AND SPACE

German Minister of Science Gerhard Stoltenburg examines communication satellites at the “Man and Space” Exhibition in Germany. The Eldo rocket, the Europa rocket and the Junkers RT-8-01 jet aircraft also feature along with a drawing and model of Concorde.

1967

The $1bn World Expo is held in Montreal, Canada where many nations show their culture, capabilities and achievements to one another. An estimated 50 million see the temporary exhibition. The windowless British effort is called “The Challenge of Change” and presents a view of a modern country; it features Concorde’s Olympus engine, James Bond novels and Carnaby St, London, fashions. A total of 62 nations have come to Canada including Jamaica, Ethiopia, Cuba, Mexico and Thailand. Many have changed their names since then: Ceylon to Sri Lanka, Burma to Myanmar and the Soviet Union to Russia. America’s efforts include the Gemini space capsule which will be used in the lunar landing programme. A monorail carries visitors around between pavilions. Canada’s own exhibit features a giant inverted pyramid. Note the upbeat, positive tone of newscasting.

EXPO ’67 – FIRST IMPRESSIONS

CONCORD PROGRESS

Concorde prototype 002 takes shape in the Brabazon hangar in Filton, Bristol, UK. Current estimates show the Anglo-French effort is 3 years ahead of American efforts who are also developing commercial supersonic flight. The US will later cancel its programme in 1971, but not before successfully putting man on the moon in 1969. The full scale Concorde mock-up is also being shown to prospective airline customers who are working with the manufacturers, designers and engineers to find the optimum layout and configuration for commercial supersonic flight operations. Target time for London to New York is 3 hrs 17 mins for the world’s first faster-than-sound airliner with cruising altitude at 11 miles high. The first flight is estimated to be in Autumn 1968.

CONCORDE PROGRESS

Concorde 001 prototype being built in Toulouse, France. The target date for the first flight is now 28th Feb 1969. The fuselage is 188 ft long and a full scale mock-up is shown at the French Air Show. Andre Turcat, test pilot, is in the Concorde simulator.

H. WILSON OPENS NEW MAJOR TEST FACILITY FOR SUPERSONIC AIRCRAFT

British Prime Minister Harold Wilson opens a new major test facility that will be used for the development of supersonic aircraft – the Ministry of Technology’s National Gas Turbine Establishment in Pyestock, Hampshire. “Cell 4″ is another key step in getting Concorde airborne and will be used as an engine test laboratory and super wind tunnel. It costs £6.5m and is the best of its kind in Western Europe and shows what Britain can contribute to the European and world community. The Olympus engines can be tested in the same conditions they would see at 13 miles high and 1,500 mph. When simulating Concorde cruising speeds, the power consumption is greater than the Queen Elizabeth ocean liner. Heat dispersion is made through huge water cooled pipes. Complex control panels, operating controls and fuel systems will ensure Concorde is one of the most tested aircraft to have ever entered service.

CONCORDE: ROLL OUT

Sud-Aviation hangar at Toulouse, France sees the official roll-out ceremony where the waiting world gets its first glimpse at the completed Concorde prototype. British Minister of Technology Anthony Wedgewood Benn (Tony Benn) and his French counterpart, Jean Chamont, cut the tape across the hangar door. Air hostess Marne Davis wears a futuristic looking astronaut’s helmet to go along with the futuristic aircraft that has just been unveiled. French test pilot Andre Turcat and Brian Trubshaw, his British counterpart, stand in front of Concorde and eagerly await the flying programme to begin.

Selected Originals – CONCORDE: ROLL OUT

PARIS AIR SHOW

The Concorde full size mock-up is visited by President Charles de Gaulle at the 27th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget. The US Ambassador Charles Bohlen shows de Gaulle their Titan Rocket and Apollo space capsule and the Soviets display the Vostok 1 rocket. While a historical replica of Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis sits among the exhibits, other aircraft like the Harrier jump jet and Bell helicopter clearly show the huge level of innovation the world is witnessing in aviation and aerospace by 1967.

CONCORDE CONSTRUCTION – Colour

Filton, Bristol, UK

CONCORD UNDER WAY

Large parts of Concorde’s fuselage are transported by road from Filton, Bristol, to Farnborough, Hampshire, for heat and stress testing.

REVIEW OF THE YEAR

1967’s most significant events are recorded here including the first pubic viewing of Concorde being captured by the world’s press. Other key moments include Sir Francis Chichester’s successful circumnavigation of the world in the tiny Gypsy Moth sailing yacht as he triumphantly returns to Plymouth, England, and the 20th September launch of the QE 2 ocean liner in Clydebank, Scotland, by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2. Concorde and the QE2 would later team up in a special transatlantic travel partnership where passengers created an ultimate journey from Europe to America; one leg would be a supersonic flight at Mach 2 taking little over 3 hours with the other leg sailing leisurely on the QE2 over 6 days.

Visits to Britain include King Faisal of Saudi Arabia and Russian Premier Alexei Kosygin. In Iran, the Shah of Iran ascends the throne with Queen Farah.

1968

CONCORDE TEST RUN

Concorde’s first motion is captured here with a powered low-speed ground test run in Blagnac airport, Toulouse, France. French test pilot Andre Turcat and English counterpart Brian Trubshaw are on hand. A giant nylon safety net of vertical ribbons creates some iconic images as the world waits for supersonic flight.  The 148 tonne aircraft was mobile under its own power but was limited to around 35 mph on this occasion.

FARNBOROUGH AIR DISPLAY

A huge range of aircraft are displayed at the 1968 Farnborough Air Show. This includes the build-it-yourself Nipper and the Yorkshire-built Slingsby, the world’s longest and slowest aircraft built to display advertising banners. This is quite a contrast to a model of Concorde being displayed in anticipation of a supersonic future. The British Aircraft Corporation display the supersonic Lightning jet and Rolls Royce power is behind many of the aircraft at the show including Sweden’s Saab Draken and the Dutch Fokker Fellowship. Harrier jump jets are also present which are scheduled to enter Royal Air Force service in 1969.  The BEA Trident jet is the world’s first aircraft to feature auto-landing controls. The Handley Page Jetstream, VC-10, Hawker Siddeley 125 also make an appearance.

The Farnborough crowd also see a 4 engine Vulcan bomber carrying a 5th engine, an Olympus 593 in nacelle casing, that is being used as a flying test bed for Concorde.   Perhaps the biggest stir was away from the show as Concorde 002, the British prototype, was rolled out of the hanger for the first time in Filton, Bristol. This was apparently done with little fanfare much to the amazement of the Minister of Technology who did not even get an invite to the event. Concorde is said to be 5 years ahead of their rival, the Boeing 2707, the American supersonic passenger jet.

Selected originals – FARNBOROUGH AIR DISPLAY

This footage is purely devoted to the roll out of the British Concorde prototype 002 in Filton, Bristol. Test pilots Brian Trubshaw and John Cochrane are on hand. The Vulcan bomber is also shown as it is a flying test bed for Concorde’e engines. Interesting to note that the engine placard on Concorde reads Bristol-SNECMA alongside the Rolls Royce logo. The engine was developed by Bristol-Siddeley and the company was later to be acquired by Rolls Royce in 1966.

TRIPLEX DEMONSTRATION

Concorde supplier Triplex opens a safety research centre in Birmingham, UK. It tests laminated glass that still offers visibility after an external impact.

CONCORDE DESIGN

Concorde was essentially designed using pencils and drawing boards as the extensive video highlights. This was long before the era of modern desktop computers, pocket calculators, mobile phones and the internet.

1969

CONCORDE PREPARATION

British Concorde 002 prototype is under construction at Filton, Bristol. The commentator likens it to a big, expensive bird in a cage. However, the long development period is necessary as almost everything on the aircraft is new, very complex and has never been tried or tested before. This adds to rising costs and overheads of £2m a week. Delays of a year might also lead to a possible 700 redundancies at Rolls Royce.

Concorde is forecast to carry a maximum of 132 passengers up to 4,000 miles at altitudes of 65,000 ft. Tony Benn, the Minister of Technology, nullifies the Russian supersonic jet as he states the Soviets are not seeking to enter world markets. Additionally, Benn says Concorde is a better aircraft. Service entry date is still predicted as 1972 and it is up to the worlds airlines to determine its ultimate success.

Selected Originals – CONCORDE PREPARATION

This footage shows the incredible complexity of what is inside Concorde and and indeed, any modern aircraft. Of particular note are the amount of electrical cables and wiring behind the test equipment on the prototype and all the avionics forming the instrument panels.

RUSSIAN AIRCRAFT INSTITUTE

Russian language clip entitled ‘Home of our Fatherland’s Aviation’ including the Museum of the Russian CARI (Aircraft Institute) and founder Nikolai Egorovic Zhukovsky. Various shots of Russian aircraft including the Tupolev TU-144 (nicknamed “Concordski”), a rival to the Anglo-French Concorde.

CONCORDE TAKE-OFF

Concorde takes to the sky for the very first time over Toulouse, France, after many years as an idea, concept and dream. After six years of designing and building, the aircraft was a year later than planned.  However, the day belonged to test pilot Andre Turcat and Jacques Guignard.

The flight lasted 27 minutes and featured the landing gear in the down position and the nose in droop position. Concorde 001 was 193 ft long, 84 ft wide and 38 ft high. It also carried 12 tonnes of test equipment and the flight was made at 10,000 ft and leisurely speeds of under 300 mph.  Landing involved a parachute for safety and the flight was deemed a success with Concorde handling beautifully.Turcat instantly became a world celebrity, hero and aviation legend.

If all goes well, Concorde will cut journey times for 130 passengers from London to New York from 7 hrs 40 minutes to 3 hrs 25 minutes. It will also earn profits of £4BN for manufacturers Sud Aviation and British Aircraft Corporation.

Concorde flies for first time

Concorde’s maiden flight in Toulouse, France, on 2nd March 1969 including an interview with Andre Turcat, Chief Test Pilot for the French side of Concorde. After 10 years of development and 27,000 people working on the project, it would take another 7 years to put it into commercial service.

Selected Originals – CONCORDE TAKE-OFF

Selected Originals – CONCORDE TAKE-OFF

CONCORD 002 TAKE OFF

Concorde 002, the British prototype, achieves its first flight from Filton, Bristol, to Fairford, Gloucester. It lasted 22 minutes. Piloted by Brian Trubshaw and John Cochrane, they are welcomed home by Andre Turcat, the French test pilot of Concorde 001.

Selected Originals – CONCORD OO2 TAKE OFF

TROOPING THE COLOUR AND CONCORDE – SPECIAL!

Shortly after its first flight, British Concorde 002 prototype makes a special appearance in London to be seen by the whole nation. Led by 16 supersonic Lightning jets, Concorde makes a fly past over Buckingham Palace to celebrate Queen Elizabeth 2’s official birthday ceremony at Trooping the Colour.

PARIS AIR SHOW

Le Bourget, Paris, where Concorde makes it first appearance at an air show. A mock-up of a 250 person passenger jet is shown by the newly forming Airbus but Britain has yet to decide its participation with the French and Germans. The Americans impressed by bringing an Apollo space capsule and three astronauts to the air show.

CONCORDE AT AIR SHOW

The Paris Air Show witnesses some very special sights. The Red Arrows are a prelude to the first meeting of Concorde 001 from France and Concorde 002 from Britain. The crowds are thrilled. Note the aborted landing Concorde puts on as a demonstration of powerful engine thrust.

CONCORDE BREAKS SOUND BARRIER

Concorde 001, flown by Andre Turcat, breaks the sound barrier for the first time by travelling at 715 mph, the speed of sound, at 35,000 ft.  The speed of sound, at 768 mph, is higher at sea level as the air is thicker. Bloodhound SSC broke the sound barrier at 763 mph to claim the current World Land Speed Record.

1970

REVIEW OF THE SIXTIES

A review of the 1960’s including Concorde, the Beatles, JFK, Churchill, Sir Francis Chichester sailing around the world, the Mini, Boeing 747 “Jumbo Jet”, Martin Luther King, the Vietnam war, peace rallies, the Middle East 6 day war between Israel and Arab neighbours, the hovercraft, decimalisation of UK currency, the moon landing and Neil Armstrong and heart transplants.

English French Portuguese Russian Hindi Chinese (Simplified)
Spanish German Italian Japanese Persian Indonesian

 

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