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Last Updated: Friday, 17 March 2006, 04:18 GMT
Concorde voted the UK's top icon
Concorde was chosen from 25 original nominations
Concorde has been voted the number one design icon of the 20th Century by viewers of BBC2's The Culture Show and visitors to London's Design Museum.

The plane, which regularly cruised at twice the speed of sound, was made by British Aerospace with Aerospatiale.

The aircraft completed its first flight from Toulouse in 1969.

It beat competition from the London Underground map designed in 1931 by Harry Beck, and the Spitfire designed by Reginald Mitchell in 1934.

The winner of the Great British Design Quest was announced on BBC2's The Culture Show on Thursday evening, from on-board Concorde at The Museum of Flight outside Edinburgh.

Top ten designs
1 Concorde
2 London Underground Map
3 Supermarine Spitfire aircraft
4 Mini
5 World Wide Web
6 Routemaster Bus
7 Catseye
8 Tomb Raider album cover
9 Grand Theft Auto video games
10 K2 Telephone kiosk cover

Concorde's sleek triangular wings enabled the supersonic aircraft to fly at exceptionally high speeds, but required it to take off and land at such steep angles that its needle-shaped nose was tilted for the pilots to see the runway.

But the July 2000 Paris crash, the subsequent 15 months of non-flying for the planes, the downturn in the US economy, the events of 11 September and the Iraq war, all conspired to make the plane uneconomical.

'Symbol of peace'

Former MP Tony Benn, who was Technology Minister at the time, said: "I'm absolutely delighted that Concorde's won.

"Whenever a Concorde flies, people look at it, it's very graceful, it's very beautiful, it is a symbol of peace and international understanding.

"It wasn't the most commercial vehicle to start with but the design and beauty and skill is something that you just have to honour, and I do," Mr Benn said.

Design Museum visitors and viewers of BBC Two's The Culture Show were asked to choose from 25 British design icons since 1900.

Included in the nominations were the Routemaster bus, the Mini, Giles Gilbert Scott's red phone boxes and more recent inventions such as the world wide web and video game Tomb Raider.

More than 211,700 votes were cast in the poll.


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