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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 November, 2003, 08:28 GMT
Last Concorde lands
Concorde coming in to land over Filton, Bristol
Concorde 216 has returned to the airport where it was built
The last Concorde has landed at its new home - the Bristol airfield where it was built.

Thousands of well-wishers gathered to see the aircraft land at Filton Airfield on Wednesday.

The plane left London's Heathrow Airport at 1130 GMT, flying out across the Bay of Biscay and then back to Bristol, where she landed soon after 1300 GMT.

Carrying 100 British Airways cabin crew members and pilots, it was the last of the seven BA Concordes to arrive at its new home.

Lap of honour

The jet reached supersonic speeds over the north Atlantic, and flew past the airfield before landing in front of crowds of more than 20,000 and being welcomed to Filton by Prince Andrew.

With pilot Les Brodie at the controls, the jet performed a lap of honour above Bristol, flying over Portishead, Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare, Bristol Airport, Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Downs.

Concorde 216 takes off for the final time from Heathrow
Concorde is an icon of the 20th century... today is one of the saddest in aviation history
The Duke of York

One of the most popular viewing spots was the Clifton Suspension Bridge, but only 600 people were allowed on to the structure to watch the flypast.

Many of those who braved the showers to watch the historic flight had helped to develop and build the plane in the 1960s and 1970s.

As the plane finally landed, the Duke of York welcomed the flight and received the 1979-built plane on behalf of the Bristol community.

The Duke said it was a "truly memorable occasion", that the plane was an "icon of the 20th century" and thanked the dedication of the staff who had worked on it.

'Fabulous aircraft'

"Today is one of the saddest in aviation history but at the same time, it's a day to reflect on the glory of what the UK can achieve," he said.

At the foot of the plane's steps, senior Concorde pilot Mike Bannister said: "This fabulous aircraft will be a legend because of one thing, the people.

"The people made Concorde a legend and we will never forget it."

Concorde ended three decades of supersonic travel in October when the final commercial flights from New York landed at Heathrow.

Since then, British Airways has distributed the planes to new homes across the world, including New York, Seattle, Barbados and Manchester.


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