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Last Updated: Monday, 3 November, 2003, 10:12 GMT
What are your memories of Concorde?

Concorde has completed its last flight, after three separate supersonic aircraft landed within five minutes of each other at Heathrow.

Thousands of people flocked to the London airport to witness the end of supersonic travel.

After more than 30 years, Air France and British Airways have taken the aircraft out of service because it is no longer commercially viable.

A horrific accident in Paris three years ago - which claimed the lives of 113 people - saw passenger confidence fall and ticket sales plummet.

Campaigners against aircraft pollution were delighted to hear of Concorde's retirement, but lovers of Concorde are distraught to see the end of one of the most costly aviation projects ever undertaken.

What are your memories of Concorde? Do you live under its flight path and look forward to some peace and quiet? Or are you sad that the end of an era has come? If you have any good photos of Concorde send them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk and please put the word Concorde in the subject line.


The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

Your reaction:

The saddest past of Concorde's demise is that my "must do" list is now shortened by one because I shall not be able to go on this beautiful plane. Truly sad but I still hope that there may be opportunities to fly supersonic in the future.
Manju, UK

That it can still look impressive and futuristic half a century after its birth is something that we should all be proud of
Andrew, UK

It's interesting to see everyone's opinions on Concorde's retirement, and I have to agree with the majority that have said about the admiration and respect that it deserves. That it can still look impressive and futuristic half a century after its birth is something that we should all be proud of.
Andrew, UK

Friday October 24th was a sad day, not only for the World of Aviation but also for the mankind. As Jeremy Clarkson said as he disembarked, "One small step for man, one giant step backwards for mankind". I was lucky enough to fly on Concorde in July this year and all I can say to her detractors is Concorde was the most amazing aviation experience imaginable - I haven't stopped smiling yet. To fly on her was a dream come true and a memory I will always have. A huge thank you to my wife who made my trip possible.
Mike Anderson, UK

SUGGEST A DEBATE
This topic was suggested by David Hale, UK
Was Concorde a technological marvel of which we should be proud?

I felt something special when I saw a Concorde. I think the aeroplane is beautiful. It has a very special design; it is before its time.
Anders Svensson, Sweden

The greatest achievement to come out of Bristol since the M5? A tear came to my eye to see this great marvel of engineering disappear from our skies. The pride of British engineering has been allowed to disappear into oblivion, what do we have to replace it? Nothing.
Chris Hamilton, Bristol, Avon

Being on the airfield the day Concorde took off was mind blowing for a young man who was working in the Purchasing Dept and involved in the building of the Olympus 593 engines. The plane makers were on the South side of the airfield and us engine builders on the north side of the airfield as the maiden flight was made. A Concorde must come home to Filton. It was the greatest experience of my life, all the man hours, the skill and technology that went into the plane. Now after three decades there is nothing to match it, makes Concorde one of the wonders of the modern world.
Philip Taylor, Bristol, UK

The nearest I got to Concorde was in July 1971 when it did a world tour. My wife and I saw it on the tarmac at Melbourne Airport. It was behind a fence only a few feet away. That was as close as I ever got to it. All lit up at night, it was a grand sight.
Alan, Scotland

I flew the Concorde in 1993 from Reno, Nevada to Los Angeles, New York and finally Paris. It was awesome to see all the people on ground watching the takeoffs and landings. It is something I will never forget and the feeling of the takeoff from Reno was something else. Straight up in the air with goose bumps the whole time. It was a dream come true and I would love to be able to have one last flight in "the Concorde".
June Vesta, California, USA

My memory of concord was last year when it graced us with its presence at the Sunderland Air Show, what a marvellous sight it was. The noise and the sheer delight of the crowds of people who were there to watch it. I work for BA Sales and the comments and support I have heard since it was announced that it was to be retired is unbelievable. What a sad day for the aviation industry and the people and staff of BA.
Mark, UK

In June this year I fulfilled a lifetime dream, and flew to NY on her. I can honestly say it was the most incredible and surreal day of my life; I only wish more people had the opportunity to do the same. The argument that it was a plaything of the rich is nonsense, I would certainly not count myself; I will be paying for the flight for a long time to come! I also don't think the blame should be placed on BA for retiring her, but rather Airbus is the real culprit. After all, would BA really have spent all those millions in refurbishing her whilst she was grounded, just to fly her for such a short period, I think not!
Peter, UK

Concorde wasn't just a plane, it was a symbol of what the UK can do
Jon, England
Concorde wasn't just a plane, it was a symbol of what the UK can do, this plane at no matter what cost should have kept on flying, she represented the UK's proud manufacturing and skill in building and running such a plane, Americans nor the Russians could match such a great technological feat, this was our space program. To all the people out there that moan about the cost, remember that dome? What better representation of the last millennium, than Concorde. BA should swallow there pride and let Virgin and Branson have the planes. What a sad day, when such a great sample of British technology is binned, would they do that to Rolls Royce or Jaguar, just scrap it...I don't think so somehow.
Jon, England

I am still getting cold shivers when I look back on yesterday. I was lucky enough to have tickets for the grandstand which enabled me to watch all three Concorde gliding in to land. It is a memory that I will treasure for the rest of my life. It truly was the end of and era, and I am sure that I am one of many that will miss the true Princess of the sky.
Joanne, England

I video all of the Concorde and was most upset to see that this was the end of the supersonic airline I hope the one they are trying to keep for events that this will come to air shows. This supersonic airline of British airway or air France should have not been taken out of service.
Mr E Qulliver, Hampshire, England

My daughter won free tickets on the Concorde for the two of us, to New York and back, and I remember two broken overhead lights (didn't matter, because we could change seats - policy was to keep empty seats on the Concorde, then!), undercooked chicken, and a tiny, narrow interior. On the other hand, you never really feel you have entered or left an airport, because you never see all that - no crowds, no queues. And the flight is quiet and relaxed. My (then!) favourite TV stars took the seats across the aisle, and the check-in counter clerk checked my umbrella in as luggage for the hold. Not bad!
Stephanie Anderson Komuro, Japan

Concorde was THE engineering achievement in Europe in the whole of the latter half of the 20th century
Jon Sayles, UK
People moan about the cost of Concorde, but for what we got for the money (10Bn in today's terms) this pales into insignificance for what is a fantastic engineering achievement. The 5 billion channel rail link opened few weeks ago just miles away from where I live and no one turned out for that. Concorde was THE engineering achievement in Europe in the whole of the latter half of the 20th century.
Jon Sayles, UK

My colleagues and I know B.A. as "Bad Attitude", and their decision to retire Concorde without giving someone else the opportunity to run it profitably is an indication of B.A.'s complete and utter arrogance. We should boycott B.A. in protest.
Glenn Walton, England

I was lucky enough to fly on Concorde in 1995 on a special flight from London to Hanover in Germany. Walking inside the plane was like stepping inside a bullet - the ceiling curves down on top of you! There was a real party atmosphere on board and as we landed in Hanover the runway was lined with people who had come to see this fabulous aircraft visiting their city. We were met off the plane by local press and TV which made us all feel like millionaires. A wonderful experience and Concorde's demise is a sad loss.
Andrew Oldham, Fleet, UK

The "stuck up toffs" and "rich people so self-important they pollute to save three hours" are the same people who kept air travel afloat in the first place so the 99 Costa Del Beer package could ultimately become available. Instead of spouting pathetic class-envy rhetoric perhaps people could look at the triumph of engineering required to get this magnificent craft into the sky. I never put enough money together to fly Concorde but it gave me something to aspire to, something to hope to achieve one day. Now thanks to the bean counters and rather myopic class warriors I will never get the chance. A sad day for Britain, a sad day for engineering and a sad day for aviation generally.
John B, UK

Like the passing of the flying boats, a special era of aviation has come to an end
Phil Eagle, UK
Like the passing of the flying boats, a special era of aviation has come to an end. Concorde will always remain a technological marvel and be seen as one of the most graceful planes ever. Taking off from London at night for the last time, the reheat made Concorde look like something from a Star Wars movie as it turned and climbed away. We should be proud of an achievement that matches the American and Russian space programmes and hope that at least one example is able to remain flying in a heritage role.
Phil Eagle, UK

I think yesterday, the 24th, Britain lost yet another small but significant part of itself. Concorde is a reminder of days when Governments had the guts to go one step beyond. Yes, it cost us and France an absolute fortune, but we had one over the US, and at a time when Britain was shrinking in world significance, that alone was worth it.
Alistair Currah, UK

An utterly daft concept which only existed so people who didn't want to travel with the 'riff raff' didn't have to do so: as long as they could afford the 8,000 return fare. The worst thing about this great ugly white spike of an aircraft being decommissioned is that the aforementioned stuck-up toffs will now have to travel with the rest of us.
Mike, UK

I was always proud of Concorde but in the 23 years I have lived close to Heathrow it had become like a friend. I have always stopped to watch it fly past; I have never tired of the imposing sound and the grace of its movement. Now that it is gone it's like the death of a friend or family member. The world is a lesser place without it.
Peter Meade, UK

My brother and I flew on Concorde a few years ago. We flew on it as a charter flight within the UK and unfortunately didn't fly supersonic but you don't really need to, the Concorde experience is all about the take off, 0-250mph in around 30secs, incredible, as close to fighter jets as we can get! Best flight ever, yesterday was a terrible day for aviation history and for Britain in general.
John, Bournemouth England

Concorde offered something that was unimaginable
Mohamed Hassan, Singapore
Concorde offered something that was unimaginable, the ability to travel at the edge of space, wearing not your astronaut suit but your business shirt and pants. We will miss you! To think that with all the Anglo-French rivalry, the two nations can create something together that the dreams are made of.
Mohamed Hassan, Singapore

It's a beautiful plane. I hope Branson does take it on, if anyone can make it pay he can (even if only for the rich and the once-in-a-lifetime experience).
Chris C, England

April 1969. I am six years old, standing on the grass beside the runway at RAF Fairford, clinging to my grandfather's hand, watching the now late Brian Trubshaw bring Concorde 002, engines crackling, back to earth at the end of her 22 minute maiden flight from Filton. It's one of a handful of memories I have of my grandfather.
By pure coincidence, later, I met and came to know Brian, and his wife, Yvonne. What a great guy. How sad he would be today, I suspect. And yet, I hope, also how proud of his contribution to the Concorde fleet and its part in British history. I spoke to Yvonne this afternoon by telephone to let her know that, on a day that we lose a national icon, commercially at least, I hope we also remember one of the guys that launched it. Literally.
Thanks, Brian.
Tim Eldridge, British, now living in New York

I'm going to miss that sound I hear on my way home from work every day. Like losing a favourite music CD
Sam Smith, South East London, UK

What a SAD day for aviation!
Mark, NY-USA
What a SAD day for aviation! No replacement for such a wonderful bird! There is something to be proud of here the Europeans managed to develop and create a marvellous airplane that will live in our hearts and minds forever. Vive Le Concorde
Mark, NY-USA

I was never on Concorde and never saw it, but I remember well in travel agency school learning that A was the code for 1st class, B for business and Y for economy. Then, we were told, you will almost never use it, but there is also R, the special class used only for supersonic passenger flights. I guess they can retire R now.
Bernie Brightman, California

As retiree engineer from the now defunct Eastern Airlines, I had the opportunity to travel in this marvellous airplane. At 60,000 Ft I watched the cabin Machmeter register 2.1. It was one awesome sensation to feel the silky ride in the dark sky over the clouds way down. I will miss this magnificent machine.
Neil Naidu, USA

We took a charter trip from Venice back to Heathrow on Concorde. The Italian coach driver taking us to the aircraft couldn't take his eyes off it - and promptly drove the length of the airfield accidentally breaking all the runway lights. Priceless.
Bernard Stedman, UK

That sighting heralded a lifelong love affair with Concorde
Martin Slade, UK
I was playing idly in the street outside my home east of Bristol in April 1969, completely oblivious to the world around me when I was aroused by a thundering sound behind me. I looked up and saw a magnificent sight - Concorde making it's maiden British flight! That sighting heralded a lifelong love affair with Concorde, the epitome being the website that I run in dedication to my 'special friend'. I get such a buzz getting emails from Peru and China, congratulating me on my creation. But to me it's my way of paying tribute to the most beautiful aircraft the world has ever seen - and it was built eight miles from my home! In 1973 I was lucky enough to get a tour of the factory with some friends and we saw four Concordes in production. That sight has remained with me for thirty years! One of my favourite possessions is my signed copy of Brian Trubshaw's book. I'll miss being able to pop outside at 11am and 5pm to catch a glimpse of her on her way, full of the heads of industry and pop stars.
Martin Slade, UK

I was the only passenger on one Concorde flight from Miami to Washington. I have been on Concorde several times but this flight is the one I will never forget.
Howard Sleebush, Philippines

As a young boy, at the age of just five years old, I can recall seeing Concorde in April 1969, on one of its first UK test flights from its Bristol base, which was televised by the BBC. It was so elegant and far advanced from the planes that were in operation. Every time since that day in 1969 I always remember the time that I was in Bristol witnessing one of the first test flights of Concorde.
Andrew Grady Borehamwood

It's an extremely sad day for me, because I have a history with Concorde. My farther was an engineer for BA and actually brought the Concorde into service for commercial flight. I remember as child being asked what I would like to do in the evenings and my reply would always be to go and see the Concorde. Even as a little boy, and still today, just standing close to the aircraft I would feel so excited and sitting in the cockpit was awe inspiring. I am engineer myself and planned the Concorde to be the aircraft I retire working on. Now not to be.
Shane Clarke, Australia

Both Concordes flew over, one above the other
Dan Docwra, UK
One of the highlights of the Paris Air Show in 1969 was opportunity to see the French Concorde 001 on the ground and then flying. There was great anticipation when the engines started and the aircraft taxied for take off. The noise of take off was shattering - amazing. Concorde then flew off over the horizon to return in minutes for its demonstration. One other aircraft flew/demonstrated/landed - then everyone heard the announcement in French then English, "Look to the east, and you will see Concorde approaching" - every eye turned as the speck grew larger and larger and the roar of its engines approached. THEN the announcement "If you look to the west, Concorde 002 is approaching" - no-one knew this was going to happen. Both Concordes flew over, one above the other - the noise was incredible, but the crowd was silent!!! Then, as the aircraft flew away the whole crowd, thousands and thousands of people errupted in the most fantastic applause I have ever experienced.
Dan Docwra, UK

My only complaint about Concorde is that it did not visit Canada often enough. I was fortunate enough to see an occasional Air France charter Concorde flight fly over my home town and it was a truly magnificent aircraft to see. The last time I saw Concorde were the forlorn BA jets, grounded at Heathrow a month after the tragic AF crash. In closing, I feel that the Concorde was well worth its cost, for it is the only civilian supersonic jet and truly a work of art and technology. There are some things in life that cost a fortune but their noble goals make them all the worthwhile.
F. McLaughlin, Canada

I will never forget watching it approach like some great predatory bird
Rob Lovett
My father was in the RAF at the time of the Concorde development programme and we were stationed at Fairford. On the day of prototype 002's first flight some friends of mine cycled 30 miles to Fairford from Abingdon and we then cycled down to the threshold of Fairford's runway to watch 002 land after its flight from Filton. I will never forget watching it approach like some great predatory bird, with its Canberra chase plane in attendance. It roared over our heads at about 100 feet while we just stood, stunned by the noise and the beauty of it. My mother was working at the British Aerospace facility at Fairford and all the staff watched it taxi in and greeted the crew. She 'liberated' an empty champagne bottle bearing a commemorative Concorde 1st flight label, which I still have, together with some press photos of Brian Trubshaw, the Concorde pilot waving from the top of the airstairs.
Rob Lovett

I worked at a secondary school which is a couple of miles from Heathrow and on its first flight from UK all the school was allowed out to see it take off - absolutely fabulous sight and the pupils were so excited. We were listening on radio and could hear that it was about to take off. I now live in Peterborough but if I go down to see family I still love to see it in flight. My son was allowed on board just after it went into service and sat in the Captain's seat! He is so sad at it being taken out of service.
Mrs Linda Smith, UK

I took my wife for a Christmas lunch trip on Concorde back in December 1996 for a 40th birthday treat and it was the most awesome experience we have ever had. The cost of the trip was worth it just for the take-off! The service was excellent and we had a commentary throughout the flight. We even got to see the flight deck. The photographs and video film, together with our Concorde cut glasses and scale models are treasured souvenirs from a wonderful day out. Let Richard Branson have Concorde so we can continue to experience this wonderful aircraft.
Ben and Pat Cordery

Just reading all the messages shows how much Concorde is loved and going to be missed. Tony Blair just read them and let the plane live on with Richard Branson, that's what everyone wants.
Sarah, Dubai

I now raise my glass to the best aircraft ever
John O'Byrne, New York City
I flew on Concorde on 24 September 2003 from JFK to Heathrow and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of a lifetime. There was something magical about flying at twice the speed of sound on this fantastic aircraft, with its friendly and helpful crew. At the end of the flight a number of us were invited to visit the cockpit and the pilot and first officer answered our technical queries in an informative and friendly fashion. I am writing this on 24 October, a few hours before Concorde embarks on its final journey from New York to Heathrow where she is bound to receive a fantastic farewell reception. I now raise my glass to the best aircraft ever, a glorious feat of engineering. She will continue to live on in my memory.
John O'Byrne, New York City

To me, Concorde represents a perfect marriage of form and function. It is an engineering marvel and a thing of beauty. What a great shame that economics can triumph over inspiration.
Julian, UK

The best aircraft ever and we are letting it finish - such a shame, maybe with cheaper seats BA may have filled it a lot more, and Concorde may have gone on a lot longer.
Doreen Hawkes, UK

I live near Heathrow and am extremely sad to see Concorde go as are the many of the people who live here I think that it is disgraceful that BA are being so selfish in not letting Richard Branson takeover the fleet I don't know what they are trying to achieve by there actions.
Sharon Jerray-Silver, UK

You felt like you were experiencing the future
Nigel Williams, Belgium
I worked as a trainee and a fitter at the Filton plant from 1969 to 1974, it was a pleasure going to work just to marvel at the technology involved. Working on the Concorde you felt like you were experiencing the future. But lots of us also realised that as a commercial aircraft Concorde would not get 'off the ground' not as it deserved anyway, through jealousy of our American friends? A lot of the fitters at the time referring to Concorde as 'the great white elephant' or 'the greatest aircraft the yanks will not allow to be'
Nigel Williams, Belgium

I think it is disgusting that the government sat by and let BA phase out concord. Why do they not act on behalf of the people of this country when we need them to? Concord was funded by the people of this country; it should be given to Richard Branson to run now BA have given up on it.
Justin Coll, UK

My Father and I once flew on an away day to Cairo by Concorde, despite an hours delay on take off we flew supersonically over the Med and had a whistle stop tour of Cairo, the famous museum , Pyramids and bazaar, and a slap up meal with entertainment provided by a belly dancer at a hotel near the Pyramids. By then it had got dark and the sight of them floodlit will remain with me for ever. I shall be sad to see Concorde go, BA have made a bad move and it's a sad day for technology.
David Hamilton, UK

I must be one of the lucky ones to have experienced not only flying on Concorde but also to live under the flight in near by Wraysbury, Middlesex. I must say it was such an experience that i will never forget and to sit on a warm summer evening and see it passing over head was a sight not to be missed. I will deeply miss Concorde and all its glory, but I can't wait for a bit a quiet too. RIP Concorde.
Greig Van Outen, UK

With a lot of luck and an early start, am hoping to get to Heathrow to watch the last flight in. What a sad day it will be. I've flown on Concorde 3 times and have some amazing memories. The second time was for our silver wedding trip to Barbados. All a huge surprise for my dear husband, who died about 18 months later. With the great benefit of hindsight, the best money I ever spent. I'm sure there'll be some sad faces on Friday. Lovely to see so many positive comments on this site - just the odd complaint, but we'll ignore them for the killjoys they are!
Evie, UK

Concorde your life is such an inspiration to me
Marg Tilbury-Warner, Great Britain
Concord has always been a GOOD Positive omen to me. In March 1977 as I was leaving a building in Reading Berkshire having been interviewed for a job I so wanted with the local Authority in child care, as I walked along looking up Concord was right over head, I felt it was telling me I got the job, well when I got home I had the call I had the job. Now many times over the years Concorde has always flown overhead at a crucial moment when I needed a Positive or yes answer.. I am now 64 years of age and was due to retire next May, but due to health I am just retiring now too. So Concord and I celebrate together. Concorde your life is such an inspiration to me, I rush out of my door to see you daily fly over my house here in Maidenhead THANK YOU WITH ALL THE LOVE YOU HAVE GIVEN TO ME I RETURN TO YOU.
Marg Tilbury-Warner, Great Britain

I remember Concorde flying over Covent Garden in London, just before it went down the Mall for teh Queens' Jubilee last year. It was amazing to see, but more so when literally everyone there looked up and starting cheering, applauding and shouting. It was a wonderful scene. I do hope that happens again one day. Goodbye.
Dean, England

Just received an e-mail from my sister in Manchester telling me what a wonderful sight it was to see Concorde fly over her office today. They ran from one window to the other to get a good view. It had just taken off from Manchester on one of its stopovers. She said that they all felt somewhat sad to think that it will be gone very soon. When we flew into Heathrow in the past we would occasionally catch a glimpse of it in the distance - my children were always excited to see it.
Anne Fahy, Canada

As a nation, we've had very little to be proud of - with so many narrow-minded people quick to put the dampners on any success story. Concorde was one such success story and, as a nation, we should put aside the so-called noise and expense and reflect on a wonderful feat of design and engineering which will almost certainly never come our way again. Long Live Concorde!
Allison, Hong Kong

I can't believe the comments of some people about the environmental damage and fuel consumption. For heaven's sake, we're talking about a handful of planes - compared to the tens of thousands of 'ordinary' jet planes. Getting rid of Concorde will not make the slightest difference to the environment, or anything else.
Peter H, UK

I am pleased to have lived in Concorde's supersonic era
Stuart Wilson, Jersey, Channel Islands
Every day when Air France's Concorde was flying the residents of the Channel Islands were treated to its sonic boom, just after 4pm and again at 9pm. It never caused any real disturbance, some motorcycles and car stereos are far more offensive. When with visitors to the Island they would often stop ask what it was, and with excitement and pride I would say 'That's Concorde'. The sonic booms have gone now since Air France ended their service, and with it a strange sort of comfort. I am pleased to have lived in Concorde's supersonic era, she will be missed.
Stuart Wilson, Jersey, Channel Islands

Back in '66 as a young design draughtsman I was privileged to work on various design aspects of Concorde. The 'plane was a world beater, streets ahead of its time and would undoubtedly have been developed further had it not been more or less killed at birth by the American aircraft industry and its lobbyists. This plus the general tardiness of the British government and the pinch penny attitude of both private industry and government. It was a fantastic achievement both then (and even now) in engineering terms.
Donald H. Pryde, UK

Many years ago Concorde paid a visit to Dublin airport and my entire family went out to the road at the end of the runway. There were hundreds of people there to see Concorde glide in on its visit - never would you see such a gathering for any normal aircraft. It's really a travesty that economics can put pay to the one thing that set BA apart from other airlines, a beautiful aircraft I fear never to be replaced in the foreseeable future. The only aircraft mankind has put enough effort into to make it break the sound barrier without the intention of killing but of thrilling. Ireland bids farewell to a plane that paid many a visit to our shores in Shannon. It really is a shame.
Matthew Broadstock, UK (From Ireland)

Living in Hampshire in the early 90's I used to be drawn outside to watch whenever Concorde flew over. While other aircraft were just a background noise, Concorde was a sight one simply never grew tired of. It's tragic in many ways that this aircraft is to be relegated to a museum piece. Since it was the USA that effectively sabotaged supersonic transport when Boeing failed to make a success of their SST project, I just pray that no US museum will be getting one!
Steve Underhill, UK

Certainly a beautiful aircraft but the noise and exhaust gasses on takeoff made the aircraft the dirtiest bird in the sky. This issue could and should have been addressed years ago but being a flying national icon nothing was done. In terms of fuel efficiency, noise and damage to the balance of gasses in the stratosphere the Concorde had no future. This applies equally well to the hydrogen fuelled SSTs.
Christian Rostock, Norway

Sadly a replacement is decades away
Douglas, UK
As someone involved with Concorde, I'd like to point out that even if BA were prepared to hand the aircraft over to Virgin, it would not fly as neither the airworthiness authorities or Airbus would provide the very necessary support for such a complex and challenging aircraft. Blame the Sept 11th terrorists for the downturn in air travel they caused, blame US customers for boycotting Air France, blame Air France for pulling out-making Concorde operations unsustainable. Don't blame the airline who flew it the most, made the profits on it (after government support ended 20 years ago), who also pioneered charters which for over 20 years allowed many of the not so rich fly on it.

No matter how few were built and its limited routes, after Friday we take a big step backwards. Sadly a replacement is decades away. Those who think Concorde 'blighted' lives should see the reaction around Heathrow. It will be missed - it flew at most only a few times a day within strict time guidelines. Concorde was Europe's 'Apollo programme. Many features on other aircraft were pioneered on Concorde, such as fly-by-wire, carbon brakes and electronic engine controls.
Douglas, UK

I'll miss her terribly. Growing up in west Bristol, I used to watch the test flights go low over my parents' house, out to the Bristol Channel for supersonic tests, and later as a tiny but unmistakable shape high in the summer evening's sky, finishing the regular transatlantic run. I now live in South London on the Heathrow approach and every time I hear that unmistakable throaty roar approaching, I can't help but look. She's beautiful. I love her and I can't believe she's leaving me.
Sam Wiley, London, UK

I always loved it from the time I saw its pictures in early 70s though I never had an opportunity to travel in it, I always loved it. I wish the Corcorde makers, flyers and maintenance crew the best and thanks to them that the Concorde was there. There never will be one like this again.
Rakesh, Kenya

I can't wait until Friday! I live near Heathrow and the unbearable noise that thing causes will not be missed. As usual the many suffer for the wealthy few. Good riddance.
Andrew Robinson, UK

I saved for three years to buy a charter flight on the Air France Concorde for my family, and we flew supersonic on 20th December 1999. No regrets; the takeoff was awesome, seeing the curvature of earth was just amazing, and flying at twice the speed of sound remarkable. This aircraft should have been sold to Virgin to offer cheaper flights to more people, and help them understand why Concorde is SO beautiful, and such a remarkable piece of engineering.
Phil W, UK

Being born and raised under its flight path in West London I still laugh about an incident aged seven in the mid 70s in my primary school. We were being taught English Handwriting by our strict Headmaster when I saw that awesome all white Delta wing approach our school in the distance. I nudged my mate who stood up and shouted "Concorde" and scared the life out of everyone and boy was he told off by the Headmaster! I will very much miss her roar over West London
Asad Siddiqi, England

Instead of going to a museum, British Airways (or someone else) should keep the Concorde flying on tourist sightseeing trips. Marketed as a tourist activity, there will be plenty of people who would travel to Britain to take a supersonic pleasure flight over the Bay of Biscay. As well as keeping Concorde flying, and allowing more people to experience the magic of the flight, it would increase tourism to the UK.
Michael Pala, UK

My memories of Concorde go back to the beginning, and travelling to Filton, just outside Bristol to watch it come out of the hanger and take off on its maiden voyage to Fairford in Glos. Even as a teenager, I felt I was watching history.
Mary Jane Platt, UK

Hearing the Air France Concorde sonic boom every night at 9pm - it was special and kind of comforting
Chris, Jersey

I used to work for BA on subsonic aircraft. The early morning Concorde arrived in New York at an earlier time than it left London. It always carried a bundle of that morning's London papers and on arrival they would be rushed across to the morning 747 flight. BA was the only airline able to offer its passengers the London papers with their breakfast as they left the USA.
Ian, UK

As a technician working on the prototype Concordes my most lasting memory was my first flight to Casablanca to take part in the test programme. We were surrounded by test equipment cabinets and cable harnesses. On take off, the recliner mechanism on my seat slipped and I started sliding backwards out of my seat due to the acceleration, the guy behind me had to hold me in place. Such was the sense of pride and team work in that aircraft it brings tears of joy to my eye every time I see her fly.
Robert Draper, UK

The crowd roar was phenomenal!
Paul Goes, Luxembourg
My most vivid memory of Concorde dates back to that fantastic day back in 1985, July 13th. Live Aid in Wembley, when Phil Collins flew across the Atlantic to play JFK stadium in Philadelphia after playing Wembley. The Concorde he was travelling on made a salute flyover Wembley before speeding away across the Atlantic. The crowd roar was phenomenal!
Paul Goes, Luxembourg

I joined BAC just as the Concorde prototypes were being built and am proud to have played a small part in the final design and flight testing of this fantastic aircraft. I was at Heathrow to see the first commercial flight years ago and will be there again on Friday, no doubt with a lump in my throat.
Michael Perkin, UK

During Gulf War I, in 1991, I was booked on a BA 747 from New York to London. The flight was cancelled due to lack of passengers, and the business class was upgraded to Concorde. A great aviation experience, "courtesy of Saddam Hussein".
Martin Doktar, England

My Dad was one of the test/training pilots - we lived and breathed the Concorde experience and have followed its path to now. I have always felt both a tremendous pride coupled with awe whenever I have seen her in the skies - she is truly beautiful and something the whole world should be proud of.
Lesley Waters, UK

As an apprentice back in the 60's I had the privilege of working on both the engines and later, on the testing of Concorde's airframe. Living in Reading I stop and stare when I hear her roar overhead every day.
Alan, England

I have worked on the Concordes for the last 13years in London, Paris and now New York, with BA Engineering, and I shed a tear every time one leaves here for the last time.
Andrew Donne, USA

Flying right over Grandma's garden
Alan Halls, Germany
I was staying with my grandparents in Yate, near Bristol, on the day Concorde made its maiden flight. We watched it on TV and were quite impressed, even as young kids. A few minutes later we heard a terrific noise overhead and ran out into the garden. There she was - taking it very slowly and not too high - flying right over Grandma's garden.
Alan Halls, Germany

My father was a former Chief Designer at Rolls Royce and with many others worked for many years to bring the idea of Concorde to fruition. Forty years after this plane was conceived it still has the power to stop people in their tracks. Expensive? Of course. Noisy? Fantastically so.I am sorry that our society has become so dispirited and unimaginative that we can no longer find room for a little bit of magic.
Richard, UK

Having seen the Concorde take off on many occasions I feel that in recent years the engines could have done with a rebore. It was noisy and smoky - destroying our environment for the sake of some wealthy individuals in too much of a hurry to think about others.
Ian, England

I scrimped and saved for 6 months while working in Yuma, Arizona so I could trade tickets for one on Concorde from Washington DC to London. 3hrs 33 mins. of pure heaven sent luxury. A beautiful aircraft built by dedicated, highly skilled designers and engineers, but ruined by a bunch of bean counters and BA! If they cannot keep something as lovely and prestigious as this in the air and make a profit, then they deserve to be in the mess they are in.
Malcolm Watts, UK

An achievement beyond its years
Ian Shelmerdine, Manchester, Britain
An achievement beyond its years. Without the development that went into this aircraft forty years ago, we wouldn't yet have the modern sub-sonic aircraft of today. Concorde is a masterpiece of engineering as well a work of engineering art. In flight and on the ground Concorde is a wonder to the eye. I do not know what British Airways hidden agendas are about the 'retirement' of this significant piece of history, but I suspect that there is something not being told. Is Boeing about to roll-out their replacement? The grace and elegance of this aircraft should not be prematurely cut short because of some commercial expediency.
Ian Shelmerdine, Manchester, Britain

Judged on pure and stone-cold transportation efficiency the aircraft was doomed to redundancy from day one. Amazing that it kept roaring the skies through energy crisis and times of increasing environmental awareness. As a testimony over human ingenuity and a design icon of magnitude her demise from the skies will leave me with a sting in my heart.
Tom Hansen, Denmark

What a waste to even build a plane like that. And for what? To save three hours of flight time in a crammed seat, for $6000? Good riddance!
Tom Tori, USA

Do I detect a hint of jealousy from our American friends? Concorde would have been sold to the world's "big" airlines if the Americans had backed it. They didn't choosing instead to spend there time sniping at its noise, and promoting there own "superior" SST design that was so good it never left the drawing board. Concorde was years ahead of its time and should have been in service for another 10 years at least. Goodbye and farewell old lady - you did your country proud.
Ian M, England

My memories of Concorde are when I worked at Jetstream Aircraft in Prestwick and Concorde arrived for a week of pilot training. Her beauty had everyone at the windows, admiring the view as she took off in front of us with a thunderous roar. The admiring glances lasted a day or so - until, after a dozen or so aborted phone calls, you realised the impact on your work! Nonetheless, a true feat of pioneering engineering, elegance - an icon of her age. No other aircraft inspires such emotion. She will be sorely missed.
John, UK

It was unforgettable the image of a Concorde gently over-flying Rio de Janeiro's sea shore at an incredibly low altitude, when it came here in the 70s in a show trip.
Almir P. Cronemberger, Brazil

Yet another step back in progress. A fantastic plane launched in the 60's should have had a successor by now not relegated to the museums.
Mark, UK

A triumph of ambition over mediocrity
Bill Hewitt, UK
Like most people, I never flew on Concorde, but I was standing near the runway when one landed at Leeds-Bradford some years ago. Whatever view you get it remains the most beautiful aircraft ever to grace the skies and a triumph of ambition over mediocrity.
Bill Hewitt, UK

I had the pleasure of flying on Concorde 10 years ago, it was a wedding present from my wife. The experience was one that I shall remember for the rest of my life. I, as an aviation enthusiast will particularly miss it taking off over the top of my house some 15 miles from the airport. I understand the reasoning behind the decision to retire this very graceful aircraft, but I for one will miss it terribly.
Alex Alexander, England

I have always been interested in aircraft, so needless to say, I find Concorde to be a work of art. Living in Reading, me and my wife love seeing it fly over twice every day and being a petrol head I also enjoy the thunderous rage of some full blooded turbojets (rather than the rather effete, polite turbofans used in airliners). It's great to have something which is gloriously insensible, uneconomical and pure in this age of regulation committees and political correctness. There will never be another (sob).
Christian Tiburtius, UK

I have an Aunt who lives within miles of Heathrow. On my many visits to the UK it was always a thrill to hear the incredible roar of Concorde and watch her glide into the skies above the South of England. Another memory was the thrill of Jubilee Weekend and being part of the huge crowd at Buckingham Palace and the roar of Concorde as she flew up the Mall to the Palace. Yes she will definitely be missed, a graceful, elegant, sleek achievement of flight.
Tony Myers, USA

For those who lived in its flight path Concorde was a daily menace with its raucous noise and aviation exhaust fumes. It does however represent a fantastic piece of engineering by people who wanted to break boundaries and set new horizons. A true masterpiece.
Mr Brooks, UK

It used to fly over my house at 1 pm every day. After the first ten years or so, the novelty wore off but I still used to enjoy guests being enthralled by the sight and sound.
Toby, Spain

I think Concord will be just like the pop stars of the eighties. There will be a farewell concert on Friday, followed shortly by a comeback tour. There are enough obscenely rich celebrities out there, who will happily pay massive sums of cash for a Concorde ticket, to ensure some entrepreneur will start the service running again. My money is still on Virgin, if anyone can make it work, it's sir Richard!
Tim Nicholson, UK

The deafening noise as it regularly flies over my house. I will not be sad to see it go!
Mark, Surrey, England

The Government should have stepped in and forced BA to give the plane to Virgin to keep it flying the flag
Nigel, UK
I was four in 1969 when my Dad, an RAF pilot, took me to Fairford to see the British Concorde make its first landing. It's one of my earliest memories. Sadly I never got to fly on her. The plane is an awesome symbol of Anglo-French technology and co-operation paid for with taxpayers' money. The Government should have stepped in and forced BA to give the plane to Virgin to keep it flying the flag.
Nigel, UK

I was one of the scientists in 1974, in charge of studying the effects of the sonic bang and the vibrations caused by Concorde (There was a question of allowing supersonic flights across India). The British authorities lent us sophisticated equipment to record the noise and other effects .. We were a team of about 10 scientists and we measured the noise levels using microphones and measured vibration levels on historic monuments using accelerometers. Result of our study - overland supersonic flights were prohibited! But it's a beautiful aircraft to watch!
Ranganathan, France

I remember the prototype Concord (without the 'e' at that time) doing test-flights at Johannesburg in 1972. Oh the noise but what a beautiful plane! Please keep some for posterity.
Alan McArdle, New Zealand

The coolest and most expensive ride of my life.
Mladen Sudarevic, USA

Being a Barbadian I was lucky enough to witness the Concorde's amazing arrival and departure on many occasions. It was very sad to see it go and we, in Barbados, are all hoping that this island will become a permanent home to one of these beautiful aircraft.
Gillian, Barbados

If Concorde had relied on private money it would never have left the drawing board. Edward Heath used taxes to pay for it in league with the French. It then became a plane for the very wealthy. I won't shed any tears for it, neither do I believe will the majority of British people.
Gil Bolton, UK

Future air travellers don't know what they will be missing
Alison, UK
This beautiful aircraft is way ahead of its time. I saw one of the first test flights and always wanted to fly in her. 21 years later I got my wish - just one of the charter flights but it was everything I had dreamed of. Seeing the curve of the earth is something I shall never forget - and that fabulous takeoff! I will look out for her this week as she flies along the South Coast. What a shame Richard Branson can't be given a chance. Future air travellers don't know what they will be missing.
Alison, UK

My father was on the development team for Concorde's tail section so naturally I have fond memories as a proud little boy playing with the many scale models he brought home for me. In a few days from now I'll no longer be able to look to the sky and say to people standing near me "My dad made a piece of that".
Patrick V. Staton, Guildford, UK

I remember the noise of those things screaming as they came in over Kennedy airport in New York City. I remember thinking how happy I was that the superior Lockheed and Boeing versions of the SST didn't get approved by Congress and that eventually this "thing" which would save rich people 3 hours flying to Europe would one day die. Good riddance.
Mark, USA

I will not miss the way my house shakes with the noise
Tim Sowter, England
It is undoubtedly stunning and turns heads when it flies over, but I will not miss the way my house shakes with the noise, and the ridiculous levels of pollution it chucks out, just so that a few very rich people can save a couple of hours here and there. Its rightful place is in a museum now.
Tim Sowter, England

The most enduring thing about Concorde is that, after all this time, it still looks as if it was designed and built today. It's a credit to the designers' and builders' ingenuity. Whatever the commercial arguments it was worth doing just to show ourselves that we could actually achieve it. These things far outweigh any of the negatives.
Paul B, UK

I was lucky enough to actually sit in the pilot's seat of a BA Concorde when I was 13 years old. It was not in the air I hasten to add! My brother-in-law was a BA fitter and he took me on a tour, when that sort of thing was still allowed. It's a beautiful plane with the lines of a thoroughbred. I hope it will fly again.
R.C. Robjohn, UK

It just won't be the same without the 5 o'clock sonic boom
Richard Gulliver, UK
I've lived on the North coast of Devon since 1978, and it just won't be the same without the 5 o'clock sonic boom. Many a time I have laid dreamily on the beach in the summer, as Concorde arrives from over the Atlantic. The only thing to do is look up and try to spot the distinctive lines of this stunning aircraft high above - at least half a sky ahead of the eerie whoosh of the engines!
Richard Gulliver, UK

I remember the flight trials with Raymond Baxter on TV - it was a very exciting time. Since those days, we've had 30 years of Concorde flights with only one fatal accident - what other airliner can match that? What a beautiful aircraft she is. I'll be very sad indeed to see her go.
Andrew H, England

This is very sad indeed. Concorde was just about the last travel experience today that was glamorous and exciting. This year, she and QE2 pass from the trans-Atlantic scene. I flew once in Concorde and wonderfully it was G-BOAC; we almost broke the westbound record to Washington. Visiting the cockpit, I was surprised at how antiquated it all was and how young the pilots were. I was expecting grey-haired VC-10 era veterans.
Peter C. Kohler, USA

Many memories of shows and events which literally came to a complete stop as Concorde went overhead. Admittedly one reason was that you couldn't hear yourself think but mainly it was because Concorde looks so beautiful when flying and you could just sense the awe, respect and pride people had in her. I truly hope that more than one Concorde is kept flying and it is a travesty that Air France destroyed most of theirs.
Martin, England

It's sad to see it go. When I worked at Reading we used the flight noise as an alarm clock for coffee/tea...
Caron, England

This is going to be a very sad day for Britain. And it's going to be made worse by the fact that there are no plans yet for an alternative supersonic passenger aircraft.
Lionel, UK




SEE ALSO:
Goodbye Concorde: You asked a pilot
24 Oct 03  |  Have Your Say



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