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Wednesday, June 9, 1999 Published at 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK


Pensioner slows down Concorde

Concorde will put the brakes on sooner

A 77 year-old man has persuaded British Airways to slow down Concorde to stop the airliner's supersonic boom from rattling his windows.

[ image: The Cornish coast will be more peaceful at night]
The Cornish coast will be more peaceful at night
The aircraft's boom is heard just before 2200 in winter by people living on the north coast of Devon and Cornwall. Thousands in the area will benefit from the change.

Harry Pusey, a former airport terminal designer for BA's predecessor BOAC, ran the two-year campaign. He collected data on Concorde's New York - London flight after being disturbed when he was trying to go to sleep.

With the help of others he found the sonic boom would not bounce onto the land if Concorde slowed down earlier on its approach to Heathrow.

'Avoidable nuisance'

Mr Pusey said: "I regarded it as a nuisance which could be avoided".

[ image: BA Chairman, Lord Marshall]
BA Chairman, Lord Marshall
He sent his findings to BA Chairman Lord Marshall, who replied in a personal letter to Mr Pusey, assuring him the aircraft on the winter service transatlantic flight would slow down sooner.

Concorde had slowed from 1,200mph to 600mph 120 miles off the North Devon Coast. The boom occurs when the aircraft reaches 740mph.

Concorde will now start to slow down seven miles earlier. The change will mean less than a minute is added to the three and a half-hour flight.

Lord Marshall wrote in his letter: "I do hope now you have a quieter time and that you are able to enjoy the delights of Concorde."

Mr Pusey said on Wednesday his campaign would continue to monitor the winter flights when the service resumes in October.

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