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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2006, 17:27 GMT 18:27 UK
Concorde celebrates 30th birthday
Concorde
Concorde flew regularly at twice the speed of sound
The 30th anniversary of Concorde's first commercial flight across the Atlantic is being celebrated.

The aircraft, which was developed in Bristol and Toulouse in the 1960s, carried thousands of people.

Three decades ago two Concordes, one British and one French, landed at Dulles airport, Washington, in the United States of America.

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

In March the aircraft was 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.

Concorde's sleek triangular wings enabled the supersonic aircraft to fly at exceptionally high speeds.

Decommissioned

The plane took off at such steep angles its needle-shaped nose was tilted to enable the pilots to see the runway.

In July 2000 Air France Concorde caught fire and crashed soon after take-off from Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, killing 113 people.

The fleet was grounded for 15 months while an investigation was carried out into the crash.

This, together with a downturn in the US economy led to the aircraft being decommissioned in 2003 after it was deemed to be uneconomical.




SEE ALSO:
Concorde voted the UK's top icon
17 Mar 06 |  England


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