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Concorde's maiden flight on film

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Concorde's first flight from Filton near Bristol

Forty years ago Bristol was firmly on the map thanks to one of the most famous jets in history.

On 9 April 1969 the prototype jet flew for 22 minutes taking off from Filton near Bristol and landing at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

Pilot, the late Brian Trubshaw, described the test flight of Concorde 002 as "the highlight of my aviation career".

The test flight over the West Country took place five weeks after a similar French test run of Concorde 001 in Toulouse.

Archive footage of the British test flight from the BBC describes the moment one of the world's most iconic planes took off from Filton.

The BBC's Raymond Baxter, in a news special, said: "All's going well - and she's airborne" as the wheels left the tarmac for the first time.

"Zero zero two flies well ahead of the predicted time," he added, as the jet made her maiden flight over Bristol.

Final approach

The test flight took 002 on a backwards 'S' shape from Filton, over the Bristol Channel and back towards England.

From there it went north of Chipping Sodbury, then south of Malmesbury and Swindon before swinging around Wantage on its final approach to Fairford.

By the time of Concorde's landing, Raymond Baxter had become more poetic about 002, describing her as a "praying mantis".

I saw that Concorde flight and thought 'well that wouldn't be a bad job'
Pilot Jack Lowe

He added: "Coming in like a flying creature, a prehistoric monster, instead of the airliner of the future - and Britain's great stake in the future."

British Airways Concorde pilot Jock Lowe, speaking to the BBC in 2001, said he had vivid memories of the inaugural test flight from Filton.

"It was on my 25th birthday. I was watching television, I had a private pilot's licence but I had not really decided to go into aviation

"I saw that Concorde flight and thought 'well that wouldn't be a bad job', little thinking that some day it would actually happen."

The beginning of the end for the supersonic jet was a crash in France in 2000 when 113 people died near Paris.

British Airways retired the jet in 2003 - and the last Concorde to fly landed, fittingly, at Filton on 27 November of that year.

Thousands of Bristolians flocked to the airfield to watch Concorde 216's flight to its final resting place.





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