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Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Sunday, 30 May 2010 17:34 UK
Captain on 'beautiful' Concorde
Concorde landing

A former captain of supersonic jet Concorde says the it was a "beautiful piece of engineering".

Efforts are being made in France to get one of the retired jets off the ground after seven years.

Captain David Rowland, President of the Royal Aeronautical Society, told BBC Bristol that Concorde was a "delight" to fly.

"The smile spread across my face the first time I flew it and it's still there," he said.

Asked if the British public were enthusiastic enough about the now retired jet, Captain Rowland said interest is rising.

"We're passionate about it and emotional about it. And I still get asked to give talks on Concorde and to take part in events, and it's actually increasing.

"It may not be fashionable among certain political circles... to actually celebrate something people look at now and think was too small and perhaps didn't fly too far. Or maybe was not environmentally politically correct.

"All of those things have got to be judged; the aircraft was designed in a era before all these things. That's 21st Century perspective you apply to it."

Captain Rowland added Concorde pushed the technology design boundaries of the time.

"If you actually look at what was designed into the aircraft and the original concept idea, it was absolutely far-reaching.

"It was the European equivalent of the flight to the Moon in terms of its technology, in terms of how much we had to develop and know.

"And I think people do remember that - perhaps not as much as they could or should."