In Pictures: Concorde flying high for 50 years

The first prototype of the supersonic plane took off from Toulouse in the south of France on March 2 1969

Aviation fans around the world are marking the 50th anniversary of Concorde’s maiden flight.

The first Concorde prototype took off from Toulouse in the south of France on March 2 1969, with test pilot Andre Turcat in the air for 27 minutes.

The first British-built version of the supersonic jet took off from Filton in Bristol on April 9 of the same year.

Concorde’s 50th anniversary

A pre-production Concorde is rolled out of a hangar in 1971 at Filton, where 10 of the aircraft were made

Concorde’s 50th anniversary

The Queen in 1977 reading newspapers during her flight home on Concorde from Bridgetown in Barbados, after her Silver Jubilee tour of Canada and the West Indies

Concorde’s 50th anniversary

A British Airways Concorde shadowed by two Second World War Spitfires as it arrives over the Biggin Hill Air Show in 1986

Concorde was a joint Anglo-French project between BAC, a forerunner of BAE Systems, and Aerospatiale, now a part of Airbus.

The plane had a distinctive nose cone that could be tilted during take-off and landing to give pilots more visibility.

Concorde museum

The cockpit of Concorde 216, the last of its type to be built and which made the fleet’s final flight to a museum at the British Aerospace site in Filton, Bristol

Concorde’s 50th anniversary

Barbara Harmer, pictured in 1993, was the first woman civil supersonic pilot of a British Airways Concorde

Concorde’s 50th anniversary

The Duchess of York on the Concorde flight deck at Heathrow in 1987

But most impressive of all was its speed, with a cruising velocity of twice the speed of sound, or 1,350mph, allowing it to cover a mile in just 2.75 seconds.

Concorde was retired from service in October 2003, with British Airways and Air France blaming a downturn in passenger numbers and rising maintenance costs.

Concorde’s 50th anniversary

The Red Arrows flank Concorde above The Mall as part of the celebration to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002

Concorde’s 50th anniversary

Gill and John Whiteside, from Northamptonshire, wearing protective glasses, enjoy a glass of champagne from stewardess Samantha Kingdon during a special eclipse viewing trip in 1999

Concorde’s 50th anniversary

Captain Mike Bannister, right, and senior first officer Jonathan Napier waving from the cockpit in 2003 on the day Concorde retired from commercial service

Did you or anyone in your family go on it? Did you stand still when it flew over you and watch in amazement? What fond memories do you have of this iconic supersonic aircraft?

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14th Mar 2019
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I went to New York for lunch.
3rd Mar 2019
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I had lodgings in the mid-nineties barely half a mile from the end of Heathrow's no 1 runway.

Very Sunday evening at 5pm Concorde would roar towards my window, shaking the frames and rattling any mugs on my table.

A truly impressive sight and a triumphant example of European engineering.

Sadly, the environmental lobby in the US killed off it's true potential and that awful accident on takeoff from Charles de Gaulle airport finished it for good. I've always thought the truth of that accident was never revealed.

I have seen Concorde at Duxford. It's truly impressive. Makes me proud to be a Brit!

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