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the first supersonic passenger airliner to enter regular service South West,

Front view of a Concorde aeroplane moving up the runway towards the camera.
Concorde on the runway, 4 February 1977. Science Museum/ Science & Society Picture Library

Aviation technology had leapt forward in the years after the Second World War with jet engines and new aerodynamic shapes. The dream was to produce faster and faster aircraft capable of carrying passengers all over the world.

In 1962 an agreement was signed between the British and French governments to build a type of passenger plane capable of flying at Mach 2.0 - twice the speed of sound. The British prototype was named Concorde 002 and in 1969, following years of detailed design work, it took off on its maiden flight from Filton in Bristol to Fairford in Gloucestershire. In November of that year it reached the much anticipated Mach 2.0.

In regular service Concorde was able to cross the Atlantic in 3 hours 50 minutes, and while the aircraft have since stopped flying, the project is still recognised as a triumph of Anglo-French industry and cooperation.

Science Museum

South West
Key Individuals
British Aircraft Corporation, Royal Aircraft Establishment,