The world's first supersonic transport (SST) to enter commercial passenger service
was the (British Aircraft Corporation/French Aeropatiale) Concorde. Twenty Concordes
were built between 1966 and 1980 including two prototypes and two pre-production models
built to further refine and test the aircraft design. Fourteen Concordes were equally
purchased by British Airways and Air France.
Concorde was an idea of the 50s, a reality in the 70's and with dignity was consigned
to history in 2003. Passenger revenues had decreased as maintenance costs increased and
this formula had only one inevitable ending, a prudent business decision to take the
Corcorde from the skies. The retirement of the Concorde was the end of a fantastic era
in world aviation.
The Concorde was an aircraft that was a triumph of innovation and now has an
unparalleled place in history. The Concorde was the world's only supersonic scheduled
passenger airliner. It was the epitome of elegance in flight and the envy of the world.
It had carried over two million passengers but won billions of hearts. The skies have
lost a great spectacle and we are left with nearly three decades where it captured our
#204 G.BOAC (Retired from service to Manchester Airport, Manchester)
#206 G.BOAA (Retired from service to East Fortune Airfield, Scotland.)
#208 G.BOAB (Retired from service to Heathrow Airport, London)
#210 G.BOAD (Retired from service to Intrepid Museum, New York)
#212 G.BOAE (Retired from service to Granley Adams Airport, Barbados)
#214 G.BOAG (Retired from service to Museum of Flight, Seattle)
#216 G.BOAF (Retired from service to Filton Airport, Bristol)
#203 F.BTSC (Crashed on July 25, 2000)
#205 F.BVFA (Retired from service to the National Air & Space Museum, Washington DC)
#207 F.BVFB (Retired from service to Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum, Germany)
#209 F.BVFC (Retired from service to the Airbus Factory at Toulouse, France.)
#211 F.BVFD (Withdrawn from service, stored & used for spare parts)
#213 F.BTSD (Retired from service to Le Bourget Air and Space Museum, Paris)
#215 F.BVFF (Withdrawn from service and stored at Charles DeGaulle Airport, Paris)
The 1st Air France Concorde flew on March 2, 1969 piloted by Andre Turcat and
Jaques Guignard. Similarly, the 1st British Airways Concorde flew on April 9, 1969
piloted by Brian Trubshaw and John Cochrane.
What perfect application for a plane that can fly in excess of twice the speed of sound,
than to be used on round-the-world tours. This tour was hosted by William F. Buckley Jr. making twelve stops
as it proceeded westward round-the-world.
After arriving at Christchurch the Concorde was put on display from April 9/12. Visitors inspecting the
aircraft were presented with a large self-adhesive vignette. The Concorde left Christchurch on April 12,
1989 for Sydney and thence to London. Covers were flown to Sydney, including British Airways envelopes with
the vignette affixed, and postmarked CHRISTCHURCH on April 12, 1989. They were backstamped at Sydney
International Airport on the same date. Special covers were also produced by British Airways and were flown
to London where they received an arrival cachet dated April 23, 1989. After the Concorde left Christchurch
a section of rudder was lost. There was a "thud" and resultant vibration as the aircraft was climbing
through 43,000 feet and accelerating to Mach 2. Repairs were carried out in Sydney so that the
round-the-world charter could continue to London.
Leg #1 Departed London - NY 04/01/89
Leg #2 New York, NY - Acapulco 04/01/89
Leg #3 Acapulco, Mexico - Oakland 04/03/89
Leg #4 Oakland, CA - Honolulu 04/03/89
Leg #5 Honolulu, HI - Papeete 04/05/89
Leg #6 Papeete - Christchurch 04/08/89
Leg #7 Christchurch, New Zealand - Sydney 04/12/89
Leg #8 Sydney, Australia - Perth 04/15/89
Leg #9 Perth, Australia - Colombo 04/15/89
Leg #10 Colombo, Sri Lanka - Mombasa 04/17/89
Leg #11 Mombasa, Kenya - Cape Town 04/20/89
Leg #12 Cape Town, South Africa - Monrovia 04/23/89
Leg #13 Monrovia, Liberia - London 04/23/89
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