On this day in history : 9th April 1969 – The maiden flight from Filton Airfield near Bristol to RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, of the first British-built Concorde….
Concorde 002’s first flight took place five weeks after the maiden flight of the French prototype Concorde 001, which flew from Toulouse on the 2nd of March….
The main purpose of Concorde 002 was as test and development of the fleet of 16 Concordes of the Anglo-French collaboration…..
As Concorde took off from Filton huge crowds and news reporters gathered to watch…. On board there were no passenger seats – but 12 tons of test equipment….and chief test pilot Brian Trubshaw, co-pilot John Cochrane and engineer Brian Watts….
The aircraft flew the 50 miles north-east to RAF Fairford, as the runway at Filton, at less than 9,000 ft long, was too short for Concorde to land again…. The journey took 22 minutes – and Fairford was to become Britain’s main test centre for Concorde…. At the end of this first flight, when asked how the crew were feeling, chief test pilot Brian Trubshaw relied “I think we’re all pretty buck to be frank”….
Concorde 002 first flew supersonic on the 25th March 1970 – it hit its maximum speed of approximately 1,350 mph on the 7th of October 1971…. The first commercial flights of Concorde took place on the 21st of January 1976 – with British Airways flying from Heathrow to Bahrain and Air France from Paris to Rio….
After Concorde 002 had finished its test programme it arrived at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton to go on permanent display in the Fleet Air Arm Museum….