1. ITV Report

In pictures: 40 years since first commercial Concorde flight

In the beginning...

The effect of Concorde's sonic boom were tested at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries experimental station in Lymington, Hampshire in 1969.

Specialists from Southampton University record the shock waves and amount of broken glass following engineered explosions.

Concorde sonic boom testing Credit: PA Archive


In 1969 Brian Trubshaw was a test pilot on Concorde 002 and flew from Filton to its test base at RAF Fairford.

Trubshaw and co-pilot John Cocrane were presented with a cake after Concorde 002's maiden flight.

Trubshaw described the flight as a "cool, calm and collected operation."

Brian Trubshaw (left) and co-pilot John Cocrane (right) Credit: PA Archive

First commercial flight...

In 1976 on the 21st of January Britain's supersonic Concorde took off on her maiden commercial flight bound for Bahrain.

The British Airways plane took off at about the same moment as an Air France Concorde which was inaugurating the first Paris-Rio de Janeiro supersonic service.

Concorde's first flight in 1976 Credit: PA Archive

Historic moments...

In 1985 the Queen Mother had a belated birthday present, a flight on British Airways' supersonic jetliner Concorde.

It was her first trip in the sound barrier breaking aircraft and came as a result of her long-held desire to fly in the plane.

The Queen Mother on Concorde Credit: PA Archive

Bad memories...

In 2000 British Airways suspended its Concorde operations after an Air France Concorde crashed killing 113 people.

The company took action after being told that the aircraft's certificate of air worthiness was about to be suspended.

British Airways carried out months of testing and upgrades to get the plane back in the air.

Emergency services carry body bags through the wreckage of the aircraft at Gonesse outside Paris, where an Air France Concorde crashed in 2000 Credit: PA Toby Melville

Good memories...

In 2012 Concorde and the Red Arrows took part in the Jubilee fly past above The Mall.

It was part of the celebration to mark the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. It was the largest formation flight over London since 1981.

Jubilee fly past Credit: PA Chris Ison

The end...

On the 24th October 2003 the British Airways Concorde flew its last commercial flight.

A series of 90-minute celebratory round-Britain flights, together with sold-out transatlantic commercial services, marked Concorde's final days as a passenger plane. 27 years of supersonic travel came to an end.

Concorde Last commercial flight arriving at London Heathrow Credit: PA: Chris Laurens


On the 26th November 2003 Concorde touched down at Airbus UK's Filton airfield, Bristol, for the very last time. It was a very special flight from Heathrow Airport to the site where the supersonic plane was made.

Thousands of aviation fans and aerospace workers braved the showers to see Concorde 216 fly overhead at 2000ft and then land.

Concorde retired in 2003 Credit: PA: Barry Batchelor

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