20 years on
For more than 25 years, Concorde was the world's only successful supersonic airliner. Flying faster than the rotation of the earth, it could cross the Atlantic in just two and a half hours, with passengers arriving at JFK before they left Heathrow.
Now, 20 years after its final ever flight from Heathrow to Filton on 26 November 2003, we look back at the history of one of aviation’s great engineering and technical marvels. There is no one better to help us do that than our very special guest, Captain Mike Bannister.
As Chief Concorde Pilot for British Airways, Mike amassed 9,200 Concorde flight hours – around 6,900 at supersonic speeds – more than anyone else. We’ll asked him what it was it like to fly so fast you could watch the sun rise in the West, how it felt to see the curvature of the earth from very edge of space and his memories of being behind the controls for those final flights.
We’ll also be joined by air traffic controller Brian Ringrose, who gave Concorde its final ever departure clearance. How did Concorde’s incredible performance impact air traffic control? What special demands did it place on the controllers, and did it enrapture them as much as it did the rest of the world?