Décrivant le décollage, Flight écrit:  « L’événement historique a été vu par des milliers de spectateurs dans les allées et les terrains environnants, et par un public beaucoup plus large en France et en Grande-Bretagne par le biais de la télévision en direct, qui comprenait d’excellentes vues en direct.  »

« Le transport supersonique était aligné, les quatre moteurs Rolls-Royce / Snecma Olympus étaient alimentés à 80%, la réchauffe était en marche, et avec un nuage de fumée Après 20 secondes, avec une vitesse approchant 150 kt, M. Turcat a permis à l’appareil de se cabrer dans une assiette à piqué de 10 °, la vitesse a continué d’augmenter et, sans autre contrôle perceptible, Concorde a décollé proprement à 175 ks, à 2500 s freine.  »

Notre correspondant a affirmé que, de son point de vue situé sur la base de visionnage de la presse proche du point de blocage, « Concorde semblait produire beaucoup moins de bruit que prévu ». Cependant, il a souligné que l’aéronef était léger (240 000 lb) et consommait donc moins que ce qui serait normal par la suite.

« Avec le train d’atterrissage abaissé et la visière avant en position complètement inclinée (cette configuration a été maintenue pendant tout le vol), la montée a été poursuivie en ligne droite, à environ 3 500 pieds / min jusqu’à 10 000 pieds », écrit Flight.

« Après des vérifications de l’efficacité des contrôles directionnels et latéraux à différentes vitesses tous les 10 kt jusqu’à 160 kt, le Concorde 001 s’est ensuite tourné vers un pied de base pour son approche et a établi un chemin de descente motorisé à 170 kt. « Avec un avion de chasse Meteor NF.ll toujours très proche de tribord et un avion photographique du MS Paris à bâbord, 001 atterrit fermement sans flare perceptible, la fumée des pneus soufflant dans le vortex puissant et donnant une image vivante de ce coussin aérodynamique .  » Notre rapport a ajouté: « Avec le parachute cassé déployé, la course à l’atterrissage était inférieure à ce qui était nécessaire pour le décollage. » Notre rapport se terminait par des commentaires sur la manière dont certains clients de la compagnie aérienne Concorde avaient célébré l’événement, ce qui semble assez émouvant avec le recul: « Le point le plus significatif, c’étaient peut-être les énormes annonces d’une pleine page de Pan American dans les journaux nationaux britanniques » Bienvenue à demain.  »


The world had to wait a long time for Concorde to fly. And when it did, Flight International celebrated with a three-page spread of pictures accompanied by bilingual verse from the poet Robert Gordon.

The Anglo-French supersonic airliner programme had been launched in 1962 and the first « Concord » – as it was originally called in English, rolled out in Toulouse in December 1967. Back at that global debut, the original first flight target was 28 February 1968. Even the most pessimistic observers did not expect to have to wait another year – and see the Boeing 747 fly – before the elegant delta would finally take to the air.

The first flight by the French-built Concorde 001 took place at 15:40 on Sunday 2 March 1969. At the controls for the 29min sortie was Sud’s chief test pilot Andre Turcat, with co-pilot Jacques Guignard, flight observer Henri Perrier and flight engineer Michael Retif alongside.

Flight International, of course, was alongside the runway for Concorde’s long-awaited moment of truth, and described the scene in our World News report on 6 March 1969: « The historic event was seen by thousands of spectators in the lanes and fields around, and by a far greater audience in France and Britain through the medium of live television, which included excellent air-to-air views. »

The world had to wait a long time for Concorde to fly. And when it did, Flight International celebrated with a three-page spread of pictures accompanied by bilingual verse from the poet Robert Gordon.

The Anglo-French supersonic airliner programme had been launched in 1962 and the first « Concord » – as it was originally called in English, rolled out in Toulouse in December 1967. Back at that global debut, the original first flight target was 28 February 1968. Even the most pessimistic observers did not expect to have to wait another year – and see the Boeing 747 fly – before the elegant delta would finally take to the air.

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First flight: 2 March 1969

Flightglobal archive

The first flight by the French-built Concorde 001 took place at 15:40 on Sunday 2 March 1969. At the controls for the 29min sortie was Sud’s chief test pilot Andre Turcat, with co-pilot Jacques Guignard, flight observer Henri Perrier and flight engineer Michael Retif alongside.

Flight International, of course, was alongside the runway for Concorde’s long-awaited moment of truth, and described the scene in our World News report on 6 March 1969: « The historic event was seen by thousands of spectators in the lanes and fields around, and by a far greater audience in France and Britain through the medium of live television, which included excellent air-to-air views. »

 

Describing the take-off, Flight wrote: « The supersonic transport was lined up, power was increased to 80 per cent on the four Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus engines, reheat was switched on, and with a rising cloud of smoke behind, she started to roll. After 20sec, with speed approaching 150kt, M Turcat eased the aircraft into a 10° nose-up attitude, speed continued to increase and, with no further perceptible controlling, Concorde lifted off cleanly at 175kt some 25sec and 1,400m from brakes off. »

Our correspondent claimed that from his vantage point at the press viewing base near the unstuck point, « Concorde seemed to be making much less noise than we expected. » However, he pointed out that the aircraft was at a light weight (240,000lb) and therefore using less power than would later be normal.

« With undercarriage down and the nose visor in the fully drooped position (this configuration was maintained for the entire flight) the climb was continued straight ahead, at about 3,500ft/min, to 10,000ft, » wrote Flight.

« After some directional and lateral control effectiveness checks at various speeds every 10kt down to 160kt, Concorde 001 then turned on to a base leg for its approach, and established a powered descent path at 170kt.

« With a Meteor NF.ll chase aircraft still in close company to starboard, and a MS Paris photographic aircraft to port, 001 landed firmly without perceptible flare, smoke from the tyres blowing into the strong vortex and giving a vivid portrayal of this aerodynamic cushion. »

Our report added: « With the breaking parachute deployed the landing roll was less than had been needed for take-off. »

Our report ended with comments about how the event was celebrated by some of Concorde’s airline customers, which seems rather poignant with the benefit of hindsight: « Most significant of all, perhaps were Pan American’s huge full-page advertisements in the British national newspapers proclaiming ‘Welcome to Tomorrow.' »