Mach-maker extraordinaire

Concorde courses through Katie John’s mind in words, images and memories in her six-decade history of the ”beautiful white bird” of supersonic flight

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Better known as ‘Alpha Alpha’ British Airways’ G-BOAA flew for first time on November 5, 1975, and joined the airline on January 14 the following year. Retired on August 12, 2000, the jet had amassed 22,768 hours of flight, 8,064 landings and 6,842 Supersonic Flights
All images KEY Collection unless stated

Concorde began as a futuristic dream – then the cost of its development and operation rendered it a luxury for the elite or for those who saved for a trip of a lifetime. But with the final flight of Concorde G-BOAF back to her birthplace of Filton, Bristol, UK, on November 26, 2003, that dream ended. Yet, almost 20 years later, the allure of the “beautiful white bird”, as former senior pilot John Hutchinson described it, is still strong.

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