ME and Ophelia

Friday, September 19, 2003

35 Days until Concorde's final flight

On my mantelpiece, awaiting a frame, is a beautiful postcard of Concorde soaring in the bluest sky imaginable.

It was sent to me by a very dear friend, who has lived near London and beneath the flight path of Concorde ever since its maiden flight.

For almost thirty years she has yearned to be a passenger.

Last week her wish came true on a five day visit to New York, round trip by Concorde.

The message on the back of the postcard, beautifully scrawled in mauve ink, simply says: "The most wonderful experience ever!" (she has a very understanding husband).

Concorde is being retired in five weeks time. What a shame.

How sad. It is still so stunningly beautiful and elegant, and looks as if it was designed yesterday.

British Airways says of Concorde "the last word in British and European jet technology for almost thirty years is finally leaving the skies (even though her specs still exceed modern fighter planes)".

It is difficult to understand why a way cannot be found to build a future replacement and keep the legend flying. They say it is not cost effective. Not even to maintain it in its retirement to enable it to fly for special events.

British Airways explains the reasons why, after October 24, 2003, Concorde will never fly again.

Last Wednesday BBC1 TV aired "50 Things To Do Before You Die". Sunday Times TV guide explained "about 20,000 viewers suggested places to visit, or things they would like to do before the grim reaper hands them the big travel voucher".

Travelling on Concorde was voted into the top three (swimming with dolphins was number one).

I may order some of these commemorative aircraft models, exclusive to British Airways, for my nephew's birthday and as stocking fillers at Christmas time.

Description on the back of the postcard:

"Flying The Flag" CONCORDE.
Introduced in 1976. The world's only supersonic passenger aircraft. Holder of the fastest Atlantic crossing 2 hrs 54 mins and 45 seconds. Powered by four Rolls-Royce/SNECMA Olympus 593 engines. Cruising speed 1,336 mph (2,150 kph/Mach2). Range 3,740 miles (5,943 kms).

Photographer: John E Foster

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 9/19/2003
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