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1167 of 1170 nominations



Is this an icon?



When the Concorde passenger aircraft was retired from service in October 2003, an era in aviation history was brought to a close. The world's top airliner had been in service since 1976, but the technology itself had been perfected in the 1960s. We may celebrate Concorde as one of our icons of England, but the venture was a joint Anglo-French project. As the first supersonic jet in the world to carry passengers, it was way ahead of even American technology at the time, and went on to transport over 2.5 million people in its 27 years of service. In March 2006, the BBC Culture Show's poll for the design icon of the 20th century voted Concorde number one in the charts.

Most of us could only dream of travelling on Concorde, and sadly that’s all we’ll ever be able to do now. Since their retirement the planes have been put on display at museums in France, Germany and the USA, as well as various locations in the UK, including Heathrow airport. But what was it really like to take to the skies in style?

Image: Topfoto.co.uk


Your comments

It summed up the essence of a technology driven 1960s/70s. Recognised across the world, not just where it flew. It will long be remembered at there is no natural successor.

Tony Rees

Of course it's an icon. The skill and engineering to get this beast in the sky is awesome. Only military jets fly at this speed, to attempt a passenger airplane to fly like this required the most specialised skills. Yes it wasn't commercially succesful and it could never be but what a triumph for the engineers and crew who kept it flying, mainly safely, is extraordinary. We should celebrate it for what it was, a one off of extreme beauty, noisy and dirty, but what a sight - it will never be beaten. No computers, analogue technology and those Olympus engines roaring with afterburn, stretching up to 12" inches in flight, a rare sight to behold. I am sure aviation historians will only marvel that it flew at all let alone flying 2.5 million passengers. A glorious bird.

This aircraft was in the great British pioneering spirit as much as the Spitfire and the Great Western Railway! It may have been expensive and politically incorrect but this is where value came before cost.
John Rivers-Vaughan

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I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer