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09 April 2009
Commercial Aircraft

The 40th anniversary for a pioneering UK jetliner's first flight


The 40th anniversary for a pioneering UK jetline's first flight

The first UK-produced supersonic Concorde jetliner made its maiden takeoff 40 years today, setting an aviation milestone that demonstrated the European industry's capability to take a leading role in the civil aviation sector.

Concorde 002 lifted off from Filton, England on 9 April 1969 for a 22-minute flight, which was completed with its touchdown at R.A.F. Fairford, the Royal Air Force station in Gloucestershire.

This prototype went on to participate in the delta-wing aircraft's test, certification and flight trials, and included its distinction of becoming the first Concorde to visit the United States - arriving in 1973 to mark the opening of Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport in Texas.

Concorde was a UK-French programme that pioneered cross-border cooperation, setting the stage for Airbus' creation in December 1970 and its evolution as a world-leading supplier of commercial jetliners.

During Concorde's 27 years of service in regularly-scheduled flights and charters, the aircraft operated at many airports around the world, carrying more than 2.5 million passengers.

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