Aerospatiale/British Aerospace Concorde 101 G-AXDN
This aircraft is a pre production version of Concorde and has the distinction of having flown the fastest of any Concorde during the flight trials in which it was involved. Delta November first flew on 17th December 1971 at Filton aerodrome near Bristol. It was the third of the six aircraft used in the extensive six and a half year testing programs that preceded Concorde's entry into airline service. In April 1974, in the course of a test programme conducted from Tangier, 101 reached Mach 2.23 (1450 mph), and in November of the same year it flew from Fairford to Bangor, Maine, in 2 hrs 56 minutes, a record time for a commercial aircraft flying across the Atlantic in a Westerly direction. On its retirement 101 was gifted to the Duxford Aviation Society by the Department of Transport in what must have been a truly unique gesture. It is the only Concorde donated to a volunteer group and serves to emphasise the importance of the Society's collection. The offer of the aircraft was first made to the Society in 1975 and it was eventually flown to Duxford on August 20th 1977. 101 spent more than 20 years parked outside at Duxford, apart from when it was in Hangar 1 being repainted, and was visible from both the M11 motorway and the A505, becoming a familiar landmark for passing travellers. It was eventually moved under cover in Hangar 1 in 1999, and remained there until January 2005, when that building was closed to enable building work on the AirSpace Building to start. Concorde is now permanently displayed in AirSpace, and it is normally open to the public on every day the museum is open. It is estimated that more than 4 million visitors have walked through the aircraft since it was first opened to the public in March 1978 It provides a fascinating insight to the technical innovations which once enabled Concorde passengers to travel at just over twice the speed of sound.
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