Air Travel in Australia: BAC Concorde

An engineering masterpiece, the Concorde was the result of a collaborative venture between the aviation industries of Britain and France. It dates back to design work for a supersonic airliner carried out by Sud Aviation and Bristol, their respective Super Caravelle and Bristol 233 designs being remarkably similar in configuration to each other. The forecast high costs of any SST program and the similarities in the designs led to a 1962 government agreement between France and Britain which resulted in the British Aircraft Corporation (into which Bristol had been merged) and SudAviation (which became a part of Aerospatiale in 1970) joining to design and develop such an aircraft.
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  • The Concorde In Australia
    The Concorde never operated scheduled flights to Australia but both Air France and British Airways brought the Concorde to Australia for show. Most of the route between London/Paris and Australia is over land with the result that supersonic flight is usually not permitted.

    A British Airways Concorde made its first visit to Sydney on 20th June, 1972. People parked their cars on General Holmes Drive to get close to the action, causing traffic chaos, something that would not be allowed today. On that day, it flew to Canberra then onto Merimbula and 500 miles out to sea before returning to Merimbula and Melbourne. The Sydney-Canberra leg took just 18 minutes.

    Over the next quarter of a century, the Concorde's operated by Air France & British Airways would make occasional visits to Sydney, usually for promotional purposes or as part of world tours. The last visit by a Concorde to Sydney was in 1999 when Air France did a world tour. The Concorde left Sydney on 24th September 1999, never to return. Following a fatal crash of an Air France Concorde plane in Paris in July 2000, the aircraft was withdrawn with the last Concorde Service in 2003 between New York and London.

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