In Pictures: Concorde flying high for 50 years

Aviation fans around the world are marking the 50th anniversary of Concorde’s maiden flight.

The first Concorde prototype took off from Toulouse in the south of France on March 2 1969, with test pilot Andre Turcat in the air for 27 minutes.

The first British-built version of the supersonic jet took off from Filton in Bristol on April 9 of the same year.

Concorde’s 50th anniversary
Concorde’s 50th anniversary
Concorde’s 50th anniversary
Concorde’s 50th anniversary
Concorde’s 50th anniversary
Concorde’s 50th anniversary

Concorde was a joint Anglo-French project between BAC, a forerunner of BAE Systems, and Aerospatiale, now a part of Airbus.

The plane had a distinctive nose cone that could be tilted during take-off and landing to give pilots more visibility.

Concorde museum
Concorde museum
Concorde’s 50th anniversary
Concorde’s 50th anniversary
Concorde’s 50th anniversary
Concorde’s 50th anniversary

But most impressive of all was its speed, with a cruising velocity of twice the speed of sound, or 1,350mph, allowing it to cover a mile in just 2.75 seconds.

Concorde was retired from service in October 2003, with British Airways and Air France blaming a downturn in passenger numbers and rising maintenance costs.

Concorde’s 50th anniversary
Concorde’s 50th anniversary
Concorde’s 50th anniversary
Concorde’s 50th anniversary
Concorde’s 50th anniversary
Concorde’s 50th anniversary