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History
THE REUNION
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THE REUNION - CONCORDE
Sunday 10 August 2003
11.15 am, repeated Friday at 9.00 am

Sue MacGregor reunites the team who worked on the first supersonic aircraft in the spring of 1969.

seated l-r: Mary Goldring, Sue MacGregor; standing l-r John Cochrane, John Allen, Tony Benn, Raymond Baxter



Prototype Concorde 001 had only been proven in simulator form in the spring of 1969 and the first flight in Toulouse was the first time that the design and engineering team saw her in the air. It also became a media event with live coverage on BBC Television.

Assistant Pilot John Cochrane and Chief Flight Engineer John Allen describe the build up to the day and the sense of excitement.

Tony Benn, then Minister for Aviation, and a fervent supporter of the project recalls watching events nervously from the tarmac.

Raymond Baxter, the BBC commentator who had closely followed her development, remembers uttering the immortal phrase: "She flies. Concorde flies".

Business journalist Mary Goldring, who throughout 1969 waged a constant campaign against the project on the basis of noise, pollution and sensible economics, joins the team's reunion.

Also taking part in the programme are former Concorde nurse Mo Bolton, pilot Chistopher Orlebar, aviation correspondent David Learmont and one of Concorde's most frequent fliers, Sir David Frost.

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THE REUNION 2004

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In Our Time
Thursday 9.00-9.45am, rpt 9.30-10.00pm. Melvyn Bragg explores the history of ideas. Listen again online or download the latest programme as an mp3 file.
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Sue MacGregor
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