Once upon a time Great Britain had an aircraft industry (just like it had a car industry and a shipbuilding industry). Here we take a look at a couple of icons of that ‘Golden Age’ (it wasn’t really golden but it sounds good) – the Wellington Bomber and the Concorde (we needed the help of the French for the latter but that’s okay).
Heathrow desperately needed Terminal 5…
First the real oldie: The Wellington became an icon of World War Two and was the only bomber that saw action throughout the conflict. It could do 235 mph at 15,000 ft and was made of a metal frame covered with a fabric skin. The one shown here was built in 1939 and bombed German cities before crashing into Loch Ness of all places. It was recovered 45 years later.
It was in remarkably good condition – the tail lights even worked when they were connected to a battery.
Fast forward some 25 years and Britain, along with France, launched the Concorde – the world’s first (and the way things are going, last) supersonic airliner.
The first British Concorde at Brooklands Museum
This model, called ‘Delta Golf’, was used for testing and was the first aeroplane to fly at supersonic speed with more than 100 passengers on board. And it was amazingly small inside. Look at this cross-section of a test frame for the Concorde:
This airframe section was used to test the durability of the design – it was put through 33,000 simulated flights.
In 2011 they turned Delta Golf round to put it in its final position in the Brooklands Musuem:
You probably know about the sad demise of Concorde, triggered by the disaster of 2000:
As the guy says it sounded the death knell for supersonic travel, but you can still experience Concorde at an open air museum near South West London – where it all began!