Concorde's Last Flight

First Aired: July 12th 2010
Status: Ended
Runtime: 70 minutes
DocumentarySpecial Interest

From the moment it first flew in 1969, Concorde was an immediate icon, generating intense national pride. Travelling at twice the speed of sound, faster than a bullet, passengers could sip champagne in shirtsleeves on the very edge of space, jetting from London to New York in just three and a half hours. But on 25 July 2000 a devastating crash outside Paris helped to seal Concorde's fate and brought the supersonic age to a close. A decade on, arguments still rage about the exact causes of the loss of Air France flight AF4590, and a French court case is due to decide whether anyone was to blame. Using archive footage, reconstructions and CGI, Concorde's Last Flight tells the turbulent story of the airliner's dramatic rise and fall in the words of her designers and engineers, the pilots and VIP passengers who flew in it, as well as witnesses to the French crash and crash investigators. Overcoming the enormous challenges of supersonic passenger flight led to Concorde's development costs soaring ten-fold to £1.5 billion (£15 billion in today's prices). Then a string of bad luck - from rocketing oil prices to concerns over noise, pollution and sonic booms - saw orders vanish. Yet, despite everything, Concorde succeeded: for many years the seven aircraft accounted for a quarter of British Airways' profits. Concorde's Last Flight also reveals startling new evidence about what may have really caused the Paris crash.


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