Concorde – A Love Story tells the remarkable story of the life of the world’s only supersonic passenger jet.
A landmark documentary commissioned by the BBC’s flagship history series Timewatch, the broadcast will coincide with the retirement of the plane from the British Airways fleet after 27 years in service.
The film takes us through the aircraft's origins, development and birth, exploring the debates within and between the British and French governments as well as the story of its construction and historic first flight.
Through interviews with the key players who were crucial to the development of the story, we explore what Concorde has meant to Britain as a symbol of technological progress, of European prestige and as a cultural icon, while the recollections of designers, crew and passengers reveal the place that Concorde occupies in the public imagination not just in Britain, but around the world.
Concorde flies at twice the speed of sound - faster than a rifle bullet. It cruises at 11 miles high and makes the trip to NY in just over 3 hours. It has been likened to a modern time machine, able to get passengers to New York two hours before they left London.
The Russians built a supersonic passenger jet, but it crashed. The Americans tried to build one but got no further than an expensive wooden mock up. Britain and France's unmatched success was an achievement that many have compared to the American moon landings.
Featured interviews include those with former pilots, such as Concorde Chief Pilots Brian Calvert and Jock Lowe. Other first hand accounts in the UK include Lord Heseltine, whose job it was to sell Concorde, Sir David Frost, with over 400 flights to his name one of the most frequent flyers, film director and general Concorde fan Michael Winner, and JJ Burnel of the Stranglers who penned a song protesting against the plane's American opponents. Ken Binning and Christopher Banjamin, civil servants formerly in charge of Concorde, tell the inside political story of its development, while Jospehine and Sarah Wiggs, whose father Richard founded the Anti-Concorde project, put the case for the plane's economic and environmental opponents.
U.S. interviewees include frequent flyer Dr. Henry Kissinger (former Secretary of State), supersonic opponent Robert MacNamara (former Defence Secretary under President Kennedy) and William T Coleman Jr, (Former Secretary of Transportation) whose fateful decision allowed Concorde to fly London to New York, the crucial route for which it was principally designed.
From France our contributors include former Air France Chief Concorde pilot Edouard Chemel, as well as the first man to fly Concorde, former French test pilot André Turcat.