Upcoming Exhibition | The Time Machine, Documenting the Concorde
The Time Machine
Documenting the Concorde
A little over a decade after the first supersonic flight was achieved, the governments of Great Britain and France began exploring the viability of commercial supersonic transports (SST). In 1962, they formally joined forces on the Concorde SST project. Seven years later, two Concorde prototypes achieved supersonic flight, the French 001 and then the British 002. During the early 1970s, the Concorde was promoted widely through literature and international tours of the aircraft. Concorde passenger service was launched in 1976. During its service, the Concorde had only one class, Concorde Class. In-flight items, such as portfolio flight packets, promotional giveaways, and even matches were all created and branded for Concorde service. The airlines also gave out keepsake items as a remembrance of the flight. Just as flying on an airline in the early days of commercial aviation was truly remarkable, a flight aboard the Concorde at more than twice the speed of sound was a technologically cutting-edge experience to be remembered, boasted about, and shared for a lifetime. Flight times were less than half that of subsonic airliners. A transatlantic flight from London or Paris to New York could take just three and one-half hours, faster than the sun moves across the surface of the Earth. For twenty-six years, Air France and British Airways flew scheduled Concorde service, until their supersonic fleet was retired in 2003. This exhibition will present brochures, timetables, certificates, tickets, and other ephemera items documenting Concorde’s development and service.
British Airways Concorde poster c. 1980
Collection of SFO Museum
Gift of the William Hough Collection