Concorde on display at IWM Duxford is awarded the Engineering Heritage Award
Today, Wednesday 30 April, Concorde 101 was awarded the Engineering Heritage Award by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
The Concorde is owned by Duxford Aviation Society and is one of the most popular historic objects on display at IWM Duxford.
Patrick Kniveton, President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said:
“Concorde is without overstatement an engineering icon and, although well over 40 years old, is still one of the most inspiring examples of modern design and engineering. Concorde made supersonic passenger flight possible and pioneered the development of double delta shaped wings and fly-by-wire in an aeroplane, along with numerous other technologies. Concorde 101 is a pre-production aircraft, and is particularly significant as it holds the speed record for the fleet. The Engineering Heritage Award celebrates not just the wonderful achievements of Concorde, but also the achievement of all the staff and volunteers involved in preserving Concorde 101 for the public to enjoy and learn from.”
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers was established in 1847 and has some of the world’s greatest engineers in its history books. It is one of the fastest-growing professional engineering institutions. Headquartered in London, they have operations around the world and over 105,000 members in more than 140 countries working at the heart of the most important and dynamic industries such as the automotive, rail, aerospace, medical, power and construction industries.
Its Engineering Heritage Awards recognise artefacts of special engineering significance. Previous winners include the Mallard locomotive, Tower Bridge and the Jaguar E-Type.
David Garside, Chairman Duxford Aviation Society said: “We are extremely proud that Concorde 101 has been given this prestigious award from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The development of Concorde was a remarkable engineering achievement and the culmination of a period of extraordinary technical progress in British aviation technology after the Second World War. On completion of its testing programme, Concorde 101 was gifted to Duxford Aviation Society by the government and was flown to Duxford airfield in 1977.”
“ For some 37 years the Society’s volunteers have maintained the aircraft to the highest possible standard and since 2006 IWM Duxford has provided permanent covered accommodation for the aircraft in the AirSpace exhibition. Concorde has been on continuous display to visitors throughout its time at IWM Duxford and remains one of the most popular visitor attractions at the museum.”
This pre-production aircraft, number 101, made its first flight in December 1971. It carried around 130,000 kg (288,000 lbs) of test equipment. The aircraft was used to test different aspects of the aircraft’s structure and performance in flight. Data was recorded on paper, tape and cassette, then analysed on the ground by computer.
During its five year test-flying career, the aircraft visited Tangier, Morocco, twice in 1974 for high-altitude engine variable intake testing. There it achieved the highest speed by any Concorde (Mach 2.23). In the same year, it also made the fastest westerly civil trans-Atlantic flight, in two hours 56 minutes, while on its way to carry out airframe and engine de-icing system trials in America. IN 1974, it flew to Nairobi, Kenya for further de-icing tests at high altitude.