SEATTLE, Aug. 21, 2009--Former British Airways Concorde Captains Peter Duffey and John Hutchinson will share their supersonic experiences during a presentation at the Museum on Sept. 19 at 2 p.m. The two pilots represent decades at the helm of one of the most exciting airliners in history. In 1975 Duffey was nominated as one of the eight pilots to form the nucleus group to bring Concorde into service with British Airways. He continued to fly the supersonic transports--including the one displayed at The Museum of Flight--until his retirement in 1980. Duffey now lives in Vancouver, B.C. Hutchinson joined the Concorde fleet in 1977. In addition to flying Concordes he was a Concorde Route Check Captain and a British Airways pilot selector until he retired in 1992. Hutchinson now lives in London, England. The program is in the William M. Allen Theater, and is free with admission to the Museum.
British and French aerospace companies collaborated to design and build 20 Concorde aircraft between 1966 and 1979. Flying with Air France and British Airways, the supersonic jets offered a luxurious and speedy trip across the Atlantic for 27 years. Capable of speeds over two times the speed of sound and at altitudes up to 60,000 ft., the Concorde could fly from London to New York and return in the time it took a conventional aircraft to go one way. Flagging demand and rising operating expenses finally ended Concorde service-symbolizing a lost era of luxury travel.
Museum visitors can see--and go inside--the only Concorde on the West Coast. Located in the Museum's Airpark, the aircraft is on loan from British Airways. It made the last commercial Concorde flight, which took place on Oct. 24, 2003. On its way to The Museum of Flight, the aircraft set a New York City-to-Seattle speed record of 3 hours, 55 minutes, and 12 seconds. It is only one of two Concordes in North American with an interior open to the public.
For more information and photos of the Museum's Concorde, see: http://www.museumofflight.org/aircraft/concorde
Image: British Airways Concorde on approach to landing. Photo courtesy The Museum of Flight.