Princes Anne and her fiance Captain Mark Phillips on Tuesday (23rd October 1973) had their first flight in the Anglo-French supersonic airliner, Concorde.
Princes Anne and her fiance Captain Mark Phillips on Tuesday (23rd October 1973) had their first flight in the Anglo-French supersonic airliner, Concorde. Taking off from Concorde's base at Fairford in the west of England, they flew across the Bay of Biscay at twice the speed of sound.
The aircraft they travelled in, the second prototype 002, was the same plane that was piloted by the Princess' father, the Duke of Edinburgh, last year. This model had not been modified to reduce noise and smoke, two of Concorde's main sales faults. But Princes Anne said she had long wanted to fly in Concorde and the 80-minute trip had lived up to all her expectations. She said the most impressive thing about it was that she would not have known she was flying at supersonic speeds, had she not been told.
Princes Anne and Captain Phillips will be married at Westminster Abbey on November 14, 1973.
SYNOPSIS: Princess Anne and her fiance Captain Mark Phillips flew in on Tuesday to Fairford Airport in the west of England. They were about to have their first flight on board the Anglo-French supersonic airliner, Concords. The couple were welcomed by British Aircraft Corporation officials, led by Sir Geoffrey Tuttle, and by chief test pilot Brian Trubshaw. The aircraft they were to fly in was 002, the second prototype model. It was the same Controls that was piloted last year by Princes Anne's father, the Duke of Edinburgh.
This particular model had not been modified to reduce two of Concorde's major sales faults, nose and smoke.
The plane was headed for the Bay of Biscay. The flight lasted eighty minutes, of which twenty were flown at or above twice the speed of sound. Princess Anne said she had long waited to fly in Concorde and the experience had lived up to all her expectations. She expressed the hope that the jet would soon see commercial service.
The Princess said the most impressive thing was that had she not known she was travelling at supersonic speeds, she would never have noticed.
Landing again at Fairford, Princess Anne and Captain Phillips stayed for lunch before flying back to Buckingham Palace in a helicopter of the Queen's Flight. The couple will be married at Westminster Abbey next month.