Concorde Flight Testing 1969-70
|Pictures coutesy of Tom Irwin|
Fairford Flight Test Team
Concorde 002 attracts the kind of loyalty that could transform British industry if applied elsewhere. It probably helps that everybody knows everybody else among the 400 people who work at Fairford, and that most of them share a background of years in the aviation industry or RAF - or Both. And in spite of the knocks Concorde has taken, this British prototype is a prestigious job to work on.
Barbara Brown, 24, had to wait six months before she got a job at Fairford. She is secretary to John Dickens, the flight test project controller, and lives in a caravan in nearby Lechlade with her carpenter Husband.
Concorde should get its certificate of airworthiness in early 1974. This has to be issued before the aircraft can fly in any airline service, and Peter Stone, administrator of the 130-strong Flight test department, runs the section whose air is to get that certificate.
Several French aviation men have moved into the area. They include Phillippe Proust, of Aerospatiale, who has taken an old manor house near Cirencester. Frank Crowfoot, a bearded Bristolian of 44, head of the 26-strong design support team, did the reverse. He went to Toulouse for two years. He said "Two years was long enough to be away. We made a deliberate decision not to move to France - some who did found their children's education badly effected."
On the other side of the airfield, Eric Owen, flight operations officer, 21 years in the RAF, arranges Concorde's flights, watches the weather, keep an eyw on diversion airfields and records technical information from the crew.
All these people, with the rest of the team, are now braced for a new arrival. In the Autumn, Concorde 002 must move over to make room for Concorde 01, the first British Pre-production model now being assembled at Filton. It will be another step to the commercial Concorde on which all hopes are pinned at Fairford.
Picture and text from a Sunday Observer article published in 1970
|G-BSST the engine test bay||G-BSST the engine test bay|
|The prototype engines produced a fair bit of Smoke!||The test team had a 5 -a-side football league to keep up staff morale; Brian Trubshaw is seen presenting the winners trophie to Tom Irwin.|
|The Maiden take off of Concorde 002 from Filton||First Flight completed, G-BSST lands at Fairford.|
|The ground tracking camera picks up 002 on finals info Fairford for the first time||A shot taken by the ground tracking camera of G-BSST's first lever landing at RAF Fairford|
|A rare colour picture of 002's taking off on a test flight||Concorde G-BSST departs from Firford on a test flight.|