Part 4: Becoming the Sexiest Flight on Earth


Jan 9 2023 • 31 mins

As teams of engineers work around the clock to keep the supersonic airplane safe and in the air, to the outside world Concorde has become a pop cultural icon. Princess Diana, Mick Jagger, Phil Collins, Joan Collins, Sting – these celebrities form an A-list of frequent flyers. The in-flight menu includes haute cuisine and expensive champaign; air travel aboard Concorde is a high-class, celebratory experience. To join this jet set in the air becomes anyone's most romantic travel dream, and taking a Concorde flight becomes a status symbol. The airplane is the toast of engineering circles and entertainment magazines alike. It inspires art and is even the protagonist in the movie "Airport ‘79," a thriller where a Concorde is chased by jet fighters. But in the real world, Concorde faces serious existential threats from political developments, regulations, and protests, and the only way to save it further limits who actually gets to experience the sexiest flight on Earth.

Guests in this episode:

  • Jonathan Glancey, author of 'Concorde: The Rise and Fall of the Supersonic Airliner'
  • Michel Polacco, French aviation reporter, and author of a book on the Concorde in French
  • Mike Hall, Chief Engineer for Concorde Support Operations
  • Katie John, Editor of Mach 2 magazine
  • John Britton, Chief Engineer of the British Concorde fleet
  • Yves Gourinat, former Airbus employee during Concorde’s last decade, and currently an Aviation professor at the University of Toulouse.
  • Ricky Bastin, Technical Liaison Engineer at Concorde.

For more on this episode and to see Katie John's painting referenced in this episode, visit: