Catastrophic engine failure brought to an end supersonic airliner Concorde’s enviable safety record on Tuesday. Aeronautical engineers contacted this week believe the failure originated in the reheat section of one of the engines on the left wing, resulting in the destruction of that wing and the plane’s rapid descent. The engines involved, Rolls-Royce Snecma Olympus 593, were originally developed by aerospace company Bristol Siddeley. Rolls-Royce is cooperating with the investigation into the crash, but was unable to comment on possible technical causes. 109 passengers and crew and four people on the ground were killed when the Air France airliner crashed into a hotel shortly after taking off from Charles de Gaulle airport, near Paris.
1956 UK government announces plan to build supersonic airliner.
1962 Anglo-French pact to build supersonic airliner signed.
1969 First prototype flies.
1976 First commercial flights from London and Paris.
1991 A rudder disintegrates on flight from London to New York.
1998 Half of a lower rudder falls off over the Atlantic but plane lands safely at Heathrow.
2000 February An engine fails in flight, Concorde lands safely at Heathrow.
2000 24 June BA finds cracks in Concorde wings. One grounded.
2000 25 June Flight AF 4590 crashes killing 113 people.