Concorde 001 was rolled out on Monday with due pomp and ceremony before ministers of state, representatives of Sud-Aviation and British Aircraft Corporation, and representatives of the airlines who have so far placed orders.
Concorde 001, the prototype of the world’s first supersonic transport aircraft, is on schedule. And this, after a period of more than three years, is no mean achievement.
But with the roll-out complete, there now begin two very critical periods. Firstly, ground running checks must be carried out, and to ensure that these are completed with absolute satisfaction on all sides could mean that the first flight will take place a little later than the planned date of February 28, 1968.
Secondly, one Concorde is airborne, flight trials will commence and these will reveal for the first time the answers to such unknowns as supersonic drag, lateral and longitudinal stability, take-off and landing performance and, of course, sonic boom.