A Stunning End To A Modern Legend
The aviation world bid a
longing goodbye Friday to a noisy, bothersome, beautiful and
remarkable legend. With a grand finale befitting its reputation,
the Concorde landed forever at Heathrow Airport in London.
In fact, three of them landed in a spectacularly coordinated
finale to the dream which began on a drawing board in 1962.
We've worked this story over pretty good at Aero-News
(ANN: "Last Concordes To Retire Friday" -- 20
October 2003). We've said our goodbyes and shed our
tears. Here's what the rest of the world had to say:
Air traffic controller Ivor Sims, 51, sending the last Concorde
to its gate: "We have all enjoyed you over the years. Best wishes
from us all."
Vicky Giannakas of Little Neck (NJ) and a BA customer service
rep for a decade: "That's it -- that's the end. It's sad. I shed a
tear. I guess it's off to a museum now."
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn/Queens): "While there may be
some who will shed a tear over the final flight of the Concorde,
there will be no crying in Queens today. This is one flight
cancellation that was long overdue."
Julia Zuk, 50, who lives near Heathrow airport: "It's like
wearing stilettos. They hurt your feet, but you know they look a
lot sexier than ordinary shoes."
The Advertiser, Australia: "Russia had the Sputnik and
the first manned space flight. The US hit back with Neil
Armstrong's lunar landing. But in an era of superpower
one-upmanship, neither could boast launching the world's first
supersonic jet liner."
London Sunday Times columnist Jeremy Clarkson,
deplaning the last Concorde: "That was one small step for man. But
one giant leap backwards for mankind."
Tony Benn, former British Labor Party Minister and Concorde
backer: "When people look up at it they're so proud, as much as
they're proud of our monarchy, but on the whole it is cheaper than
the Royal Family."
Capt. Michael Bannister, pilot of the last commercial flight of
the BA Concorde: "Concorde was born from dreams, built with vision,
and operated with pride."
The Concorde has gone west. Goodbye old friend. Those who
flew you, loved you. Those who never flew you admired you from