Today it is 37 years exactly since the first commercial flight of Concorde. On January 21st 1976 two of the very first Concorde jets took off simultaneously, one from Heathrow Airport and one from Orly Airport in Paris. Both Concorde jets took off at exactly 11.40 am, with the London flight destined for Bahrain, and the French flight to Rio de Janeiro.
Incredibly, the British Concorde managed to knock a massive 3 hours off the normal flying time to Bahrain. Far be it for us to take excessive national pride in the failure of other nations, but the French Concorde arrived 38 minutes late! Concorde was always one of the most iconic images of modern commercial flight, and nothing since, even the huge airbuses, have managed to capture the imagination of so many people. Even those who never set foot on Concorde still think of it as a crowning achievement, and those lucky enough to have experienced it for themselves will almost certainly always remember it. In total only 20 Concordes were ever built, with just 14 flying commercially, 7 for France and 7 for Britain.
Travelling at 1,520 miles per hours, or Mach 2.0 (twice the speed of sound) Concorde made a terrific sonic boom, which was one of the reasons why it had to fly along fairly limited paths, or fly much slower over built up areas. Sometimes you'll come across the spelling of Concord without the final 'e'. This is because Harold Macmillan changed the spelling to Concord without the 'e' to make it look less French.
Why did he do this? For no other reason than to spite his French counterpart! It was Tony Benn who restored the 'e', although a number of English people complained! To appease them he suggested that the final 'e' stood for 'England'... ..At which point the Scots started complaining, noting that the word Concorde was British, not merely English! To appease them Tony Benn suggested that the 'e' also stood for 'Ecosse', the French word for Scotland. Fortunately the Welsh and Irish didn't join in the argument. For any aeroplane enthusiast we have a number of flight related party products, from a brilliant fighter aeroplane cake complete with full markings and camouflage, to a great children's party bag gift - an aeroplane glider. These come packed flat, but very easily slot together to create a Styrofoam glider which can actually travel quite a long way. We can get it all the way from one side of the office to the other, and with cunning accuracy too. At least when it does hit someone on the back of the head, it doesn't hurt! Another lovely little party gift bag item, or even a gift by itself, is the wooden puzzle kit. This is a pack which includes four wooden toys which fit together to create different forms of transport, including a plane, a train, a truck and a car. You can then paint the models, making great toys or decorations. If you're planning a party for an aeroplane enthusiast then click here to take a look at some of our wonderful aeroplane party products, including several different types of cake, and a whole range of toys and party bag gifts.