Wind tunnel model of Concorde used by the Royal Aircraft Establishment, 1965.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
In 1959 the Supersonic Transport Aircraft Committee recommended the construction of a fleet of long range intercontinental airliners which would fly almost twice as high and over twice as fast as those in service at that time; at Mach 2.0, twice the speed of sound. In 1962, the British and French Governments signed an agreement to develop the aircraft together. This is a free-flight drop test model of Concorde's final configuration. The body is unpainted to show the method of construction. The Royal Aircraft Establishment (Rae) in Farnborough was the principal testing centre for newly designed aircraft. The problem of metal fatigue in aircraft flying at great speeds was discovered through tests at Farnborough. Back lit. Photo by John Lepine.