F-WTSS. Aerospatiale Concorde 101. c/n 001.
This aircraft was built by built by Societe Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale, (Aerospatiale), Toulouse, France. It was entered onto the French Aircraft Register as F-WTSS and registered to Aerospatiale, date unknown. It was the first French built Concorde prototype and as such it never entered airline service.
Although rolled out on December 11, 1967 it did not fly for the first time from Toulouse until March 2, 1969 under the command of Captain Andre Turcat. It was then used to explore the type's handling qualities before it made the first Mach 2 supersonic flight of an intended passenger airliner on November 4, 1970.
As soon as the magic Mach 2.0 was achieved it became apparent that the early encouraging signs concerning performance were confirmed. It did what it was expected to do. All that now remained was to make it into an airliner acceptable to the certification authorities. An elaborate set of so called TSS Standards had been drawn up to cover the areas where the normal BCAR's and FAR's were inadequate - the "T" being in front of the two "S's" to accommodate the strange French habit of getting their adjectives in the wrong place. The prototype contributed a lot of general useful information both concerning systems and the environment during this period but its' use was quickly becoming much reduced and it was the turn of the Pre-Production aircraft to take over.
However before this happened Concorde 001 achieved a major milestone when it made its fist automatic landing on May 13, 1971, followed shortly thereafter by its first overseas flight from Paris to Dakar, Senegal, in 2 hours 35 minutes on May 25, 1971.
On completion of its test flying program F-WTSS was retired from service on October 19, 1973. It is currently preserved at the French Air Museum, Le Bourget, Paris, France.
It was cancelled from the French Aircraft Register - date unknown.
At the time of its retirement F-WTSS had flown a total of 812 hours 19 minutes with 397 cycles. It had flown 249 supersonic cycles for a total time of 254 hours 49 minutes supersonic hours.
F-WTSS. Sud Aviation France / British Aircraft Corporation - in the original livery at the Paris Air Show, Paris Le Bourget Airport, May 1969.
(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1926-012.)
F-WTSS. Sud Aviation France / British Aircraft Corporation - in the original livery at Paris Le Bourget Airport, February 1977.
(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1926-013.)