Concorde: A Supersonic Story

BBC4 takes a look back at the much-loved Concorde at 9pm on Tuesday 10 October 2017.

British Airways Concorde, Pictured by LondonAirTravel at the BA Engineering Base, London Heathrow

It is almost 15 years that Concorde ceased commercial operations. However, the First Lady of aviation is still held in huge affection by passengers all over the world.

Concorde may sit stationary on the airfield at London Heathrow, but its delta wings and imposing needle nose still have the ability to turn heads.  Concorde more than holds its own against younger next generation aircraft in terms of presence on the tarmac.

In advance of the new Bristol Aerospace Museum opening on Tuesday 17 October which will house one of the Concorde aircraft, next week, BBC4 will take a look back at Concorde with Concorde: A Supersonic Story.

The BBC promises rare footage and a cast of engineers, frequent flyers and celebrities (including Dame Joan Collins naturally…) to tell the story of one of the most elegant and elusive aircraft ever made.

It premiers at 21:00 on Tuesday 10 October 2017. It will be also be available to stream / download for 30 days from the date of broadcast for viewers in the UK.

Also available on the BBC iPlayer’s “From The Archive” section is Perpetual Motion Concorde which was first shown on the BBC in 1994.

Dear BBC, Why oh why oh why…..

Why do the BBC and other news outlets always use the same contributors for big aviation stories?

Simon Calder
Simon Calder (Image Credit: BBC Breakfast News)

It has been another big week for aviation news in the national media. Following the controversy surrounding Ryanair’s cancellations to its flying programme, today’s morning headlines led with the suspension of flight operations by Monarch.

Whenever there is an aviation story leading the national news a familiar question appears in our social media feeds. Namely, why do Simon Calder from The Independent and other contributors always appear on the BBC, Sky News and other media outlets!?

First, let’s get one thing clear. This is not intended to be a criticism of Simon Calder. He is a hard-working travel journalist with decades of experience who has survived a tumultuous time in print media. Simon is clearly used by broadcasters because he is reliable, can perform well on camera and is trusted by the audience.

Rather this is an attempt to explain how news media operates and why broadcasters in particular use a narrow pool of contributors.
Continue reading “Dear BBC, Why oh why oh why…..”

“Britain’s Busiest Airport” premiers on ITV at 9pm on Thursday 4 June

“Britain’s Busiest Airport”, a three part behind the scenes documentary on London Heathrow will premier on ITV at 9pm on Thursday 4 June.

Here’s a précis of the first two episodes from the ITV Press Centre.  Preview clips and images are also available from Heathrow airport.

UK viewers will also be able to watch on catch-up on the ITV Player.

Episode 1 – Thursday 4 June

This episode follows Heathrow staff racing against the clock to process thousands of passengers arriving from 84 different countries. Airside Safety Officer Glenn and his colleagues work closely with Air Traffic Control to keep Heathrow’s two runways open and clear of debris. Meanwhile, staff from the Animal Reception Centre welcome a variety of weird and wonderful animals – from pet ferrets to a wild tiger. Inside the terminals, Heathrow staff deal with passengers including a man who is stuck living at the airport after being deported from Thailand, and a family whose young relatives have got lost in Arrivals.

Episode 2 – Thursday 11 June

This episode follows Heathrow staff trying to process 100,000 departing passengers a day, and get their flights away on time. Dispatcher Callie and Ramp Manager Steve have their plans thrown into chaos by a passenger who disappears after checking on to their flight. In Security, Sundeep and his team have to search an unusually dressed traveller, and deal with a man who is unhappy about having his bag searched. Meanwhile, Heathrow’s extradition team ensures police suspects are put on departing flights, while paparazzi photographer Kate is on the lookout for celebrities flying through the airport.

The series is produced for ITV by Raw TV.

See the entire contents of an Airbus A320 be recycled in Kevin McCloud’s “Supersized Salvage”, Channel 4 (UK), 9pm, Thursday 24 April

This is one, perhaps, for readers more interested in the hardware of aviation than the “softer” aspects of flying.

Tonight on Channel 4 (UK), “Grand Designs” presenter Kevin McCloud will challenge a team of three engineers to recycle the entire contents of an Airbus A320 aircraft into reusable consumer products in Kevin McCloud’s “Supersized Salvage” (also repeated just after midnight on 4 Seven).
Continue reading “See the entire contents of an Airbus A320 be recycled in Kevin McCloud’s “Supersized Salvage”, Channel 4 (UK), 9pm, Thursday 24 April”

BBC2 tells the story of the Boeing 747 “Jumbo: The Plane That Changed The World”, 9pm, Thursday 27 February

We’ve always had something of a soft spot for the Boeing 747. It’s an aircraft that, we think, is second only to Concorde in terms of presence on the tarmac.

Continue reading “BBC2 tells the story of the Boeing 747 “Jumbo: The Plane That Changed The World”, 9pm, Thursday 27 February”