Concorde auction puts fragments of aircraft history up for sale

26th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

26 September 2007, TOULOUSE (AFP) - A thousand collectors' items from the now defunct supersonic passenger jet Concorde are to be sold to enthusiasts at an auction in southern France from Friday, organisers announced.

26 September 2007

TOULOUSE (AFP) - A thousand collectors' items from the now defunct supersonic passenger jet Concorde are to be sold to enthusiasts at an auction in southern France from Friday, organisers announced.

Fans of the iconic aircraft will be able to bid for instruments, oxygen masks, baggage compartment doors and even a toilet seat, with prices starting at 20-3,000 euros (28-4,200 dollars).

A total of 835 lots will be up for grabs when the auction process starts on Friday in Toulouse, the headquarters of the French aerospace industry, with the sale set to continue until Monday.

Some of the most sought-after pieces -- a Machometer and landing gear weighing 1.2 tonnes -- will be sold on Saturday.

The auction has been organised by Toulouse-based association Aerotheque, which inherited the stock from European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. The items have been on public display in Toulouse since the beginning of the month.

The proceeds from the auction are to be used to fund an aerospace theme park in the Toulouse area called Aeroscopia, which is scheduled to open in 2010.

Only 20 Concorde planes were manufactured: six were used for development and the remaining 14 entered service, flying trans-Atlantic routes at speeds of up to 1,350 miles per hour (2,173 kilometres per hour).

The plane, borne of British and French collaboration, made its maiden commercial flight in 1976, but was retired in 2003.

Widely seen as one of the greatest technological feats of the 20th century, the aircraft offered luxurious, if rather cramped, travel that was faster than the speed of sound.

It was rendered unprofitable after an Air France plane crashed outside Paris in July 2000, killing all 113 on board.

AFP

Subject: French news

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