Concorde wins best British design of 20th century

17th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, March 17, 2006 (AFP) - Concorde, the defunct, swan-like supersonic airliner and symbol of Anglo-French technological cooperation, won a nationwide popular vote for the best example of 20th century British design.

LONDON, March 17, 2006 (AFP) - Concorde, the defunct, swan-like supersonic airliner and symbol of Anglo-French technological cooperation, won a nationwide popular vote for the best example of 20th century British design.

The jet that made its last commercial flight in 2003 beat the London Underground map, the Supermarine Spitfire, the 'Mini' car and the World Wide Web when Britons were asked to choose their favorite homegrown creations since 1900.

Over 211,790 votes were cast in the poll.

"I'm absolutely delighted that Concorde's won," Tony Benn, who was the government minister responsible for Concorde, said after it won the competition sponsored by the BBC and the Design Museum in London late Thursday.

"Whenever a Concorde flies, people look at it, it's very graceful, it's very beautiful, it is a symbol of peace and international understanding," Benn said.

"It wasn't the most commercial vehicle to start with but the design and beauty and skill is something that you just have to honor, and I do," he said.

The winner of the "Great British Design Quest" was announced on BBC2's "The Culture Show" on Thursday, from on board Concorde at The Museum of Flight outside Edinburgh, the Scottish capital.

Concorde was created by the British Aerospace Corporation with France's Aerospatiale, and completed its first flight from its assembly area in the southwestern French city of Toulouse on March 2, 1969.

The sleek triangular wings enabled the supersonic aircraft to fly at exceptionally high speed, but required it to take off and land at such steep angles that its needle-shaped nose was tilted for the pilots to see the runway.

The July 2000 Paris crash, the subsequent 15 months the planes were grounded, a weakening US economy, the events of September 11, 2001 and the Iraq war all conspired to shorten the plane's career.

It flew its last flight on November 26, 2003.

The public ranked the top ten designs as the Concorde, the London Underground Map, the Supermarine Spitfire, the Mini, World Wide Web, the Routemaster Bus, Catseye, the 'Tomb Raider' album cover, the Grand Theft Auto video games, and K2 Telephone kiosk cover.

Experts ranked the best designs for items 11-25.

They were: E-Type Jaguar, Aston Martin DB5, Dr. Martens Air Wair boot, Penguin paperback book, mini skirt, road and motorway signage, Anglepoise lamp, Raleigh Chopper, London A-Z Street Atlas, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Band cover, the Power, Corruption and Lies album, Verdana typeface, Dyson DC01 vacuum cleaner, the Face magazine, and Sinclair Executive Electronic calculator.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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