Derek’s memories of supersonic flight

By Mal Butler Dec 1, 2023
Derek Moore with Concorde certificate

The 20th anniversary of the retirement of Concorde brought memories flooding back for a West Wight man.

Derek Moore, of Totland Bay, was living in Spain at the time, but booked a special trip on the supersonic plane just a few months before its final flight.

Derek was an avid fan of Concorde, starting his career as an apprentice at Avro with the plane’s four Olympus engines being based on those employed in the RAF’s Avro Vulcan strategic bomber. The first UK-built prototype took off in 1969 and set the record for the fastest-ever commercial jet to fly, a title it still holds more than 45 years later.

Derek said: “I flew back from Spain having specially booked a return trip from London to New York with chauffeur-driven cars and a first-class hotel. It was an absolutely amazing experience. We were doing 1,400mph at Mach 2. I could feel the heat off the inside of the window as we were flying so fast.

“We were flying at 58,000 feet and I could actually see the curvature of the earth in the distance at that height; it was incredible.”

Afterwards, Derek was presented with a photo of the plane with a certificate signed by the pilot and crew which proudly hangs on his wall at home.