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Extraordinary rare footage emerges of iconic Concorde landing on Caribbean island

Breath-taking
  • Concorde remained operational for 34 years
  • The first flight took off in 1969, while the last flight took place in 2003
  • This specific flight had a special passenger on board, the then President of France, François Mitterrand

Published on Apr 26, 2024 at 4:24PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Apr 26, 2024 at 4:25PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood

In 1989, a Concorde carrying the then President of France landed on the Caribbean island of Sint Marteen.

Videos from that iconic landing only emerged in recent years.

And we’re certainly glad we get to see it now because it is truly breathtaking.

READ MORE: Close-up runway view of Concorde landing is the most incredible footage

Most Caribbean islands are pretty tiny, and therefore have small runways that are almost always close to the beach.

If you’re a pilot, you need to be experienced and talented, and landing the plane safely will still probably make your heart skip a beat every time.

However, if you’re on land and get to witness the landing maneuver from the ground, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the show.

That’s what beachgoers on the small island of St. Barts experience on a daily basis, and that’s what a small number of lucky people on the beach saw on December 16, 1989.

On that day, Air France flight AF100F landed at Princess Juliana airport on the small island of Sint Marteen.

This was no ordinary flight, and it was carrying no ordinary passenger.

Aboard the plane was the then President of France, François Mitterrand, who was traveling to Sint Marteen to meet the US President at the time, George H.W. Bush.

Concorde was retired in 2003.

British Airways and Air France jointly made the announcement in early 2003 and on November 26, 2003, Concorde’s gear retracted for the last time as it left Heathrow for its final flight.

The plane landed in Bristol less than an hour later.

This was of course just a ‘swan song’ flight to give Concorde a proper send-off but the point is, it’s like we totally forgot it ever existed for exactly 20 years.

Then, in November 2023, a swathe of unseen footage, images, and videos began surfacing on the internet.

Along with the space race, it seems there’s another race taking place, as various companies are vying to attempt to fly supersonic again.

There won’t be a new Concorde in the near future, but different companies are trying different things to get the same result.

Even NASA is getting involved, and we think that’s a good sign.

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