Concorde memorabilia to be auctioned

By Sadie Whitelocks

Thousands of items from the supersonic aircraft will go under the hammer in November.

Sketches of Concorde planes are among the items that will be auctioned in Toulouse in November. Photo / www.marclabarbe.com
Sketches of Concorde planes are among the items that will be auctioned in Toulouse in November. Photo / www.marclabarbe.com

If you never got a chance to fly by Concorde there's still an opportunity to relive the 'golden age' of travel thanks to an upcoming auction featuring pieces of the aircraft.

Toilet seats, oxygen masks, headphones, crockery and menus are among the items featured in the sale, which will take place at the beginning of November at the Marc Labarbe auction house in Toulouse.

Seats - in sets of twos or threes - are expected to fetch up to NZ$4500. Photo / www.marclabarbe.com
Seats - in sets of twos or threes - are expected to fetch up to NZ$4500. Photo / www.marclabarbe.com

The unique haul is expected to attract a broad range of bids with metal washer rings used in the construction of Concorde estimated at €10 (NZ$15.27) while a Machmeter — an aircraft flight instrument that shows the ratio of the true airspeed to the speed of sound- estimated to fetch €12,000 (NZ$18,319).

The Concorde was once the ultimate symbol of jet-set glamour, whisking celebrities and high-powered executives across the Atlantic.

Aviation instruments are expected to be popular items at the auctions. Photo / www.marclabarbe.com
Aviation instruments are expected to be popular items at the auctions. Photo / www.marclabarbe.com

Only 20 Concordes were ever built as part of a joint British and French initiative in the Sixties.

They were commercialised by Air France and British Airways.

The incredible power generated by the four Rolls-Royce Olympus 593-610 engines — mounted under Concorde's wings — allowed the aircraft to reach speeds of 1330mph, easily breaking the sound barrier.

Flights to New York took a mere three-and-a-half hours.

Standard fares to the US from London cost £4350 (NZ$7718) one-way returning on World Traveller, and up to £8292 (NZ$14,712) for a return trip, both ways on Concorde.

The jet made its maiden flight in 1969 and seven years later it came into full service, making its first-ever passenger flights, which it continued to do in style for the next three decades.

Even the Concordes' toilets will be up for grabs. Photo / www.marclabarbe.com
Even the Concordes' toilets will be up for grabs. Photo / www.marclabarbe.com

However, it was retired in 2003 amid ballooning costs and sagging ticket sales after a crash in 2000 that killed 113 people.

The plane was also a noisy fuel-guzzler that never became economical.

A Concorde baggage tag. Photo / www.marclabarbe.com
A Concorde baggage tag. Photo / www.marclabarbe.com

Only a handful of the aircraft survive intact, including one on display at Manchester Airport.

The lot items included in the Toulouse sale will be exhibited from October 22 to 30, with the sales taking place on November 3, 4 and 5.

- Daily Mail

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