Supersonic View Eclipses All Others

9th Aug 1999

Two hundred air passengers will get the view of their life on Wednesday, when they chase the solar eclipse at supersonic speed on board two British Airways Concordes. The lucky eclipse chasers will experience the most exciting way to get a guaranteed view of the once-in-a-lifetime event by chasing the sun on the flagship of the carrier`s fleet, Concorde.

Flying at twice the speed of sound, the passengers will get a guaranteed view of the solar phenomenon. The enthusiasts flying on Concorde will be the first people to see the eclipse in the UK and are guaranteed to see it for at least six minutes - three times as long as sun watchers on the ground, who will have to wait another ninety years if it is cloudy over Britain.

The unique experience will start at 8am on Wednesday 11 August when the two Concordes will leave Heathrow within five minutes of each other and head out at supersonic speed, 1350mph, over the Atlantic.

The two aircraft will then follow different flight paths before meeting as they turn to chase the path of the solar spectacle. Then, for the first time ever, the two Concordes will fly in horizontal formation between 50,000 and 60,000 feet, both chasing the eclipse faster than a speeding bullet.

British Airways` Chief Pilot for the Concorde fleet, Captain Mike Bannister, who will be flying one of the Concordes on the day, said: “This is the only way to see this amazing spectacle. The passengers will not only get a guaranteed view of the first solar eclipse over the UK in over seventy years, but will also get the opportunity to chase the eclipse travelling faster than the speed of sound.


The passengers on Concorde will be the first people in the UK to see the eclipse and include children, an octogenarian and both amateur and expert enthusiasts.



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