The chance to produce a cover to commemorate the final bowing out of service of the legendary Concorde could not be missed, although not a military aircraft persay its concept, design and much of the experimental work there is much in common - most notably the Olympus engines which were also used in the Avro Vulcan. We have therefore made it a special in our 600 Series with the code AV600-SP1. As Concorde first flew in 1969 and went into service with British Airways in 1977, we have elected to show Concorde in its full splendor during the 1980s coming into land with the characteristic British Airways markings of the period. The scene shows Concorde in a striking pose - nose high and looking quite purposeful.
Cover bears first class definitive stamp cancelled with 24 October 2003 with Heathrow circular date stamp.
Hand signed by John Cochrane
100 Signed, Numbered and Certified
John Cochrane who graduated from RAF College Cranwell in 1952 and served with Nos 617, 214 and 90 Squadrons. He graduated from the Empire Test Pilot's School in Farnborough in 1960 and resigned from the RAF with the rank of Squadron Leader to join Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd in 1962 as an experimental test pilot. He was appointed Project test pilot for Concorde in 1966 and in 1968 he became Deputy Chief Test Pilot, Commercial Division BAC and in 1970 Assistant Director Flight Operations BAC/BAe. During the Concorde development project he flew the Mirage III, Mirage IV, Lightning, BAC221 and HP115 having made evaluation test flights in the BAC221 and HP115. He was co-pilot with Brian Trubshaw on the maiden flight of Concorde 002 on 9 April 1969 and was test pilot for all Concordes manufactured in the UK either in command or as co-pilot. Responsible for extended flight envelope and intake control systems, he also commanded Concorde 101 (G-AXDN) for all ultimate limit flights. He was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air in 1971, the Derry and Richards Award for flight test achievement in 1977. He retired from BAe at the end of the Concorde programme and joined Cyprus Airways as an airline Captain.