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Thu, Jun 12, 2003

Air France's First Concorde to NASM

Air France Donates Concorde to National Air and Space Museum

Today, Air France's Concorde, F-BVFA, will take off from Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport for the very last time, bound for Washington's Dulles International Airport. There, Air France officials will present the aircraft to executives from the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum as a donation.

F-BVFA was the first Concorde to join Air France's fleet on Dec. 18, 1975. The following month, on Jan. 21, 1976, Air France launched its supersonic service with this aircraft on the Paris - Dakar, Senegal - Rio de Janeiro route. F-BVFA accomplished a round-the-world trip from Jan. 11 to Feb. 1, 1998, traveling 32,100 miles in 41 hours 27 minutes, including 19 hours 20 minutes at supersonic speed. F-BVFA has totaled 17,824 flight hours, and completed 6,967 flights.

The F-BVFA, the first Concorde to be displayed by an American museum, will be on permanent exhibition at the Air and Space Museum's new companion facility, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, which opens to the public December 15.

The donation ceremony will take place at the center, which is currently under construction at Dulles Airport.

FMI: www.airfrance.com; www.nasm.si.edu

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