“It was a sports car, it wasn’t a Rolls Royce,” says Fred Finn wistfully as he provides a second-by-second account of taking off in Concorde, the iconic supersonic airliner. “It was bumpy — you sure felt it — and with the full reheats on, Concorde was like a fighter,” he says with a smile. Of course, for Frederick W Finn, describing every surge, smell and sound of a Concorde at full chat is second nature. At the age of 81, he holds the Guinness World Record for the most supersonic passenger flights. Of the 15 million miles Finn clocked up in the sky, 2.5 million of those were recorded on the 718 Concorde flights he took between 1976 and 2003, in ‘his’ seat 9A. Why that particular seat? Because “that’s where they started the refreshment service from,” of course. Fast becoming a regular on the supersonic service, Finn would always find a complimentary half bottle of Dom Perignon stashed under his seat to welcome him back to his 11-mile high, 1,350 mph home. “I became an ad hoc part of the Concorde family and still I am very much so to this day,” he says.
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