A special flight by the Concorde prototype 001 will allow British, French and United States scientists to make an eight-minute observation of the total eclipse of the sun on 30 June, 1973.
CU sign "Solar Eclipse 73"
GV Interior Concorde 001 in hangar at Toulouse
SCU Tail of Concorde with sign "001"
SV Pan from tail along Concorde showing modifications for solar eclipse viewing
SV Interior pan along cables and equipment for experiments
SV Pan up recording equipment
SV & CU reflecting mirror and recording equipment (2 shots)
SV Camera base and camera through roof pan to mirror
SV Technicians make final adjustments.
GV Concorde in hangar
Initials AE/1554 AE/1625
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Background: A special flight by the Concorde prototype 001 will allow British, French and United States scientists to make an eight-minute observation of the total eclipse of the sun on 30 June, 1973.
The Concorde will fly along a 1900 mile (3000 kilometres) route from Las Palmas in the Canary Isles to Fort Lamy in the Republic of Chad. The easterly direction of the flight will allow the Concorde to follow the path of the moon's shadow on the earth's surface.
The scientific flight will join the path of the solar eclipse in Mauritania, West Africa, at 10.45 GMT. It will fly along the eclipse path until 12.12 GMT, when it will land in Chad.
By flying 'with' the eclipse, the scientists will extend the observation time to more than eleven times what it would be on the ground. By using the supersonic Concorde, they'll have a-seven-and-a-half times greater chance to study the eclipse than they would have in a sub-sonic aircraft.
The Concorde prototype 001 is being fitted with four special windows in its roof to convert it into a flying observatory. The installation of sophisticated optical and electronic instruments is being carried out at the 001's hanger at Toulouse in France.
The specially-fitted Concorde will make a test flight for the eclipse observation on Saturday, (23 June).
It will fly to Las Palmas on 27 June to prepare for the eclipse flight on 30 June.