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Why did Concorde stop flying, when was it retired from service and where are the old aircraft on display?

CONCORDE was once the last word in luxury flight and still holds the record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic by a commercial aircraft. The fleet was retired in 2003 – but the famous a…

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CONCORDE was once the last word in luxury flight and still holds the record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic by a commercial aircraft.

The fleet was retired in 2003 – but the famous aircraft can now be seen at a number of museums in Britain and around the world.

 Supersonic passenger jet Concorde was used for commercial flights for 27 yearsAlamy Supersonic passenger jet Concorde was used for commercial flights for 27 years

When was Concorde retired?

On April 10, 2003 Air France and British Airways announced they would be retiring their fleet of Concorde aircraft.

Air France made its final flight on June 27 while British Airways retired its fleet on October 24 after a farewell tour.

Concorde had been in service for 27 years, having made its first commercial flight on January 21, 1976.

Why was Concorde retired?

Air France and British Airways blamed low passenger numbers and rising maintenance costs.

Passenger numbers fell after an Air France Concorde crashed minutes after taking off from Paris in July 2000, killing all 109 people on board and four on the ground.

The plane ran over a piece of metal on the runway, bursting a tyre which caused the fuel tank to ignite as it was taking off.

The 9/11 attacks in 2001 also had a severe impact on the number of people choosing to fly.

The operators also blamed rising maintenance costs. Although advanced when it was launched, 30 years on the planes were outdated and expensive to run.

By the time Concorde was retired it was the only aircraft in the British Airways fleet that required a flight engineer.

 Concorde had an average cruise speed of 1,155MPH more than twice the speed of conventional aircraftAlamy Concorde had an average cruise speed of 1,155MPH more than twice the speed of conventional aircraft

Where are the retired Concorde aircraft?

Twenty Concorde planes were built in France and the UK – six prototype and development aircraft and 14 service planes which were operated by Air France and British Airways.

The last Concorde built and the last to fly went on display in October 2017 at the Aerospace Bristol museum, a new £19m centre in Filton.

Concorde number 216 was moved to its new home by engineers from British Airways and Airbus, who towed the iconic aircraft across Filton Airfield and up a ramp into the new purpose-built hangar.

Filton was where half the Concordes were constructed, the others being built at Toulouse.

The six other retired BA service planes are on display at Heathrow airport, Manchester airport, Barbados airport, the National Museum of Flight near Edinburgh, the Museum of Flight in Seattle, and New York’s Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum.

Air France also had seven service jets but one crashed and another was broken up for spares.

The five still intact are on show at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum at Washington DC’s Dulles airport, the Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum in Germany, the Airbus factory in Toulouse, the Air and Space Museum at Le Bourget, and Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris.

The two original prototype aircraft, numbers 001 and 002, are on display at the French Museum of Air and Space at Le Bourget and the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton.

Two pre-production aircraft, numbers 101 and 102, are now at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, and Orly Airport in Paris.

Two development aircraft built for testing, numbers 201 and 202, can be seen at the Airbus factory in Toulouse, and the Brooklands Museum in Weybridge.

Airline guilty over Concorde crash

Were there attempts to save Concorde?

In 2003 Sir Richard Branson announced that Virgin Atlantic was interested in buying the fleet.

Branson later wrote that Virgin Atlantic had wanted to run the fleet for many years to come, but no agreement was reached.

Earlier this year it was announced that Club Concorde has raised the funds to purchase and restore a Concorde aircraft with the aim of returning it to service by 2019, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the aircraft’s inaugural test flight.

Tech

A beginner’s guide to Bitcoin and how it could make you millions… or leave you really poor

IT’S 2010 and you walk into your local Post Office, slap £75 on the counter and ask for your money back in dollars. The cashier hands you back $121.50 for your hard-earned pounds – $22 …

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IT’S 2010 and you walk into your local Post Office, slap £75 on the counter and ask for your money back in dollars.

The cashier hands you back $121.50 for your hard-earned pounds – $22 more than you’d get back for the same transaction today.

 Bitcoin has taken the financial world by storm, but is the cryptocurrency a way to make easy money or a bubble waiting to burst?Getty – Contributor Bitcoin has taken the financial world by storm, but is the cryptocurrency a way to make easy money or a bubble waiting to burst?

On that same day, if you had instead spent your £75 on a mysterious virtual currency named Bitcoin, you’d now be sitting on a pile of money worth £9.5MILLION.

Indeed, since those early days, the online money has multiplied in value – give or take – 125,000 times over.

Such is the investment value of Bitcoin, that Julian Assange claims it funded both him and Wikileaks when he was forced to invest in the currency as the result of US sanctions.

And financial experts reckon its value could skyrocket even further in the next few years.

So just how do you invest in the shadowy world of Bitcoin?

What is Bitcoin and how did it start?

Bitcoin became the world’s first entirely virtual currency when it was introduced in January 2009.

Users cannot carry coins or notes and its value appears only as a number on a screen.

It was created by a shadowy online account which went by the name Satoshi Nakamoto.

New currency is created via a complex online process called mining which uses supercomputers to create new Bitcoins using computer coding.

In its early days, Bitcoin proved relatively worthless – with one notorious example seeing an early pioneer paying for a pizza using two bitcoins.

 The currency proved useful to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who claims it helped him bankroll his whistleblowing siteGetty Images – Getty The currency proved useful to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who claims it helped him bankroll his whistleblowing site

Today that pizza would be worth the equivalent today of £15,000.

Indeed, within a few years, the currency already had its own ‘buried treasure’ story.

Brit James Howells threw out a computer containing 7,500 Bitcoins on its hard drive – the equivalent of £56MILLION.

As only the computer the currency was bought on can be used to redeem it, the money was all but lost to Welshman Howells.

The broken Dell laptop is now believed to be buried below a mound of rubbish at a tip in Newport, Wales.

How can Bitcoin be bought?

The most common way to buy the currency is to download a broker app such as Coinbase and Blockchain.

These allow users to use a credit or debit cards to exchange pounds for Bitcoin.

Users do not have to buy whole Bitcoins and can purchase a small percentage that matches the value of their cash investment.

Once a request has been made, online ‘miners’ will decide whether to approve the transaction.

If approved, the money will be taken from a user’s account in exchange for Bitcoin.

When selling, users can use the same app to sell their Bitcoin in return for its cash value.

 The value of Bitcoin has increased 125,000-fold in just seven years The value of Bitcoin has increased 125,000-fold in just seven years

How much could Bitcoin be worth?

Bitcoin bought at the beginning of 2017 is now worth ten times what it was in January.

Many commentators believe the craze is a bubble ready to burst.

But in reality, nobody knows with any great degree of certainty what will happen to the cryptocurrency in the long term.

Wall Street commentator Ronnie Moas reckons it should increase by 40 per cent by mid-2018.

By contrast, economist Kenneth Rogoff predicted “the price of bitcoin will collapse” in a piece for the Guardian.

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Game Sale: Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch games prices slashed for Christmas including FIFA 18, Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed

GAME has rolled out a Christmas sale on some of the most popular gaming titles out right now. So if you’re still searching for some last minute presents it might be worth a look – as pr…

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GAME has rolled out a Christmas sale on some of the most popular gaming titles out right now.

So if you’re still searching for some last minute presents it might be worth a look – as prices are much cheaper than they were this time last week.

 FIFA 18 cover star Cristiano Ronaldo FIFA 18 cover star Cristiano Ronaldo

The sale includes titles such as Fifa 18, Overwatch, Destiny 2, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Star Wars Battlefront 2, LA Noire and Call of Duty WWII.

A range of accessories are also available at discounted rates.

Christmas gifts 2017: The cheapest Xbox, PS4 and PC games you can buy including Call of Duty WWII, Assassin’s Creed and Overwatch

Most of the offers in this sale are valid until December 27, however some of them will be running for longer. Check GAME’s official website for details.

It’s also worth checking out Amazon at the moment as it’s got discounts on a wide range of games which can be found here.

What’s in GAME’S Christmas sale?

Destiny 2 – £19.99

What the critics say about Destiny 2

IGN: “Destiny 2 succeeds where the original failed the most: its delivery of a story-driven campaign good enough to match its finely tuned first-person shooter gameplay and great looks.”

Gamespot: “There are a variety of changes both under the hood and throughout your activities that make it a significant improvement over the original and a better experience for more than just the most hardcore players.”

Trusted Reviews: “Destiny 2 is one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played this year. Featuring a stellar, albeit easy, single-player campaign, excellent combat and class mechanics, and the most enjoyable cooperative multiplayer I’ve seen in a shooter since Gears of War 4, Destiny 2 is a must-buy.

Overwatch – £24.99

 Overwatch has been one of the most popular games of 2017Blizzard Overwatch has been one of the most popular games of 2017

What the critics say about Overwatch

IGN rate the game at 9.4 out of 10 and describe it as the “crossroad at which pure tactile joy meets refined, intelligent design to create a rare spark of magic.”

Trusted Reviews has Overwatch at 4.5 stars and praises its “inventive and varied action that’s always fun, a diverse cast of characters and abilities” and its constant ability to surprise.

Fifa 18 – £32.99

 Fifa 18 was released to rave reviewsEA Fifa 18 was released to rave reviews

The verdict on FIFA 18

“FIFA 18 is once again powered by the Frostbite engine, only this year it’s been tweaked and refined.

“Yes, it’s still probe to weird glitches and bugs, but on the whole, it’s tremendously impressive.”

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

 The popular animated series has been converted into a hit gameUbisoft The popular animated series has been converted into a hit game

What the critics say about South Park: The Fractured But Whole

IGN: “By a wide margin, South Park: The Fractured But Whole is the funniest roleplaying game since South Park: The Stick of Truth came out three years ago.”

Trusted Reviews: “Ubisoft has created the ultimate South Park experience. The Fractured But Whole is outrageous, shocking and absolutely hilarious.”

Assassin’s Creed Origins – £34.99

 Assassins Creed Origins sees the game head way back in time to ancient EgyptUbisoft Assassins Creed Origins sees the game head way back in time to ancient Egypt

The verdict on Assassin’s Creed Origins

“The world is stunning to look at – and is teeming with intricate details, from underwater caverns to secret tombs hidden in pyramids.

“Wander away from the hustle and bustle and there’s an entire ecosystem of flora and fauna.

“Vultures circle in the sky above the barren deserts, hippos and crocodiles patrol deeper waters while wild buffalo graze in the shallow pools.”

Star Wars Battlefront 2 – £34.99

 Star Wars Battlefront 2 has met a mixed reception since its releaseEA Star Wars Battlefront 2 has met a mixed reception since its release

The verdict on Star Wars Battlefront 2

Almost everyone in the industry has praised how the game looks on all platforms with its visuals distinguishing it from other popular Christmas tit

les.

The reviews for the single player campaign have also been largely positive, along with the quality of the multiplayer.

However, fans and reviewers alike have been disappointed by the prominence of micro-transactions in the multiplayer which encourage players to spend additional money to unlock their favourite characters and more.

LA Noire – Nintendo Switch £29.99 – PS4 and Xbox One – £29.99

What the critics say about LA Noire remastered for Nintendo Switch

Gamespot: “When it first released in 2011, L.A. Noire was an anomaly; its facial capture tech was an innovative showcase of animation, and it’s focus on slower-paced interrogation puzzles widely contrasted the big-budget shooters of the time.

“Six years later, the game has surprisingly managed to make its way onto Switch. While a few sacrifices were made in performance and graphical fidelity to get L.A. Noire running, the ambitious spirit of this stylistic 1940s-era detective adventure remains.”

Call of Duty WWII – £42.99

 Call of Duty WWII is one of the most popular online shooters this winterActivision Call of Duty WWII is one of the most popular online shooters this winter

What’s the verdict on Call of Duty WWII?

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What’s in the Fortnite Battle Royal update and does the winter patch include Christmas skins and gear?

THE Winter Fortnite update for Battle Royale mode on Xbox One, PS4 and PC is now live. But what does the update involve and what Christmas gear can you download in the patch? What’s in the Fo…

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THE Winter Fortnite update for Battle Royale mode on Xbox One, PS4 and PC is now live.

But what does the update involve and what Christmas gear can you download in the patch?

 The new Winter patch includes new festive weapons, along with the usual tweaks and bugfixesEpic Games The new Winter patch includes new festive weapons, along with the usual tweaks and bugfixes

What’s in the Fortnite Battle Royal update?

On December 14, the hit Epic Game title went offline in order for maintenance work to be undertaken ahead of the patch v.1.1.1 launch.

Now the Fortnite and Battle Royale Winter update is live on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

The official Fortnite Twitter account has just tweeted to say it’s now available to download.

They tweeted: “The holiday update is live! Get festive with new skins, wintery weapons and snow filled Save the World missions! Stop reading this and get in game with your squad.”

 You are now able to access your inventory from the menu without having to load into a missionEpic Games You are now able to access your inventory from the menu without having to load into a mission

It typically takes 75 to 150 hours of play to unlock over 65 rewards by the end of the season.

The game allows you to play any mission and earn Seasonal Gold, but can be used to bag seasonal items or see what is up for grabs in the weekly section.

And you can now manage your storage with the global inventory, which can be accessed from the menu instead of being loaded into a mission.

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