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The view: Concorde’s first trip to the United States

The pilot: Richard Collins, Air Facts Editor Emeritus

The airplane: Concorde SN 002, the first built in England.

The mission: The grand opening of DFW airport, September 20, 1973.

The memory: There were many important airplanes in Richard Collins’s life, including his Cessna P210, N40RC, which he flew for almost 9,000 hours. Close behind that special airplane was Concorde, the groundbreaking supersonic airliner. He rode on it 14 times, flew the simulator, and became good friends with John Cook, a British Airways captain on the graceful bird. But the airplane’s commercial failure was a disappointment for Collins: “The fact that there was no further interest in an airliner that flew well over twice as fast as any other is, I think, one of the most regrettable aviation milestones in the history of our activity. Shame on us for not continuing the quest to always fly faster.”

Editor’s note: This week we have published seven articles celebrating the life of Richard Collins, who passed away on April 29, 2018, at age 84. We are closing the tribute with our popular Friday Photo format (above), and will return to our normal article schedule – and more good airplane stories – next week.

John Zimmerman
4 replies
  1. Terry Weathers
    Terry Weathers says:

    Wonderful tributes to a true icon of general aviation. I’m also 84 and followed Richard’s writings for many years. Before acquiring the P210, did he not spend several years flying all over the country in a Cessna 172? I could identify with that.

  2. Quintin Gerard W.
    Quintin Gerard W. says:

    Just like Mr. Weathers, I am lucky and fortunate enough to have acquired Mr. Collin’s 1974 Cessna 172M (Which was originally registered N40RC and then re-registered as N40RG after he purchased the P210).

    I consider this airplane to be a piece of Aviation History and everyone who sees it is astonished!

    Thank You Mr. Collins for all of your Aviation Knowledge, Wisdom, and Air Facts…!

    May your spirit continue to fly with us all!

    Quintin Gerard W.
    The FnkySax Player!

  3. Bernie Schaefer
    Bernie Schaefer says:

    I was just about to contact Richard regarding the J5 Cruiser that was shot down over the Western Cartridge Plant at Alton Illinois during the war.
    My father a friend of Leighton Collins was involved and the prohibited zone had been extended without publishing it and it’s a sad story and Richard’s father wrote about it and I know Richard had it somewhere in his files.
    My full set of Air Facts was thrown away by a thoughtless person.
    I would love to see those little magazines again.
    I came up the same way Richard did and flew J3’s and the Pacer and the Clipper.
    I loved the Apache and the Aztec and when I read Richard’s Log Book I couldn’t put it down as it brought back so many memories and I read the book with tears in my eyes.
    I still have my ticket for the inaugural Trans Texas Airways flight and my Concorde pin from the pilots who were AOPA members.
    I also have flown Cessna’s for years.
    I treasure Richard Collins books and he helped me a lot through the years and I am an AOPA Life Member with a sixty year pin and Mr Collins certainly influenced me to be a professional Flight Instructor.
    The works of Richard Collins will continue to show many pilots the way.
    Richard certainly helped me Straighten Up And Fly Right.
    So Long Richard,
    Bernie Schaefer

  4. Liad Biton
    Liad Biton says:

    I didn’t know dick in person, but we exchanged a few emails when I published my articles on AirFacts. What a nice, down to earth guy, he will be missed. I am planning on binge reading all of his online articles this month, beats Netflix every night.

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