When British Airways and Aston Martin teamed up to celebrate 50 years since Concorde first took to the skies, the partnership was about more than producing a slick new supercar in the form of the DBS Superleggera Concorde Edition. As well as celebrating the supersonic aircraft’s legacy, the car is also helping to create a new generation of engineers and aerospace technicians.
To achieve this, a portion of the proceeds from each of the ten purchases of the DBS Superleggera was donated to The Air League Trust, a non-profit organisation that supports underprivileged children and creates educational programmes around the subject of aviation.
“This partnership brings together iconic companies in automotive and aviation in Aston Martin and British Airways that encapsulate British excellence,” says CEO of The Air League, Nick West. “It also provides a catalyst for The Air League to offer its new Inspired Engineering Programme, which we aim to make an annual series for many years to come.”
The Inspired Engineering Programme focuses on two groups of children (14-16 year olds and 17-18 year olds), who can attend a week-long residential course, where lecturers from Cranfield University will teach them about various aspects of aviation and aerospace alongside engineers and technologists from related companies. The hope is to not only educate and inspire a younger generation, but also provide viable work placements for those keen to pursue a career in the industry.
For automotive fans, the DBS Superleggera Concorde Edition is a landmark moment. Featuring titanium from Concorde compressor blades that broke the speed of sound, a British Airways-coloured livery and the iconic Speedmarque logo, as well as the aircraft identifier number of the Concorde fleet (G-BOAC), it’s a remarkable creation. All ten cars were sold out of Aston Martin Bristol, just down the road from where the Concorde was manufactured.
For one buyer soon to receive his car, owning one of these vehicles is about more than just having a special edition sportscar, it’s about looking to the future of automotive and aviation technology. “I have flying in the genes. My father was president of the Air Crew Association at Biggin Hill and flew in World War II,” Mark Spelman tells High Life. “So, on one side wanting this car goes back to my father and to my flying heritage, but it’s also a celebration of Concorde 50 years on and where it’s come from.” Spelman has fond memories of flying on Concorde and sees this partnership of two iconic brands as symbolic of the future for British business. “I think it’s about signalling what’s important in terms of where businesses are at today and where business is going,” he adds. “I don’t think this is just about looking back, I think it’s about looking forward.”