WASHINGTON, June 12 (UPI) -- An aviation era ended Thursday when the Air France Concorde made its last transatlantic journey, touching down at Dulles International Airport.
The historic three-hour, 49-minute flight was the last the Air France supersonic jet will make. Air France, last month, ended scheduled Concorde flights because of escalating operating costs and decreasing passenger loads.
The plane, once believed the front-runner of new aviation technology, is being donated to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington.
British Airways will continue to fly its Concordes until October but Thursday's flight marked the last to touchdown at Dulles.
The Washington Post said the donated Concorde was the first in Air France's five-supersonic-jet fleet -- the one that debuted its supersonic service in January 1976, and the first to land at Dulles.
Retired Concorde pilot Chemel Eduoard told the newspaper: "She loved the firsts. This was not an ordinary plane. She was the best of the fleet."