André Turcat, Concorde test pilot (1921-2016, Year of Entry: 1940)

After graduating from École Polytechnique, André Turcat joined the French Air Force. Following his service in the Free French Air Forces, he continued his military career and fought in the Indochina War. He then joined the Flight Test Center in Brétigny-sur-Orge, where he obtained his test pilot’s license. In 1954, he joined Nord-Aviation (Northern Aviation), and then left for the public aircraft manufacturer Sud-Aviation (Southern Aviation). The latter became the Société Nationale Industrielle Aérospatiale (National Aerospace Industrial Company) in 1970, and Turcat held the position of Vice Director and then Flight Test Director there from 1962 to 1976. He became the chief test pilot of Concorde, the first commercial supersonic aircraft in history. On March 2, 1969, he made his first Concorde flight to Toulouse-Blagnac, and subsequently piloted Concorde’s first supersonic flight on October 1 of the same year. André Turcat founded the French National Air and Space Academy and was a former member of the European Parliament.