John Cochrane

1930 - 2006

Concorde test pilot. Born at Ayr, Cochrane was educated at Strathallan School (Perth and Kinross), followed by the Royal Flying College, Cranwell. He flew operationally with the Royal Air Force until 1960 when his skill ensured he qualified as a test-pilot. Joining the British Aircraft Company (later British Aerospace), he was appointed the test-pilot for Concorde in 1966 and flew the British prototype during its maiden flight on 9th April 1969, alongside co-pilot Brian Trubshaw. Cochrane was also responsible for some of the first sub-three hour crossings of the Atlantic in the supersonic aircraft, together with its maximum ever speed of 1450 miles/hour (2333 km/hour; Mach 2.23) and maximum altitude of 20,726m (68,000 feet).

In 1971, he was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS) and, the following year, the Derry & Richards Memorial Medal for flight-testing achievement.

On retiring from British Aerospace in 1980, he flew commercial airlines for Cyprus Air. During his career he was able to fly a remarkable diversity of military and civilian aircraft. Cochrane maintained a home in Cyprus, where he died, saddened by the fact that Concorde had been withdrawn from service following a crash in 2000, despite its commercial success.

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