Sleek Concorde jet named British design icon of the 20th century

British voters have named the sleek and retired Concorde jet the design icon of the 20th century, it was announced Thursday.

More than 200,000 people participated in the vote, which was conducted by London's Design Museum, in an effort to determine Britain's favorite homegrown creations.

The public determined the top 10, and design experts decided on the rest of the list of 25.

Also in the top 25 were London's red Routemaster bus, the miniskirt, the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper" album cover and London's famous Underground map, which was based on an electrical circuit and came second in balloting.

But the needle-nosed supersonic jet, designed by the British Aerospace Corporation with France's Aerospatiale, took top spot.

The jet made its first flight in 1969, and all Concordes were retired in 2003. British Airways retired its Concordes in October 2003, saying they were no longer profitable.

Air France, the only other carrier to fly the planes, retired its fleet in May 2003. In July 2000, an Air France Concorde crashed on takeoff at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, killing all 109 people on board and four on the ground.

Tony Benn, who was the government minister responsible for Concorde, said he was "delighted" the plane took top spot.

"Whenever a Concorde flies, people look at it," he said. "It's very graceful, it's very beautiful, it is a symbol of peace and international understanding. It wasn't the most commercial vehicle to start with but the design and beauty and skill is something that you just have to honor, and I do," reports AP.


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