I do, however, feel sorry for the machine itself. It’s sitting in its shed now, wondering what it’s done wrong. Why did it not fly yesterday and why is there no sense that it will fly today? Why is nobody tinkering with its engines and vacuuming its carpets?
And what was that last flight all about? Why were so many people taking photographs and why, after 27 years, did every single one of Heathrow’s 30,000 employees turn out to watch it do what it was designed to do?
I like to believe that a machine does have a heart and a soul. I like to think of them as ordinary people think of dogs. They cannot read or write or understand our spoken words. But they understand what we’d like them to do in other ways. Go left. Go right. Go faster. Sit. Lie.
So go ahead. Think of Concorde as a dog that you’ve had in the family for 27 years. Think of the way it has never once let you down. And how thrilled it is when you feed it and pet it and take it out for a walk.
And now try to imagine how that dog would feel if you locked it up one night. And never went back.