Published posthumously, “The Last Flyby: A Thirst for Learning” recounts the life of celebrated pilot André Turcat, the first to test the legendary Concorde.
André Turcat, who died in 2016, defies categorization. This pilot, Member of the European Parliament, and art historian was born in Marseille in 1921. Shortly after graduating from the École Polytechnique, in the 1940s, he joined the Free French Forces, and was later in charge of the airbridge used to get past the Berlin Blockade.
In the early 1950s, he embraced a career as a test pilot. He set several world records and won the Harmon Trophy (an annual award created in 1926 for the world’s best aviators) twice.
At the time, he flew aircraft such as the Griffon II (which the French Army rejected in favor of the Dassault Mirage II) or the famous Douglas (or Dakota) C-47, for missions in Indochina. With the 1960s came the Concorde program. André Turcat was the first test pilot of this aircraft on March 2, 1969, at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport.
He founded the French Air and Space Academy (Académie nationale de l’air et de l’espace) at the start of the 1980s. During this period of his life, he spent a short time in politics, as a Member of the European Parliament for just under a year. What happened next? He returned to education, obtaining a doctorate in art history and an undergraduate degree in theology! A man of values, he was an eclectic person who had a particularly rich and varied career, never losing his “thirst for learning”.
Book. “Dernier Survol, une soif d’apprendre”, by André Turcat. Éditions JPO. EAN: 978-2373011432