Welcome to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Manchester streets, landmarks, buildings and events from bygone days with today.

Our main image this week shows a British Airways Concorde paying a surprise visit to Manchester Airport in January 1976.

The supersonic passenger jet, which made regular transatlantic flights to New York and Washington during its lifetime, was diverted from London’s Heathrow Airport due to fog.

Developed and manufactured by French company Sud Aviation and British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), Concorde was capable of flying at twice the speed of sound.

Twenty Concordes were built, including six prototypes, each with seating for 92 to 128 passengers. The plane was operated by British Airways and Air France from 1976 to 2003.

Concorde’s appeal was its speed and luxury – but it wasn’t cheap. A return ticket from London to New York in 1997 cost nearly $8,000, more than 30 times the price of an average air fare.

British Airways Concorde
Manchester Airport Viewing Park
The airliner was powered by four mighty Rolls Royce Olympus Mk 320 engines first developed for the subsonic Avro Vulcan bomber and also used for the TSR-2 supersonic prototype.

If Concorde was the hare of the skies, then another visitor to Manchester airport in September 2015 must have been the tortoise.

It was the colossal Russian Antonov AN-124 – the world’s heaviest gross-weight production cargo plane.

The suspension of the Antonov had been specially calibrated to enable the plane, with 24 undercarriage wheels, to land on rough territory.

The huge plane also had its own onboard overhead crane capable of lifting 30 tonnes of cargo.

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