Newspaper Article - The Times of London

Professor Unmasks Russian Spy Who Stole the Secrets of Concorde

  • Alex Farber
| Nov. 25, 2023

Agent Ace leaked engine designs in Cold War battle for technical supremacy

Concorde is famous as being the pinnacle of British-French aviation, but the story of how it fell victim to a Russian plot to steal its secrets is less well known.

Twenty years after the supersonic jet that transformed transatlantic flight touched down for the final time, a Channel 4 documentary has unmasked the spy, codenamed Agent Ace, whose efforts meant that it was almost eclipsed by a Soviet rival.

Concorde: The Race for Supersonic, a two-part film released on Saturday, details how Ace handed 90,000 pages of classified records to the Soviet Union in the 1970s.

Among the documents were the topsecret designs for the aircraft's Rolls Royce Olympus 593 engines as its Cold War rival sought to win the race to develop its own supersonic jet, dubbed Concordski by western media.

At stake was the opportunity to prove which power was the most technically advanced and land a string of lucrative commercial contracts with airlines.

Ace has been unmasked by Dr Calder Walton, assistant director of the Belfer Centre's intelligence project at Harvard, after studying the tightly restricted archives of the KGB defector Vasiliy Mitrokhin, held by Churchill College, Cambridge....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

Farber, Alex."Professor Unmasks Russian Spy Who Stole the Secrets of Concorde." The Times of London, November 25, 2023.

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