Program Details

Concorde and its Place in Aviation History: Technology meets Glamour - Boca Raton

René Silvin, MBA

Course Description

In the 1980s, Silvin was one of the most frequent flyers on the Concorde, making him the perfect person to present the history of this marvel of technology from a personal point of view. Concorde’s life, including its development, spanned half a century. Its leap forward in technological advancement has been unrivaled, and the French and British joint development led to a new era of cooperation between the two countries. The ambitious initial plan was to build 350 aircraft. But due to many obstacles, such as sound pollution, safety issues, and high development and operation costs, a mere 20 planes were ever built, with only 14 going into service. The audience will get a feel for what travel on Concorde was like, meet some of its famous passengers, and learn what precipitated its demise. In his inimitable story-telling fashion, using hundreds of pictures and videos, Silvin will take the audience on a trip through time and space. "Presenter was excellent. His knowledge & delivery was truly amazing." - OLLI Patron

About the Instructor

  • Born in New York, René Silvin, MBA grew up in Swiss boarding schools. After earning his bachelor's degree from Georgetown University in 1970 and two master's degrees in business from Cornell University in 1972, he spent 25 years in the investor-owned hospital industry. Since retiring, Silvin has published five books, including a memoir about his friendship with the late Duchess of Windsor, as well as a history of Palm Beach, Florida seen through the eyes of the famous society architect, Addison Mizner, and a coffee table book titled “Normandie: The Tragic Story of the Most Majestic Ocean Liner," which is a historical novel that brings to life the magnificent flagship of the French line, Normandie, which met its tragic end during WWII. He continues to add lecture topics, through offering well-researched, glamorous stories with historical significance, infused with personal experiences, including a history of transatlantic ocean liner travel, the history of Mar-a-Lago, and a series of presentations about the pitfalls of being too rich. Silvin is the former chairman of the Palm Beach Landmarks Preservation Commission.