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An Air France Concorde, which had been stranded in New York since one of the supersonic jets crashed outside Paris in July, was heading back to France today without passengers.

The plane took off from New York's Kennedy airport in a flight that many feel could be Concorde's last. Air France grounded its fleet of Concordes after the July 25 crash, in which 113 people died.

The French civil aviation authority said Wednesday that it had given clearance to the stranded jet to fly back to Paris, carrying a crew of four plus an Air France maintenance technician but no passengers.

Air France said it was flying the plane back to France because it wanted to be able to maintain it "in optimal conditions . . ."

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