LATEST NEWS

STORY ARCHIVE - April-October 2004

Alpha Alpha's tail fin re-fitted - 27/10/04

Concorde's distinctive tail fin has been lifted back into position in another key stage of the restoration and conservation work at the National Museum of Flight at East Fortune.

After the outer wing and engine intakes were re-attached at the weekend, Concorde's unique outline is visible once more.

The re-assembly of Concorde is a complex exercise which has never been undertaken in this environment before. The work is being carried out by Air Salvage International (ASI), the company who dismantled G-BOAA and G-BBDG before their final journeys by road and sea.

Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director of the National Museums of Scotland, says: "Re-attaching the tail fin was a complex stage in the process of restoring Concorde to her former glory, and we are delighted that it has been achieved so successfully."

"People's fascination with the restoration process is reflected in our visitor figures, which are up by 60% on last summer."

Work was also carried out before Concorde arrived to ensure that she would fit inside the hangar once the fin was on. They key to this was re-routing the air conditioning ducts and modifying the steel beams that form the roof, to ensure there was the correct clearance.

The highly skilled conservators and engineers are now putting the final touches to Concorde, and visitors can witness the last stages of the work from a specially constructed viewing gallery.

Work is now progressing to install the dorsal fin, rudders, elevons and small sections of the wing and leading edge that were removed for the journey north. It is expected that Alpha Alpha's external restoration will be complete in the next 2-3 weeks.

Once the re-assembly is completed, work will begin on the full restoration of Concorde's interior and the preparation of the hangar for the installation of The Concorde Experience, which is due to open in March 2005.


Mini Gallery

Concorde fleet update : 1 year on - 24/10/04

Twelve months after Concorde services came to an end, ConcordeSST updates the status of the entire fleet of 20 Concorde aircraft that were built.

Aircraft & Location
Recent Picture

F-WTSS (001)

Le Bourget Air and Space Museum, Paris

The aircraft is now back on public display after changes were made to the hangar to accommodate F-BTSD.

G-BSST (002)

Yeovilton

G-BSST is on public display at the Fleet Air Arm Museum.

G-AXDN (101)

Duxford

Delta-November will soon be moved outside "hangar one" at Duxford for a period of around 18 months, to allow the Air Space upgrade of the hangar to take place.

The Duxford Aviation Society have recently completed work repainting certain areas of the aircraft; under the wings and around the engine bays / intakes.

F-WTSA (102)

Musee Delta, Orly Airport, Paris

A team of volunteers have spent the past 6 months cleaning and repainting Sierra-Alpha, the first time such work has been done in 25 years.

With very little support from Air France, the museum hope to return the aircraft to its original dual BA and AF livery.

F-WTSB (201)

Airbus A340 Factory, Toulouse

After several years of apparent neglect, the aircraft has recently been cleaned. It is open on selected days for tours through www.taxiway.fr, who also organise tours of the Airbus site.

G-BBDG (202)

Brooklands Museum, Weybridge

After being moved from Filton earlier in the year, work to rebuild the airframe gets underway in November.

Volunteers are hard at work restoring sections of the aircraft, which it is hoped will be open for limited tours in the summer of 2005.

F-BTSC (203)

Le Bourget

The remains of Concorde F-BTSC are still under judicial control in a hangar at Le Bourget airport, near Paris.

 

G-BOAC (204)

Manchester Airport

Alpha-Charlie is on display at the Manchester Aviation viewing park and is open for tours on selected days.

Lighting has recently been fitted to the aircraft and plans are moving ahead for it to move into a protective building in the coming years.

F-BVFA (205)

Dulles Airport, Washington DC

F-BVFA is now on public display at the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center at Washington's Dulles Airport. Unfortunately it is not open for internal tours.

The Space Shuttle Enterprise is also now on full display alongside Concorde.

G-BOAA (206)

East Fortune Airfield, Scotland

BA's first Concorde, Alpha-Alpha, is nearing completion at East Fortune in Scotland after being dismantled for the trip north by road and sea.

The National Museums for Scotland plan to have her open for tours in March 2005. However, visitors can already see the restoration being carried on her from a special viewing gallery.

F-BVFB (207)

Simsheim, Germany

After being lifted onto the roof of the Auto & Technik museum, the museum has seen a 50% increase in visitors numbers, as people queue to climb up to experience Concorde.

G-BOAB (208)

London Heathrow

G-BOAB is now a landmark at Heathrow Airport with 75% of departing and arriving traffic passing by the aircraft, stationed at what has become known as "Point Rocket" by air traffic controllers.

F-BVFC (209)

Toulouse

Fox-Charlie was put into hibernation at Toulouse shortly after the high speed taxi tests were completed in the summer of 2003.

She was unwrapped for the recent official opening of the new A380 factory on the site and has subsequently been available for viewing on special occasions at the Airbus facility. The aircraft is no longer airworthy.

G-BOAD (210)

USS Intrepid, New York

BA's trans-atlantic record holder is open 7 days a week for visits at the Intrepid Air and Space museum on New York's Hudson river.

The aircraft sits alongside the 'carrier on a converted NASA barge, but with plans by the New York authorities to redevelop the river's piers over the coming 5 years, she should eventually find a place on dry land.

F-BVFD (211)

Fox-Delta was scrapped in November 1994, after being stored for 12 years at CDG.

Very little of the aircraft structure remains, but a small 20ft section of the fuselage, around the start of the wing, is held in the reserve collection of Le Bourget Air and Space Museum.

G-BOAE (212)

Barbados

G-BOAE is presently in storage at Grantley Adams Airport, Barbados.

No firm plans seem to yet have been decided on by the local government. Her temporary hangar was badly damaged recently by hurricane Francis; fortunately the aircraft escaped with no significant damage.

F-BTSD (213)

Le Bourget, Paris

Sierra-Delta is now open at the Le Bourget Air and Space Museum. The aircraft has been placed in the Concorde hall next to F-WTSS.

Concorde test pilot André Turcat recently opened the new exhibition at a special ceremony, where her nose was hydraulically operated by M. Turcat to the delight of the audience.

G-BOAG (214)

Seattle

G-BOAG has become a hugely popular exhibit at the world renowned Museum of Flight in Seattle.

The aircraft was recently moved to sit alongside the Boeing 747 prototype and former Air Force One aircraft.

F-BVFF (215)

Charles De Gaulle, Paris

The aircraft is currently parked at the Air France engineering base at the Paris airport

Plans to put it on public display have been put on hold, as the airport operator, ADP, is currently working to re-open terminal 2E after the disasterous collapse in the summer.

G-BOAF (216)

Filton

Alpha-Foxtrot has been a very popular attraction since it opened for tours in the summer of 2004.

Unfortunately it is currently closed, following a tragic accident when an elderly gentleman fell to his death from the special entry platform.

Many thanks to AF001, Claudio Luna, Dan Valentine, John Downey and Darren Kowlessar for the use of their pictures.

 

Work moving ahead on G-BOAA (and G-BBDG!) - 3/10/04

Air Salvage International are moving into the home straight with the work they are doing to rebuild and restore G-BOAA at East Fortune after its road and sea journey earlier in the year from Heathrow (via the Thames!).

Work is expected to be more or less complete by the end of October. Eight weeks ago the wings were lifted into position, and over the last few weeks the engineers have been fitting out the inside of the wings with special aluminium channel sections, to hold the wing back in place.

Once work is complete on the wings, they will refit the intakes, engine bay doors and secondary nozzles, before moving on to complete the restoration by manufacturing missing access panels, wing leading edges, etc..

The National Museums for Scotland are planning to have the aircraft open to the public in March. Between then and now, various systems such as power and fire detection will be fitted on board the aircraft, while another museum team is working on the extensive displays that will surround the aircraft.

A special state-of-the-art lighting rig will be installed in the hangar to show off the aircraft. Inside it will be fitted throughout with the pre-upgrade grey leather seats. As the aircraft never flew with the new cradle-action blue leather seats, the museum felt it was right to re-fit the interior as it was when it last carried passengers. No detail is being overlooked, with a new carpet and curtains being specially manufactured ahead of the grand opening.

After work is complete on G-BOAA, Air Salvage International will head to Brooklands Museum in early November to commence rebuilding G-BBDG. At the museum, preparations are moving ahead at a great pace. Former Concorde engineers from British Airways are assisting on site, preparing the landing gear to be fitted to the aircraft in early January after the wings are in place.

Other restoration projects are also underway, with students from Surrey University working on the restoration of the air intakes and volunteers from the Concorde SST forum (young and old!) spending many hours cleaning 20 years of dirt and grime off the fuselage and wings.

It is hoped that by around Easter Concorde G-BBDG will be structurally re-assembled and ready for the full restoration to get underway, which should see it open to visitors by the summer of 2005.

In other Concorde news, F-BTSD is now open at the Le Bourget Air and Space museum in Paris. André Turcat was on hand to open the new display that sees Sierra-Delta and the very first Concorde (001) sit side by side. The museum powered up the aircraft and its hydraulic systems from ground power to allow AndrÈ Turcat to droop the famous nose up and down to inaugurate the upgraded facility.

In Barbados work will soon be underway to repair the temporary building housing G-BOAE, after it was damaged in the recent hurricane that hit the island. There are no firm plans or timescale yet available that will see the aircraft on display and open to the public.

F-BVFC has been on display at Toulouse at the annual historic aircraft day. It will continue to be put on display on special occasions until a plan is formulated for its long-term display. One option being mooted is that it will be placed in the atrium of a customer hotel that Airbus plan to build on their sprawling site.

The Save Concorde group have reached their target of 20,000 signatures on a petition that they hope will see Concorde once again flying, but this time in a heritage role. The petition will be handed into 10 Downing Street on October 22nd and the group hopes to influence the UK Government, British Airways, Airbus and The Heritage Trust.

F-BTSD picture from AF001.com


Man dies in accident visiting G-BOAF at Filton- 24/9/04

A man has sadly died after falling from a walkway at a the recently-opened Concorde visitor centre at Filton Airfield.

The elderly man fell 15 feet to the ground from the specially constructed walkway to the aircraft, while entering the aircraft via the mid passenger door during a morning tour

Emergency services were called to the scene, but a spokesman from the centre said the man later died in hospital.

The centre has closed while an investigation is carried out by South Gloucestershire Council.

Oliver Dearden, from the Bristol Aero Collection which manages the centre, said: “One of out visitors fell from the walkway used to access Concorde this morning.

“Unfortunately we have been informed that he received fatal injuries.

“As a result of the accident the centre is closed this afternoon.”

Mr Deardon said people who have already booked tickets for tours of Concorde Alpha-Foxtrot would be contacted by the museum to warn them that visits have currently been suspended.

The centre opened in August and is based around Concorde 216 which made its final journey to Filton last November.

ConcordeSST sends it condolences to the friends and family of the gentleman who lost his life in this tragic accident.


Airbus could look at "Son of Concorde" - 6/8/04

European aircraft maker Airbus is pursuing early technology research for a future supersonic jet to prepare for the days when enough passengers are ready to pay a "premium for speed".

"Airbus believes that in the future a demand for high-speed travel could emerge that would justify the design of a new supersonic aircraft," Airbus said in a monthly newsletter posted on its web site.

The company said its studies focus on improving aerodynamic performance and using lighter materials. Late last year, EADS (European Aeronautic Defence & Space), which owns 80% of Airbus, suggested it might develop a successor to the Franco-British Concorde in cooperation with the Japanese aerospace industry.

Airbus' rival Boeing has shelved a plan to build the Sonic Cruiser, an aircraft designed to fly at close to the speed of sound, to focus instead on a fuel-efficient jetliner, the 7E7.


Alpha Foxtrot set to open for tours - 1/8/04

After 6 months of planning and preparation Concorde G-BOAF is all set to open to the public at Filton. "Concorde at Filton" as it is being branded, will be open to visitors from Wednesday 18 August. It will be open 5 days and week from Wednesday to Sunday.

A telephone hotline 0870 3000 578 (9am to 9pm on weekdays and 10am to 5pm at weekends and on Bank Holidays) and online booking facility www.concordeatfilton.org.uk (24/7) have been set up to allow the tours, which cost £12.50 to be booked. £2.50 of the cost covers administration with the other £10 going towards supporting the creation of a major aviation heritage centre where Concorde 216 can be under cover as the centre-piece of displays and exhibits that detail the story of the region’s long standing and varied role in the world of aerospace.

Tours last one and a half hours and are restricted to 24 people to ensure that all visitors have the time and space to enjoy the Concorde experience.

“ The opening of Concorde at Filton is the fruition of many months’ hard work, so it will be an exciting moment when the first phone call or online booking form is received,” commented Oliver Dearden of the Bristol Aero Collection.

“ We are confident that the fascination and affection the people of the West have for Concorde will ensure that we get off to a flying start when the booking facilities go live on Monday 2 August!”

The attraction showcases Concorde 216, the aircraft that made the final Concorde flight home to Filton last November. Visitors will enjoy a tour of Alpha-Foxtrot, where they can sit on the original seats and have photographs taken by the famous ‘Mach 2 sign’. A specially created display in the purpose-built Visitor Centre tells the story of Concorde, and an exclusive Concorde at Filton film can also be viewed. In addition, visitors will be treated to a guided tour through the Airbus factory, including the site where Concorde was built.

Concorde at Filton is a temporary home for Concorde 216, and local aviation preservation society, The Bristol Aero Collection, is managing the attraction through a team of enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers.

A few months ago ConcordeSST visited G-BOAF at Filton and had a sneak preview of the attraction

For Concorde enthusiasts further north in the UK Concorde G-BOAC at Manchester is open for tours on selected weekends. Tours of Alpha Charile can be booked by calling 0161 489 3932. More details are available on the Manchester Airport website

G-BOAA at East Fortune is open daily for viewing during her restoration and will open later in the year with a full exhibition planned to open in the spring of 2005. On certain days she may not be available due to heath and safely rules during her re-building work. Museum of flight : 01620 880 308


Concorde Alpha Delta opens for Tours - 1/7/04

After a short delay to ensure New York's fire regulations were met, G-BOAD has opened to the public at the USS Intrepid.

Concorde will be open for public tours as part of the Atlantic Crossings Museum Exhibit at the the museum, which is located on the Hudson River in of the West side of Manhattan. The tour takes visitors through the cabin and into the cockpit.

Mike Bannister &Colonel Tom Tyrrell, CEO of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, formally open Alpha-Delta for public visits

“ We've got the fastest military plane ever built sitting on the flight deck, now we've got the fastest commercial airliner ever built,” said Tom Tyrrell of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. “It was built in the 60’s, but it was still cutting edge. What do we have from the 60’s that's still cutting edge?”

" I think it's pretty neat. It's a shame they decommissioned them, but I'd like to see one,” said one New Yorker. “I’ve never one live, so it'll be my first time."

Last November 10th, the Concorde made its final flight from London's Heathrow Airport to JFK Airport, where she was decommissioned. Later that month, the 204-foot long supersonic jet traveled by barge along the Atlantic Coast from JFK to the Intrepid's home at Pier 86.

Former Concorde chief pilot Mike Bannister, wod was at the intrepid for the official opening said the retired jet will have a second life at the Intrepid.

" It could do so many things," said Bannister. "You could literally buy back time; travel faster than the earth rotates. And Concorde did that for 27 years, in service with British Airways, and we're really pleased that now she starts a new life as a must-see exhibit at the world's premiere sea, air and space museum here at the Intrepid."

"New York is the right place for Alpha Delta, still the fastest flier between London Heathrow and John F. Kennedy International Airport with a time of 2 hours, 53 minutes and 59 seconds." added Bannister

"That chapter of its life is closed, but a wonderful new one opens because she is now an exhibit that hopefully will be seen by thousands, maybe millions of people." he said.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mike Bannister on Visit Concorde
Final preparations are made to G-BOAD on her display barge
Former Concorde engineering manager Claud Freeman talks to the New York media

Meanwhile in Scotland work is progressing apace on the rebuilding of Concorde G-BOAA at the Scottish Museum of Flight at East Fortune. Contractors Air Salvage international are working on the initial re-fit of the wing sections that were removed for the journey north, before reattaching other components such as the air intakes and tail fin.

Once work is complete at East fortune, the contractors will re-locate to Brooklands museum to re-build G-BBDG, where some pre-rebuild restoration tasks are underway such as preparing the famous droop nose for ahead of it attaching to to the aircraft.


We're all set for the ConcordeSST Summer Fayre !!!

The first ConcordeSST Summer Fayre is being held at The Green Man Pub in Bedfont on July 31st from 10am onwards. The event is aimed to appeal to all: local residents, Concorde fanatics and kids alike.

The aim of the Summer Fayre is to raise stacks of money for two worthy causes - firstly, for the Green Man's nominated charity: Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, and secondly, for the cause close to SST's heart: the restoration fund for G-BBDG at Brooklands Museum.

For the kids there will be a bouncy castle, face painting, a magician and lots of other activities. On display, there will be the Concorde droop nose that was used during testing in the 1970's and 80s, which will stop off enroute on its way back from the Farnborough Air Show! Former Pilot Christopher Orlebar will also be there, selling his the newly published 6th edition of "The Concorde Story". He will also be signing his book in aid of the charities.

There will be stalls selling Concorde Memorabilia ranging from T-shirts, Hats and Crockery to Jewellery, CD's, Photographs, and Chocolate. There will also be a White Elephant stall for your Non-Concorde fix.

Photographer Adrian Meredith will have a stall and has donated one of his prints in aid of the event. Steve Letchford has donated a print of his painting of G-BOAA on the Thames at Isleworth as a raffle prize. Nancy Farmer will have an art stall selling her own brand of art (have a look at www.nancyfarmer.net).

There will be special guest speakers in the late afternoon/early evening for you to fill your boots on all things Concorde. Inside will be a Flight Sim of Concorde, so you can see if you can fly her. You never know... you may be put to the test against a real Concorde pilot!

There will be a BBQ, Ice Cream and a Bar all outside, while roast dinners and a whole host of other goodies will be available inside the pub.

Genuine 100% RARE one of a kind Concorde parts will be on sale on the day thanks to Concorde Collectibles!

It is also hoped to have copies of Concordesst's 2nd picture CD-ROM "The Brooklands Concorde Archives" available for sale on the day, as well as a limited edition DVD featuring G-BBDG's journey from Filton to Weybridge.


Journey's end for Concorde - 5/6/04

Concorde completed her final ever journey, when the remaining section of G-BBDG was moved the 125 miles by road, from Filton to the Brooklands museum at Weybridge.

Her arrival was greeted by close to 500 people on the museum site, including the patron of the museum, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, along with the museum's board of trustees and local dignitaries.

The majority of the crowd stayed on to watch the unloading of the airframe section onto jacks, where it will remain for the next few months.

All 18 remaining Concorde airframes from the 20 that were built are now safely in their final museum resting places (unless it is decided to bring G-BOAD home from New York if the Intrepid museum doesn't buck up its ideas! - Ed.)

G-BBDG was split into 5 main sections for her final trip : 2 wings, main fuselage, forward fuselage and aft fuselage. Several smaller components had already been shipped to the museum, such as the outer wings and tail fin.

The engineering team from Air Salvage International, who were commissioned by BA to undertake the dismantling work on both G-BBDG and G-BOAA, will return to Brooklands in the autumn to start rebuilding the aircraft, after work on Alpha-Alpha is complete at the Scottish Museum of Flight at East Fortune.

The rebuilding of Delta-Golf and her restoration will be visible to the public at Brooklands, where museum visitors can experience first-hand the work being done to return the first British production Concorde to her former glory.

Over the summer months the museum's fundraising campaign, that will fund the restoration project, will step up a gear with a presence at the summer's main airshows being planned.

A fundraising data CD will soon be available which will be full of amazing Concorde pictures from the museum's archives, along with a bonus video that will tell the story of how G-BBDG was moved to Brooklands. The CD will be available on-line as well as in the museum's shop and at the airshows.


Concorde set for final ever journey - 4/6/04

Concorde G-BBDGs final journey will take place on Saturday June 5th when she travels from Filton to the Brooklands museum at Weybridge. Concorde 202 is scheduled to leave Filton onto the A38 via the crash gate at 11am and is expected to arrive in Weybridge from around 4pm onwards, depending on the traffic.

To celebrate this great achievement the museum will stay open until 8pm.

Visitors arriving after 4pm will benefit from a concessionary rate of £5 per adult and £12 for a family ticket.

All adults will be invited to charge their glasses with free bubbly and toast the most famous airliner ever as it is driven into the historic site in preparation for its rebuilding as a major exhibit.

The picture shows the aircraft loaded in preparation for the journey


Only the centre fuselage still to come - 27/5/04

The wings removed from Concorde Delta Golf arrived at the Brooklands museum late on Thursday May 27th.

The 95ft long centre fuselage section is now ready to be transported.

Air Salvage International completed the removal of the wings on the morning of the 27th. A diamond tipped cutter was used to give a cut that is only a few millimetres wide. With the landing gear removed, the wing was lowered to the ground on a special set of tracking jacks, before being loaded onto the flatbed low loader.

Due to the Bank Holiday weekend, the trip will take place on Saturday June 5th. If all goes according to plan, the fuselage will depart on its low loader from the A38 crash gate at Filton at around 11am. The 125 mile journey could take anything from 4-7 hours depending on the traffic.

The museum will be open until 8pm on Saturday May 5th, with an concessionary entry after 4pm.

Work to re-assemble the airframe will get underway in earnest later on in the year. Over the summer some preparatory work will be undertaken, as well as an extensive fundraising programme to supplement the funds that have already been raised.


Test Pilots Toast Delta-Golf's Arrival - 6/5/04

 

From Left to Right: Alan Winn, Peter Baker, Alan Hewood, Johnnie Walker, Alan Smith, Roy Radford

Members of the original BAC flight test team visited the Brooklands museum to toast the arrival of Concorde 202.

They included Roy Radford who was Captain on Delta-Golf's final flight on December 24th 1981 and Peter Baker, who flew as co-pilot on the aircrafts first and last flights

Joining them were Alan Smith, Johnnie Walker, Alan Hewood, who was one of the flight engineers.

Allan Winn, the museum's Director, was on hand to welcome the test crew back to the aircraft that they spent the majority of their Concorde test flying time on.

Museum volunteers and staff had cleaned up the aircraft overnight since its arrival. Also on display alongside the main fuselage section were the Brooklands built tail cone section and a droop nose assembly used for fatigue testing. The droop nose that will be fixed to the aircraft is currently on display at the museum, and it is hoped to have it on public display at the Royal International Air Tattoo in July.

Planning is at an advanced stage for the remaining centre section to be transported to the museum in a few weeks time. Due to its size it needs to be transported on a Saturday to avoid traffic congestion.

Once the funds are in place contractors will re-assemble the airframe, before museum staff and volunteers begin the detailed restoration programme. It is hoped to have the aircraft structurally complete by late autumn. Ideally this could allow the interior restoration to be carried out over the winter months.


Delta Golf arrives at Brooklands - 5/5/04

Concorde G-BBDG has returned home to Brooklands museum at Weybridge, where the fuselage sections were constructed before shipping to the final assembly lines at Filton and Toulouse

The forward and rear fuselage sections will arrive on the historic site shortly before 5pm, after being separated from the centre fuselage section at Filton earlier in the day.

Work is now underway at Filton to remove the wings from the remaining section for it to be moved to Brooklands in a few weeks time.

Queen's Motors provided their 30ft and 40ft trailers to carry the loads

Full restoration and reconstruction will get underway later on in the year, but this can't start until the funds are in place.

 


Delta Golf set to come home - 30/4/04

Brooklands Museum have announced that Concorde G-BBDG will be arriving at the museum on the afternoon of Wednesday 5th May.

The delivery marks the start of phase two of the operation to move the aircraft to the Weybridge site from Filton, where it has been in storage since 1981.

Phase two will see the aircraft’s fuselage sectioned into 3 main parts and its wings removed for the 125 mile journey from the West Country.

The initial delivery on Wednesday will see the two main sections that were built on the Brooklands site, the forward and rear fuselage assemblies, coming home.

Precise timings are not yet known, but it is hoped that the aircraft sections will arrive shortly after 3pm. The museum’s Clubhouse and tearooms will remain open until 8pm, should the airframe be delayed en-route.

Phase one (as seen in the picture) was completed 3 weeks ago, when the outer wings, tail cone, tail fin and engine nacelles were transported to the museum.

The centre fuselage section along with the removed wings will be transported to the museum before the end of May.


Alpha-Foxtrot : Sneak Preview - 28/4/04

Work has been progressing apace at Filton to make Concorde G-BOAF into a prize museum exhibit that everyone can visit and enjoy for many years to come, ahead of it being moved to the proposed Bristol Aviation heritage centre in a few years time.

Airbus UK, who are tasked with looking after Alpha-Foxtrot, have spent several hundred thousands pounds building a temporary home for the aircraft. A special hardstanding was constructed for the aircraft to sit on. The area provides special tie-downs to ensure the aircraft does not move during high winds and causes damage to either itself or the surroundings.

A custom-designed entrance platform is on order. This will consist of wide steps up to a platform by the front door and an integrated walkway that will take passengers along the outside of the fuselage for access to the middle door.

Visitors will be taken in through the middle door and out of the front door. A disabled access ramp will also be fitted to this platform, which is being provided by a local supplier.

Fantastic work has been carried out inside to ensure the interior has the exact same look that the aircraft had during its flying days. Airbus have installed a state-of-the-art lighting system that replicates the aircraft's original decommissioned systems. The new mains-powered lights have been skilfully fitted into the original areas to create an authentic look. To preserve the aircraft, dehumidifiers have also been installed, as well as a new PA system.

Custom-engraved perspex screens have been fitted to ensure certain areas remain untouched such as the rear cabin, toilets and cockpit. Work has also been carried out to ensure the "Marilake" displays on the forward bulkheads display the correct information.

Two large portacabins have been installed to provide a visitor reception, small exhibition and holding areas before guests are called to board the aircraft ... boarding pass in hand!

Members of the crew who flew the aircraft in for the last time were on site to see for themselves the work that had been carried out, after earlier attending the launch of the new Aviation Archive website that charts aviation development at Filton and Patchway in South Gloucestershire from 1910 until the present day.

It highlights the national and international contributions made by the Bristol Aeroplane Company and its predecessor and successor companies, including the British Aircraft Corporation, British Aerospace, Rolls-Royce and Airbus.

Final preparations are underway that will see the aircraft open to public tours on set days later in the summer. The tours will be organised by the Bristol Aero Collection and run by their volunteers. Bookings are not yet being taken as the final booking systems are still being put in place.

Concorde SST will publish details on how you can visit G-BOAF as soon as they are available.

Click here to see the sneak preview picture gallery