STORY ARCHIVE : July 2005- July 2006

Concorde G-BBDG update - 1/7/05

Air Salvage InternationaI have wrapped up work fixing Concorde G-BBDG's right wing into position at Brooklands museum, Weybridge. Over six weeks more than 200 aluminium channel sections were bolted into place to re-secure the wing to the fuselage, as well as rebuilding the rear aircraft structural spar and landing gear torsion box.

With the right wing in position the scaffolding has been removed. Although the wing is now self supporting, two props have been put in place to ensure the aircraft does not fall of its jacks as its now right side heavy!

The 2nd wing was positioning again using the custom built jig and work is now underway to structurally attach the wing, whcih should be complete by late July.

ASI will soon move on to preparing the forward and rear fuselage sections, ahead of them being repositioned and re-joined to aircraft.

The volunteer effort on the aircraft is in full swing, with work progressing well to ensure the aircraft is painted before the tent in removed in late summer. The under belly and both sides of the central fuselage have been prepared head of the top coat of white being applied and the trade mark cheatline re-applied. Another team are maing excellent progress with the tail find which will be re-painted before being fix on later in the year.

Surrey University are continuing their excellent work on the intakes, which have now been fully repainted, while former BA Concorde engineers are working on the famous droop nose, elevons, engine bays doors and landing gear. A team at Farnborough College of Technology are restoring one of G-BBDG's secondary engine nozzle assemblies.

The dedicated viewing area at Brooklands Museum where visitors can witness the rebuilding of Concorde inside the temporary marquee, have proved an fantastic succes . The displays telling the story of "Delta-Golf" are being constantly updated to ensure the latest information on the rebuild is available.


G-BOAE prepares to go under cover (again!) - 5/7/05

The Barbadian authorities have again signalled their wish to look after and preserve Concorde G-BOAE at Grantley Adams Airport in the Caribbean.

Before a permanent visitors centre can be built, the aircraft’s guardians decided to build a special temporary hangar for her, which would keep the worst of the salty water from damaging the aircraft, sadly the roof of this structure was ripped of when hurricane Ivan got within 40miles of the island in 2004.

After failing to get the fabric structure repaired by the original suppliers, a company ironically called Everlast of Canada, the airport authorities found a local contractor to rebuilt the roof and side walls, this time of a much stronger material, capable of withstanding a category 3 storm.

When work is complete the aircraft will be moved inside the hangar once more and sealed from the elements. It is not known if the aircraft will then be opened to visitors, but the new structure would make a terrific exhibition space for any aviation museum around the globe!

While sitting outside the aircraft has been regularly washed to removed any traces of the salty water and due to the warm climate, any areas of dampness would be quickly dried out, thus keeping any chance of corrosion to a minimum.

Originally the airport’s plans called for a state of the art visitors centre to be built within 12-14 months of the aircraft's arrival. The plans, like the temporary hangar, were wrecked by hurricane Ivan. With the temporary hangar repaired, the clock is now ticking and the world’s aviation enthusiasts (along with BA!) are keeping a very very close eye.

Concorde design partially to blame for accident - 18/8/05

Failure to correct a known weakness on Concorde’s wings was in part to blame for the fatal 2000 crash, an experts' report seen by AFP news agency.

It makes serious criticisms of the manufacturer (Airbus – France) and two French official bodies for failing to react appropriately to a problem first identified in 1979. The final report on the crash said a "major fault" on the lower side of the Concorde's wing was in part responsible, but the crash has been blamed on the presence of a strip of metal left on the runway at the airport by a DC-10 of Continental Airways.

But the experts' report, sent last week to the investigating magistrate in charge of the case Christophe Regnard, says the fault had been known about since 1979 after an incident involving a Concorde in Washington, where the aircraft survived with only superficial damage when the top of the landing gear bay was punctured by debris.

But steps taken to remedy it "were not in conformity with aeronautical regulations, in particular in terms of safety."

Aerospatiale, now Part of Airbus, identified the problem but "the practical measures taken (were) inadequate to resolve the risks revealed."

The report comments on "a wait-and-see passivity on the part of the manufacturer compared with events during operation", in particular the following up of incidents in 1985 and 1993 which were "precursors of the Gonesse accident".

It also draws attention to mistakes by the French Civil Aviation General Direction (DGAC) and the Service of Aeronautical Training and Technical Control (SFACT), two organizations with responsibility for aircraft accidents whose choices for strengthening the plane are described as "minimalist".

In the case of the DGAC, "it is regrettable that its senior officials after having so well learnt the seriousness of the potential consequences" of the flaw in Concorde "did not think they had to go so far as to tell its manufacturer to take steps adequate to deal more fully with the situations encountered."

It was only after the accident were steps taken to protect critial areas of the wing fuel tanks, by installing Kevlar liners to ensure any fuel leaks caused by flying debris would be kept to a minimum level and not endanger the aircraft.

More worrying, the experts say that "without being able realistically to understand their importance, it is clear that political and financial factors had a certain influence on decisions taken by the DGAC in 1981-2 after the Washington accident.

Source - AFP

Plans move ahead for Concorde Attraction in Barbados- 18/8/05

According to local media reorts, plans are now moving forward apace for Concorde to be the centre piece of a new tourist attraction at Grantly Adams Airport in Barbados.

The chief executive officer of the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc (BTII), Darcy Boyce, said the short term plan involves spending $2 million dollars to prepare the existing site to commence tours.

Over the longer term he explained, the BTII will be working with the Ministry of International Transport, British Airways and an independent museum designer to commence work on the proposed aircraft museum next year.

He told a Press conference at Parliament buildings yesterday, the BTII has already started negotiations on a proposal with a team of local and English investors who had experience with museums, and who have already worked on other Concorde aircraft around the world.

So far, the roof of the hangar which was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan last year has been replaced and preparatory work has already started on the outside to provide adequate parking and reception areas for patrons.

On the inside work was being done to ensure adequate access to the aircraft. Apart from viewing the supersonic jet, the joint venture would also include other attractions such as aircraft simulation rides and cultural attractions.

" We hope that we can get those negotiations concluded for the end of this year so that work can begin on that early next year.

" But in the meantime, the Concorde would be available for people to visit," Boyce said.

Guided tours of the Concorde facility should start by December, in time for the peak holiday season.

Brooklands Concorde Opens its doors to the public - 21/1/06

The only Concorde on display in the South East of England that can be visited by the general public has opened its supersonic door for the first time to welcome visitors and celebrate the 3Oth anniversary of the first commercial flight that occurs this Saturday, January 21.

G-BBDG renowned as the fastest Production Concorde every to fly and used for certification flights before beautiful birds entered service has been carefully pieced back together at Brooklands .

Although restoration of the interior has only just started, visitors are at last allowed to take a look inside and preview how the rich and famous of the world used to travel.

Like all Concordes, more than 35 per cent of G-BBDG was built at Brooklands before being transported to Filton near Bristol and Toulouse in France for final assembly.

The Brooklands Concorde made its maiden flight in February 1974.

First visitors up the Concorde steps last Sunday (January 15) were a family from neighbouring Weybridge who are members of the Association of Friends of Brooklands Museum. Peter Worth took his children - Dominic (9), Katja (5) and Alexander (3) on board the faster than the speed of sound machine. Peter said: “I took my camera along to record such a notable event.”

Concorde will now be open to the public at Brooklands Museum on most week days each week and on every weekend. The Museum opens at 10 am with last admission during the winter months at 3pm.

Work is now progressing to rebuild the engine bays under the giant wings. The volunteer effort is progressing to restore the cockpit and landing gear bays, with the help of Concorde Collectables, who have generously donated some spare parts from their on-line store.


Concorde wins Great British Design Quest - 16th March 2006

Concorde has won the Great British Design Quest, where the BBC and the Design museum asked the British (and worldwide) public to vote for your favourite British design icon since 1900.

The public voted in their thousands and from an original shortlist of 25, Concorde was declared the winner on March 16th.

The Spitfire was beaten to Number 3 by the Famous London Tube map, with the famous red London Routemaster bus holding 8th place.

In the UK Concorde came bee seen in 6 Locations (in aircraft order)

002 – prototype G-BSST, as featured in the archive footage is on display in the Fleet Air Arm Museum at RNAS Yeovilton in Sommerset.

01 – Pre-production Aircraft G-AXDN, can be seen at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.

202- Development production Aircraft G-BBDG, can be seen under full restoration at Brooklands Museum in Surrey.

204 – British Airways Concorde G-BOAC, tours can be booked to see the aircraft at Manchester Airport.

206 – British Airways Concorde G-BOAA, As features on the Design Quest programme where the winner was announced can be seen at the Museum of flight, East Fortune Airfield, near Edinburgh.

216 – British Airways Concorde G-BOAF, Alpha Fox was featured on an earlier episode of the Design Quest programme and it can bee seen at Filton Airfield near Bristol.

The Great British Design Quest was organised by the Design Museum and The Culture Show.

New Concorde book a 'must buy' for your Coffee Table

Researched and complied by Concorde Video producer, Adrian Quine, 'Concorde the Tribute' is an un-missable addition to every Concorde fans library.

The book has 128 pages and features hundreds of colour pics from the archives of BAE System, Airbus, Air France, BA and many personal collectors.

The forward was written by Capt. Leslie Scott, who holds the record time for the Supersonic passenger crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in Concorde.

There are many ways to get your hands on a copy of what is a definitive and lasting tribute to that most awe inspiring of aircraft – Concorde:

The UK museums at Brooklands, East Fortune, Filton and Manchester all Stock copies of the Book.

Concorde at Filton offer it through their on line store, additionally Amazon will source it for you.

The book is priced at only £16.00

Brooklands Concorde set for official opening - 16/7/06

The Brooklands Concorde, Delta-Golf, is moving closer and closer to her official opening, with her unmistakable British Airways livery being re-applied.

An official opening ceremony will be held on July 26th, with the Brooklands Concorde Experience opening to the public in early August.

Delta-Golf has been closed to the public since early June, to allow the forward cabin to be refurbished and a specially commissioned exhibition telling the Concorde story, to be fitted in the aft cabin.

TT signs of Addlestone, Surrey, recently manufactured and fitted a replica Concorde sign on the galley unit at the aircraft forward passenger door, the location of many a picture in Concorde's flying career.

When the aircraft opens to the public, visitors to the museum will be able to purchase a special Concorde boarding pass. At their allocated flight time, they will be invited up into the aft cabin, entering through Concorde’s cargo hold and be given the chance to view the exhibition, which, as well as telling the Concorde story, contains some unique artefacts such as a piece of tank liner, a test pilot’s pressure helmet and a remarkable collection of Concorde models in the liveries of the original option holding airlines.

Audio-visual displays will chart Concorde’s progress from drawing board to retirement, before playing a short video that tells the history of G-BBDG.

At the end of the short video, visitors will be invited to walk through a small area that recreates how Delta-Golf looked when she was part of the test flight programme in the 1970s. Set out in this area is some of rare test flight equipment carried on board the aircraft and a set of seats from each era of Concorde flying career with British Airways, together with the special leather bulkheads used to crease a 'VVIP' cabin onboard Concorde for occasions such as Royal flights.

Once in the forward cabin, visitors will see a BA Concorde cabin installed from Concorde’s heyday of the 1990s, is now intalled in the Brooklands Concorde. Visitors will be invited to sit on the luxury leather seats and enjoy a short ‘flight’ on Concorde with Captain Mike Bannister. A special audio and video programme had been produced, in conjunction with EDS, that will be presented on specially fitted screens and speakers in the cabin, to give people a taste of what flying on Concorde was really like.

After their ‘flight’ visitors will be able to see the Concorde flight deck and get their picture taken at the famous Concorde sign.

Restoration work on the aircraft will continue for many years - major tasks still to be undertaken included painting the underside of the wings, fitting the elevons and the fitting of the reverse buckets to the rear of the engines nacelles.