Alpha-Delta’s nose ripped off in New York- 2/7/08

The radome of BA Concorde G-BOAD has been near enough destroyed while the aircraft was stored in New York.

Pictures appearing on the internet, courtesy of the NYC Aviation forum showed the forward 90% of the composite structure missing.

The circumstances that led to this are yet to be known.  Sources close to BA say that they not sure if this was accidental or deliberate damage to the aircraft.

Alpha Delta has sat neglected on an old airfield on the outskirts of the city, while her normal home at the Intrepid museum was being renovated.  She was due to be returned in the autumn.  The relationship between the Intrepid Museum and the sports complex who tenant the airfield apparently broke down many months back.

The aviator complex have appeared to lose interest in the aircraft, leading to the failure in the measures they had put in place to protect the aircraft.

British Airways are now taking a very keen interest in sorting out the issues surrounding the loan of the aircraft to the Intrepid Museum.  The museum have a ten year long agreement running to 2013, but this requires certain conditions to be meet, which are obviously not currently being fulfilled presently and BA will want to know why.

Ex Concorde engineers have been discussing the plans for the aircraft's nose.  These include repairing the original structure, should it still be in one piece, fabricating a new glass fibre nose cone, or shipping out the “spare” nose cone that BA have in their own Heathrow museum to the aircraft.  The latter is presently seen as un-lightly as they last thing BA would want would be for the spare to be similarly damaged.

The BA engineering teams will have to ensure that no other damaged has occurred to the droop nose structure before new radome can be fitted, when this is inspected this will also provide an ideal opportunity to inspect further areas of the aircraft for deterioration.

The New York aviation enthusiast community are considering pulling together a team to look after this aircraft. Similarly to other museum enthusiastic teams of volunteers work very well and can make great strides in aircraft preservation.

The NYC Aviation forum administrator, "Phil D" visited the aircraft and had this to say on his forum:

"I just took a drive down there to take a look at it for myself, and I was honestly disgusted.

It's one thing for the aircraft to have sustained the damage that it has, but it's clear the Aviator Sports could not care less about this plane.

The area around the aircraft is fenced off, and there is a small pool behind the left wing. There are children running around the ground around the plane, BOUNCING BALLS OFF OF THE PLANE. Those rubber dodge balls, hard-rubber footballs, right off of the engines, the wings and the fuselage. "

The airline always wished a Concorde to be displayed in New York, and the Intrepid Museum put forward the best plans of all the museums to display the aircraft in the city.  Sadly nothing in these grand plans, such as enclosing the aircraft in a special glass dome, or coating it in a protective covering ever came to fruition, leaving many to wonder what the future is for the aircraft.

Continental and Concorde designers charged over Air France crash- 3/7/08

A French judge has ordered Continental Airlines and five people to stand trial for manslaughter in connection with the 2000 crash of a Concorde jet that killed 113 people.

Two of those to stand trial are employees of the US carrier, said a statement from the office of Paris prosecutor Marie-Therese de Givry, one of them is said to be the enfineer that replaced a work park on the DC10 with a titanium strip, rather than the correct aluminium part.

Two others were employed by Aerospatiale, the maker of Concorde and the precursor of plane-maker Airbus. The fifth is an employee of the French civilian aviation authority. The trial is likely take place in 2009.

The Air France Concorde crashed shortly after take-off from the French capital's Charles de Gaulle airport in July 2000, killing all 109 people on board - mostly German tourists - and four on the ground when it crashed into a hotel.

French investigators have said a metal strip from the Continental DC10 caused one of the Concorde's tyres to burst, which sent rubber debris flying that punctured the jet's fuel tanks.

The French judicial inquiry also determined the tanks lacked sufficient protection from shock and that Concorde's makers had been aware of the problem since 1979.

The tragedy forced modifications to the aircraft before it was taken out of service in 2003. The flight, which was heading to New York, was the only fatal crash for Concorde in decades of service.

Houston-based Continental Airlines has insisted it was not responsible for the crash.
"These indictments are outrageous and completely unjustified," the airline said in a statement.

"Continental remains firmly convinced that neither it nor its employees were the cause of the Concorde tragedy, and we will defend ourselves vigorously against these charges."

Portions of test from PA via google news

Alpha-Charlie to go undercover this year- 16/1/08

auctionManchester Airport’s Concorde, G-BOAC, is to get a new £1 million super hangar and visitor centre.

The retired supersonic aircraft, which was the pride of the British Airways fleet and has been on display at Manchester Airport since 2003, is to get a new home designed to protect her from the elements and boost visitor numbers.

Work is due to start on the £1.1 million, 68 metre by 38 metre, glass, steel and high tech PVC structure early in Spring and is due to be completed and open to the public by the end of July.

Alpha Charlie is the central attraction in the 250,000 visitor a year Aviation Viewing Park at Manchester Airport and is also a l icensed wedding venue where many couples have tied the knot on board the aircraft which, when she flew, was capable of twice the speed of sound.

The new development will also include a corporate hospitality suite capable of housing up to 75 delegates, an education centre for school tours, an aviation exhibition and a glass-walled visitor restaurant alongside Concorde with views of Manchester Airport’s busy runways.

Manchester Airport’s Operations Director Andrew Holl said of the announcement: “I’m delighted that work is now going to be able to start on the hangar for this important piece of aviation history.

“Concorde is very close to our hearts here at Manchester Airport and we know that her many thousands of visitors feel passionately about her care for the future. We have been working on this proposal for the last year and are all very excited that the first spade will be going in the ground in a matter of weeks.

“The hangar will not only protect Concorde for future generations to enjoy but it will also provide a great day out for the thousands of people we expect to visit in the future. We’re especially pleased as it will mean that visitors can come to the Viewing Park in all weathers, knowing that they can see our exhibits and runways without being exposed to the elements.”

The contract for the work has been awarded to The Hurst Group and the hangar is being supplied by De Boer. The construction is still subject to final planning approval by Manchester City Council.

Discuss this on the Forum

Final Concorde Parts go under the hammer - 1/10/07

auctionThe final major holding of spare components from Concorde have been sold off auction in Toulouse.

The highlight of the auction was a 1.2-tonne landing gear and a set of Cockpit Machmeters The 834 lots for sale also include a Mach-monitoring speedometer, temperature sensors, a windshield and even a Concorde toilet seat.

The majority of the parts in this auction were the spares held by the French half of the Concorde partnership. Many of these parts were structural components , or long lead items destined for the next aircraft due to be built in France; nos 217 and 219.

The UK spares were all acquired by British Airways in 1984, many of these were sold off as part of the Dovebid auctions in 2004. Air France never purchased the French spares to the same degree as BA, who essentially bought the UK government out of the Concorde programme

The parts were donated by Airbus to a consortium of local aviation groups, who are working alongside the manufacturer to build and aviation heritage centre at the famous airport.

When it opens in 2010, it will see both Concorde F-WTSB and F-BVFC displayed to the public, with one or both of them undercover, alongside other historic aircraft built at Toulouse, and the Air France Concorde simulator, which has been returned to the city from Charles De Gaulle airport.

The auction would have included five smoke detectors, but they were withdrawn after complaints that they could be radioactive.

Auctioneer Marc Labarbe said the smoke detectors were withdrawn because they were "contentious" - suggesting there could be liability issues involved.

"This sale is aimed at two types of buyers: collectors who are crazy about the Concorde, but also nostalgic people looking for a last souvenir of the supersonic jet," said Mr Labarbe.

He said the components "aren't just mechanical parts, they also have an aesthetic dimension - all while bearing one of the best trademarks: Concorde".

The auction was expected to raise about €250,000 (£175K), but in the end raised over three times that amount, giving the museum fund a €800,000 head start.

The first item to go was a filling valve, which sold for €450, more than double the estimate. The landing gear, was sold with wooden boxes for €36,000, a set of six unflown elevons went for €37,000.

The "machmeter" was estimated to fetch €1,500 to €2,500, but in the they end sold for €26,000 and €29,000

Concorde parts have fetched high prices at previous auctions. When three of the jet's famous needle-shaped nose cones were sold off in London and Paris in 2003 and 2004, one fetched more than £250,000.

The official auction site is on line at

Alpha-Echo finally opens for tours in Barbados - 30/3/07

Its taken over three and a half years, but at last G-BOAE, the final Concorde to fly supersonically over the Atlantic, has opened for public tours at Grantely Adams Airport in Barbados.

The Barbados Concorde Experience, as it has been named, has been developed to provide Barbadians and visitors alike with an educational and learning experience.

Chairman of Barbados Tourism Investment Inc., Anthony Ellis, said the experience was not only about aviation history generally, but also about the role and development the Concorde played in shaping history during the 20th century

Alpha Echo is housed in a 28,000 square foot Temporary hangar at the airport. The hangar was originally damaged in a hurricane in 2004, but has since been repaired and strengthened.

The Concorde project, which has so far cost nearly £2m ($7 BBD), includes a number of multi-media shows, an in-flight experience, an events centre, a virtual flight school and a gift centre. Captain Mike Bannister, who flew G-BOAE to the Airport in November 2003 was on hand at the official opening

Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch described the centre as "an aviation man or woman's dream come true" and urged Barbadians to protect the project and "cherish it".

Selection of pictures ahead of the official opening

Barbados Tourism Investment Chairman Anthony Ellis, who was speaking at the official opening of the Experience, said they would be devising a special programme with the attraction’s operator (Goddards Shipping and Tours Ltd) and the Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports.

The programme will be set up to ensure the school population of the island is given the opportunity to visit the Barbados Concorde Experience on an annual basis.

Anthony Ellis, went on to detail the plans to develop a permanent aviation museum and theme park based on the Barbados Concorde Experience

Ellis said the BTI had embarked upon the foregoing process and hoped within the near future to enter into a joint-venture agreement with an international investor.

He said the Barbados Concorde Experience had been developed as an interim measure for immediate display to the public.

" We will, therefore, ensure that there is little or no ongoing subsidy for the operations of the exhibition," he told Government, tourism development and airline officials present.

He pledged BTI's commitment to ensuring that Barbados' newest tourist attraction would serve as a lasting contribution to our country's aviation heritage.

Local destination management company, Goddards Shipping and Tours Ltd through its subsidiary, Goddards Supersonic Ltd, will be responsible for day-to -day operations.

The Airport annually sees a throughput of 2million passengers; they have targeted 75,000 of those to visit annually, to pay back the initial investment costs over the next 7 years.

The project was done in partnership with GAIA Inc., the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, as well as British Airways.

Video Report on opening from CBC Video Clip of G-BOAE's final
departure from LHR in Nov 2003

Model Arrives at Brooklands - 30/3/07

After a painstaking 2 nights work, the British Airway Concorde model was delivered to Brooklands in the early hours of March 30th.

On the first night of work at Heathrow to clear the site, the model was lifted clear of the plinth that it has been mounted on since 1990 (it was actually bolted to 3 hidden steel structures and the plinth was simply for show).

The second evening seen the wings removed and the 3 sections transported round the M25 to Brooklands, arriving shortly after 4am.

On arrival, the section were unloaded an placed at a suitable working height. plans are afoot to carry our some long needed restoration before rebuilding it.

Heathrow icon set for New Home - 23/3/07

After nearly 17 of tenure as the ultimate airport gate guardian, the Heathrow Airport scale Concorde model is set to be removed and shipped to a new display home in Weybridge, the former headquarters of the British Aircraft Corporation.

British Airways’ lease on the prime Heathrow advertising spot expires on March 31st 2007. With the airline set to quit the main central terminal areas next spring, a new multi-year lease for the site, reputed to cost £1.5M annually, did not fit in with their marketing plans.

A BA spokesman said: “ We took the decision last year not to renew the advertising contract for the space on the roundabout.

“ The decision took into account the substantial leasing cost for the site and the fact that we will be moving to Terminal Five in March 2008, which is at the western end of the airport, more than two miles from the roundabout.

“ Concorde ceased flying more than three years ago. It remains and important part of the airliners history, but we must focus on the future. We must also focus on spending our marketing budget as efficiently as possible.

Emirates are reported set to take over the spot, sub-leased by advertising giant JCDecaux, in a new 6 year deal that will see a model of their flagship Airbus A380 on the site, until after London has hosted the 2012 Olympic Games.

The 80ft long 40% scale Concorde model will dismantled by a team of experts on March 29th and turned over to the guardianship of Brooklands Museum on the 30th. The museum hope to temporarily rebuild the model on their museum site as part of their Centenary celebrations in the summer, before its moved to prime spot in the local vicinity where it will serve not only as an ongoing advertisement for British Airways and Brooklands, but as a tribute to the thousands of local people who worked in the BAC factories at Weybridge.

Allan Winn, Director of Brooklands Museum said “ Concorde is an international icon that has close associations with Weybridge, Byfleet and the surrounding area. Prominently displaying it in a public location near to the museum will mean a great deal to the generations whose family members worked in the giant aircraft factory at Brooklands, as powerfully drawing attention to what we have here.”

ConcordeSST will have pictures of the model as it is moved from Heathrow to Brooklands

Alpha-Delta arrives at Brooklyn in time for Christmas - 22/12/06

Alpha Delta has arrived in Brooklyn to be the star attraction at the new Aviator Sports complex, which will be the aircraft temporary home for the next 18-24 months.

Alpha-Delta before departure from the Pier
Lifted clear of the Barge
"Touchdown" at Floyd Bennett Field

The aircraft was moved by barge to historic Floyd Bennett Field, during the night to avoid causing disruption and ensure it could be lifted from its barge at high tide. G-BOAD will be open to visitors there during an 18-month rebuilding of the Intrepid's Hudson River pier.

The barge towed the plane to the end of the field's seaplane ramp, said museum spokeswoman Suzanne Halpin. From there, the Concorde was lifted by crane onto a runway and towed, on its own wheels, to the new location.

Alpha-Delta towed to the Sports centre
Arrival at Aviator Sports
An interesting tow truck!

Concorde is the last major item to vacate Pier 86 in Manhattan, where the historic aircraft carrier USS Intrepid had been docked since it became a floating museum in 1982. The Intrepid was moved Dec. 6 to a Bayonne shipyard for an extensive overhaul. It was joined last week by the USS Growler, a 1960s-vintage missile submarine.

Museum officials said the renovation of the 64-year-old World War II carrier and the rebuilding of the Hudson River dock should take 18 months to two years.

Floyd Bennett Field is named for a pilot who had flown Admiral Richard E. Byrd, a polar explorer, over the North Pole in 1926. It opened in 1931 as the city's municipal airport and was used by such aviation pioneers as Wiley Post, Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes.

Today, the airfield is used primarily by police and fire helicopters, advertising blimps and aviation exhibitions, and was recently joined by the New state of the art sports Complex, where Alpha-Delta will be bassed.

Pictures - Aviator sports, Earthcam, "mikephotos"

Alpha-Delta heading to Brooklyn - 5/11/06

The New York Times reports that G-BOAD will be temporarily re-located to Floyd Bennett Field, New York’s now retired airfield near JFK in Brooklyn.

Officials of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, where the Concorde has been on display on a barge since 2003, said yesterday that they had arranged to have it temporarily located outside Aviator Sports and Recreation, a new multi-million dollar, recreational center at the historic former airfield.

The operators of the center have agreed to pay to move the plane from alongside Pier 86 on the West Side and back again in around 18 months, said Tom Wells, Aviator’s general manager.

Alpha-Delta, which sits across from the Intrepid, has been one of the museum’s most popular exhibits since it arrived in 2004, said Bill White, the president of the museum. Most of the museum’s aircraft collection has been chained to the ship’s deck in preparation for the move. But the Concorde’s owner, British Airways, wanted the plane to stay on view in the city, to continue serving as a billboard for the airline, a spokesman said.

Mr. Wells said the Concorde would be towed on its barge to a ramp that extends into Jamaica Bay on the east side of Floyd Bennett Field. A crane will lift it onto a runway where with its oleos re-inflated, it will be towed across a runway to the hangar that has been converted to house Aviator’s ice-skating rinks and basketball courts.

He said Aviator’s management hoped that the Concorde would draw attention to the center, which opened to the public last month on property controlled by the National Park Service.

Concorde Test Pilot John Cochrane dies - 4/11/06

Concorde flight test pilot John Cochrane has sadly passed away at his home in Cyprus after a battle against cancer. He was 76.

John graduated from RAF College Cranwell in 1952 and joined No 617 Squadron flying Canberra bombers, he then flew Vickers Valiants with Nos 214 and 90 Squadrons.

After graduating from the Empire Test Pilot's School in Farnborough in 1960 and resigned from the RAF retaining the rank of Squadron Leader to join Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd in 1962 as an experimental test pilot. He was appointed Project test pilot for Concorde in 1966 and in 1968 he became Deputy Chief Test Pilot, Commercial Division BAC and in 1970 Assistant Director Flight Operations BAC/BAe.

During the Concorde development project he flew the Mirage III, Mirage IV, Lightning, BAC221 and HP115 having made evaluation test flights in the BAC221 and HP115.

He was co-pilot with Brian Trubshaw on the maiden flight of Concorde 002 on 9 April 1969 and was test pilot for all Concordes manufactured in the UK either in command or as co-pilot.

Responsible for extended flight envelope and intake control systems, he also commanded Concorde 101 (G-AXDN) for all ultimate limit flights.

He was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air in 1971, the Derry and Richards Award for flight test achievement in 1977.

He retired from BAe at the end of the Concorde programme and joined Cyprus Airways as an airline Captain, before retiring to the island.

John remained a firm supported of Concorde and was invited by British Airways to take part in its celebration of Concorde during her retirement year in 2003. On Concorde final day in service, he was on board one of the 3 Concordes that landed back to back at Heathrow (G-BOAF). He summed up the day, saying Concorde should have flown for "much, much longer" and was still at the forefront of airline technology. "We should look back at this and see something that we should be proud of. From now on, progress goes sideways or backwards."

After the aircraft retirement he supported the efforts of the museum community to preserve the aircraft. He visited Brooklands Museum in early 2006 to see progress on G-BBDG, one of the development aircraft which he pushed to its limits during the flight test programme.

The picture is of John in the cockpit of G-AXDN in 2002, when the 25th anniversary of her arrival at Duxford was celebrated.

'Foxie' takes a big step towards coming in from the cold - 27/10/06

The door has been opened for a permanent home to be built for G-BOAF at Cribbs Causeway next door to Filton airfield, with the bequest of a key area of land onto which a new visitors centre to house the aircraft can be constructed.

The offer of a free plot of land in the prestigious Cribbs Causeway development has come from JT Baylis & Co, the land owners who built the large shopping mall on the site.

Managing director Edward Whelan said: "(the late) Jack will always be remembered as the man who brought The Mall to Cribbs Causeway. It was his vision, drive and business skill that led to it being built.

" His other great wish was to see Concorde return to its home in Filton. We are, therefore, very proud to support this initiative to build a permanent home for this iconic masterpiece of British engineering, alongside its birthplace and the attractions at Cribbs Causeway."

Location of proposed Concorde Centre - Click for larger image

Outline planning permission will be sought with South Gloucestershire Council in the next few weeks for a state of the art building that will be situated next to the 10pin bowling alley complex.

But the new glass shrouded building will house Concorde and few other key exhibits, but is not expected to be able to accommodate the complete collection from Bristol Aero Collection, the organisation which looks after Concorde 216. The exhibits ranging from helicopters and aircraft to satellites and guided missiles may have to stay at their present Kemble location. The future of the Concorde cabin mock up at Kemble also looks uncertain, as it may be too big to hose alongside the real thing

Surrounding Concorde will be a shop, café as well as specially commissioned exhibition.

To move the project to a successful completion, a charitable trust will be set up. Some funding is already in the bank from visitor admission to Concorde since she arrived. Applying for specialist grants to cover any shortfall in funding, from organizations such as the heritage lottery fund, have not been ruled out

Grants from the Lottery fund are generally hard to secure for focused individual projects, but with something so iconic and close to the nations hearts as Concorde is, a major hurdle might be much easier to overcome.

Also backing the plans in addition to JT Baylis & Co are; Airbus, British Airways, Rolls-Royce, the Bristol Aero Collection, South Gloucestershire Council, The Mall Atkins, Bristol International Airport and builders Atkins.

One the museum opens there will be no need to book in advance, visitors will simply be able to visit on the day of their chose to see the iconic aircraft in its new home.But the Post has been told that the new building is unlikely to be able to accommodate all of the exhibits, including a Concorde cabin, helicopters, jets, satellites and guided missiles built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company and its successors, which form the rest of the Bristol Aero Collection and are housed in a hangar at Kemble Airfield in Gloucestershire.

Speaking to the Llocal Bristol Evening Post newspaper, The aircraft's supporters were delighted that progress was finally being made to move Concorde undercover.

South Gloucestershire Council's leader Ruth Davis, deputy leader Roger Hutchinson and Concorde steering group chairwoman Sheila Cook issued a joint statement welcoming the move.

They said: "We are delighted with this announcement. The council has long been supportive of the search to find a suitable location.

" Concorde is a national icon and a local treasure and we are pleased and excited to be a part of this project which will preserve her for future generations."

The jet is currently being looked after by Airbus and the Bristol Aero Collection.

Bristol Aero Collection chairman David Alway said: "I am personally delighted with this development. The many kind people who have made donations and the hard-working volunteers of the Bristol Aero Collection will now begin to see the rewards of their generosity and efforts."

Iain Gray, managing director of Airbus UK, said that protecting Concorde from the elements to preserve it for future generations had been the firm's priority.

He said: "Many more challenges related to planning and finance are still ahead of us but, with the will to succeed, I am confident we can now move forward with renewed vigour."

Rolls-Royce's Patchway plant helped build the supersonic jets which powered the plane.

Managing director Martin Fausset said: "It's important that Concorde is preserved and accessible, both as a tribute to those who built her and as an inspiration to the engineers of the future."

Rolls-Royce designed and developed Concorde's Olympus 593 engines, in collaboration with Snecma of France.

Assembly and testing of the engines was carried out at the company's Patchway plant, which is now home to the company's defence business.

Alpha-Delta update - 3/10/06

Correspondence from Intrepid seems to suggest that they are making progress in finding a temporary location to house the aircraft:

"We are currently working on several options for a temporary home for her. All our options include keeping her on public display. I can’t go into further detail about these potential locations due to the sensitive nature of some of these negotiations. We should be wrapping something up by early to mid November and a public announcement will be made then. Thank you for your interest in this matter. Rest assured we have her and BA’s best interest in mind in everything we are doing."

Alpha-Delta Homeless in New York? - 1/10/06

Although detailed plans have been in the works for more than 2 years, the Intrepid Museum in New York still have not been able to find a temporary location to display G-BOAD for 18months.

The USS Intrepid aircraft carrier, which is the centre piece of the museum, has not budged from its berth in more than 25 years, is now closed to visitors. It is scheduled to be towed to Bayonne, New Jersey, in early November for an overhaul. After repairs are complete it will be towed to Staten Island to be refitted until the pier is ready.

British Airways, which lent Concorde to the museum in 2004, want a more visible setting for the aircraft, which they consider a three-dimensional billboard for their business, said John Lampl, a spokesman for the airline.

Alpha-Delta had been perched on a barge on the West Side of Manhattan for the last two and a half years. But, like its neighbour, the Intrepid, an aircraft carrier that houses the museum, it must too make way for repairs to be made to the crumbling pier.

“ Ideally, we’d want to keep it in Manhattan, in New York City, in some place that’s high in traffic on the tourism beat, so to speak,” Mr. Lampl said. But, he added, “It’s not something that you can just park in the middle of Fifth Avenue.”

The airline’s demand sent Intrepid officials to the phones, dialing for sympathy and space, along the waterfront if possible. They have tried the South Street Seaport, various ferry and tourist-boat operators, even the New York Hall of Science in Queens, all to no avail.

“ It would be a nice little draw for a little while,” said Jeff Remling, director of operations at the South Street Seaport Museum. But, he said, “We just can’t physically get it in here.”

The Hall of Science has a collection of rockets on display but even if it did have enough room for a jet with a wingspan of almost 84 feet, there would be the problem of getting the 80-ton Concorde off the barge, onto a flatbed and through the underpasses of the Grand Central Parkway.

“ The Concorde’s just enormous,” said Marilyn Hoyt, the hall’s president. “They need an absolutely enormous space and they need it consistently through these years. So we’re not going to be their site, although we would have loved to have the Concorde here.”

The Intrepid is desperate not to lose the jet, which has been responsible for boosting yearly visitor numbers by more than 100,000. When the museum reopens in May 2008, the newly rebuilt pier will have a specially designed area for the Concorde to sit on.

" It's still up in the air what will happen when we close," aircraft restoration specialist Eric Boehm said.

Bill White, the president of the Intrepid museum, estimated that the museum will incur a deficit of about $4.5 million from the time it closes tomorrow evening until it reopens back at Pier 86 on the West Side in the spring of 2008.

It cannot afford to pay much to relocate the Concorde in the interim and, he said, he would prefer to sell the barge the jet sits on as soon as possible.

He characterized the odds of finding a temporary home in Manhattan as “slim” but like a New York driver circling the block for the fourth time, he held out hope that a parking space would present itself.

“ I think we’re going to find a home for it and I hope it’s one of prominence,” he said.

Concorde fans on both sides of the Atlantic have had worries over G-BOAD since it arrived in New York, as it sitting exposed to the salty coastal elements, it not the ideal location for long term preservation.

Recent visitors on-board Concorde in New York have been shocked but he state of the interior; with the carpet being ruined, overhead lockers being filthy with handprints, various door and access panels hanging off the galleys and the famous Concorde sign at the front door gone, being replaced with a cheep fake.

Alpha Delta is in her current state of repair is not the epitome of what Concorde represented. Unless steps are taken to find her a new permanent home, or force the current guardians to look after her better, Alpha-Delta's long term future could look bleak.

Portions of text from New York Times

Raymond Baxter Passes Away - 15/9/06

TV Legend Raymond Baxter has sadly died at the age of 84. In Concorde circles he was best known for commentating on Concorde's maiden flight with those famous words "She flies – Concorde flies"

His daughter Jenny Douglas and son Dr Graham Baxter were with him when he died at Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading.

He presented Tomorrow's World for its first 12 years, but also commentated on the Queen's coronation, Churchill's funeral and Concorde's first flight.

His family said he was working until the day before he went into hospital.

They said in a statement: "He had a love of innovation and challenge both professionally and personally, and he met that challenge right up to the end because he was commentating at Goodwood the day before he was taken into hospital.

" He was a professional through and through in everything he attempted from his days as a pilot, as a broadcaster, and through to his love of sailing."

He was a Spitfire pilot during World War II, taking part in raids against V1 and V2 missile sites deep inside occupied Europe.

Immediately after the war he joined the British Forces Network and reported on the Berlin airlift.

A motorsport enthusiast, he not only covered but also took part in a number of Monte Carlo rallies.

David Pickthall, executive producer of the BBC's events department, paid tribute to the veteran presenter.

He said: "Raymond Baxter was without doubt a British television pioneer, whose groundbreaking outside broadcast work for the BBC, beginning in the 1950s, set standards for the industry.

" His distinctive voice provided the viewer with a trusted guide to many television firsts - the first live pictures from America and the first flight of Concorde amongst the best remembered.

" His iconic presentation of Tomorrow's World was for many their first entry into an understanding and interest in the world of science and technology."

One of the highlights of his time on Tomorrow's World was in 1967, when he interviewed Dr Christian Barnard live by telephone from South Africa, just one hour after he completed the world's first heart transplant.

Former Tomorrow's World presenter Maggie Philbin also paid tribute to her colleague.

" He was an absolute gentlemen, such a lovely, lovely man, immense charm and absolutely passionate about technology," she told BBC Radio Berkshire, where she now broadcasts.

" I felt very envious of him because the era that he worked on Tomorrow's World was the time that technology was 'white hot'. Raymond showed us the very first hovercraft and he went on the very first flight of Concorde."

Baxter returned to Tomorrow's World for anniversary editions but was "sad" to see it dropped by the BBC in 2003.

Former series deputy editor Phil Dolling said: "Raymond was fearless in front of a live camera - reporting around the world on important moments in history.

" He possessed authority, intelligence and charisma - and more than that, he was a true gentleman."

Thanks to BBC News Online for this obituary

For a limited time, Concorde SST has made available the famous Concorde Documentary from the maident flights of Concorde 001 and 002. The producers titled it "She Flies - IL Vole" after Raymond's commentary, the one for which he will be so much remembered.

Raymond Baxter 1922-2006

Click here to watch "She Flies" - you will need the latest version of QuickTime from (Copyright BAE Systems and Airbus)

Brooklands Concorde OPENS - AUGUST 2006

G-BBDG, the first British Production Concorde, is now open at Brooklands Museum.

For full details on the Brooklands Concorde Experience and how to visit see our siter site



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