Three Concordes landed at Heathrow airport within minutes of each other just after 4pm on Friday October 24th, watched by cheering crowds.
Enthusiasts and curious on-lookers armed with stepladders and cameras manned the airport's perimeter fences, desperate for a last look at the planes. Other spectators crammed into a 1,000-seater grandstand, which had been set up by the airport operator.
Three minutes later Concorde Alpha-Foxtrot landed. G-BOAF had been on a supersonic flight round the Bay of Biscay carrying Concorde VIPs, who included John Cochrane, the co-pilot of the first ever UK Concorde flight, and many historical figures from the aircraft's past such as many former BA captains.
Alpha-Golf flying from New York entered British airspace for the last time at 3.15pm, dropping below the speed of sound off the west coast of Ireland.
Among those on board the flight which left JFK airport at 12.30pm were film star Joan Collins, ballerina Darcey Bussell, broadcaster Sir David Frost and Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone.
Speaking ahead of the plane's departure, chief Concorde pilot Captain Bannister, 54, said he would look back with pride as he powered her engines down for the last time.
"I am proud and privileged to be flying the aircraft. When I power the engines off the last time at Heathrow I shall be thinking of all the people in BA who've kept this plane flying successfully for 27 years," said Capt. Bannister. British Airways chairman Lord Marshall admitted that it marked the end of supersonic commercial flight "for some considerable time".
The final flights bring to an end a supersonic story that began in 1956 when Britain and France began working separately on an airliner that would fly at twice the speed of sound.
The two countries decided in 1962 to work jointly on the project but, as the original cost ballooned, the "deadline" for the first passenger flight slipped alarmingly and services did not start until 1976.
After landing, the three Concordes taxied to join two other Concordes at the BA engineering base where the passengers disembarked along a specially prepared red carpet, and joined other VIPs to celebrate Concorde.
As the aircraft arrived on the base, the crew, hanging out the cockpit windows, waved to the crowds and held Union flags aloft.
Later that evening all 5 of BA's flying Concordes were moved into position on the ramp for a group photo. A party for the BA's Concorde "Family" was held, and they too were photographed with the five aircraft that they had help run for 27 years at British Airways.
Approach picture - Paul Dopson. Landing picture - Damien Burke
Aircraft & Location
Scottish National Museum of Flight
Will be shipped by road and barge in early 2004 and go on display by the Summer
HeathrowDisplay location TBC
Departed 10:25 Friday 31st Oct
Arrived 10:50 am Friday 31st Oct
Intrepid New York
Depts Nov 10th
Grantley Adams Airport, Barbados
Depts 17th Nov
Depts Nov 26th Nov
Museum of Flight seattle
Depts 15:00 Monday 3rd Nov
Arrives 15:00 Wed 5th Nov
BA are still in discussion about the future of this airframe and are working with Brooklands museum at Weybridge, where large parts were constructed.
Press Releases - :
BA -Concorde retirement homes announced
British Airways today announced the locations where it intends to retire its fleet of Concordes after commercial services ended at London Heathrow last Friday afternoon.
Final negotiations are under way to house the seven Concordes in the British Airways’ fleet at the following locations:
· Airbus UK, Filton Bristol
· Manchester Airport
· Museum of Flight, near Edinburgh
· Heathrow Airport
· The Museum of Flight, Seattle, US
· The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York, US
· Grantley Adams Airport, Bridgetown, Barbados
British Airways’ chief executive Rod Eddington said: ”Since we announced the retirement of Concorde we have received a wide variety of interesting proposals from organisations wanting to give the aircraft permanent homes.
“ We have chosen the final homes based a number of criteria: their ability to properly exhibit and preserve the aircraft, their geographical location and accessibility to the public.
“ We are working closely with each of the new homes to make sure they show off each Concorde at her best.”
A technical feasibility study, headed by Captain Mike Bannister, Concorde chief pilot, as to whether a single Concorde can be maintained for non-commercial flying at public events, has been concluded.
Rod Eddington said: “A detailed study with Airbus has regrettably led us both to conclude that it would not be possible.
“ The technical and financial challenges of keeping a Concorde airworthy are absolutely prohibitive. Airbus has told us that they are unable to support such a project, whether it be for British Airways or anyone else.
“ While there is no prospect of operating an aircraft for flypasts and airshows, in the future Concorde will be accessible to the public with the majority of aircraft located in the UK.”
British Airways also announced today that it will be holding an auction of Concorde memorabilia on Monday, December 1. The auction, will be conducted by fine art auctioneers Bonhams, at Olympia Exhibition centre, in Kensington, and items will include a machmeter, a nose cone and Concorde pilot and passenger seats.
Profits from the auction will go to charity, with a key beneficiary being ‘Get Kids Going!’, a charity which gives disabled children and young people the opportunity to participate in sport.
The first Concorde to leave Heathrow will fly to Manchester airport on Friday, October 31. The other Concordes will leave to go to their new homes shortly.
MANCHESTER AIRPORT GEARS UP TO MARK FINAL TOUCHDOWN OF CONCORDE
WE GOT HER! Three simple words that speak volumes for thousands of enthusiasts who helped to bring the world's most famous aircraft – Concorde 204: G-BOAC – home to the North West.
Countless numbers of people put their names to an ambitious bid by Manchester Airport to permanently display one of the seven supersonic airliners retired by British Airways last week (24 Oct).
And it will be a tribute to every one of them when the flagship of the fleet makes her final touchdown on Friday (Oct 31) before taking pride of place in the Airport's Aviation Viewing Park.
With the ink barely dry on the historic contract giving Manchester official ownership of aviation's greatest icon, preparations are well in hand to mark the moment when the nail-biting wait will be finally over.
The celebrations will begin early when some of the key players behind the Airport's successful bid will sit down to a supersonic champagne breakfast based on the menu served on the final commercial flight from New York to London Heathrow last week.
Airport bosses will then answer the question on everyone's lips – what is the future for this unique piece of UK aviation history?
Meanwhile, Concorde 204: G-BOAC will be gracefully preparing for her last ever departure from London Heathrow at 09:55 to arrive in Manchester some 50 minutes later at around 10:45.
Well-wishers will be given a last look at her in the skies as she comes in to land at Manchester at around 10:45.
Carrying 100 British Airways crew, she will taxi through a double arch of water blasted from the canons of the airport fire service, before coming to a halt in full view of flag-waving employees and many other lucky on-lookers.
And after guests have raised their glasses in a champagne toast, she'll be taken to spend the remainder of the weekend parked in splendour on Taxiway Bravo so spectators at the Aviation Viewing Park can enjoy a long, last look.
The Aviation Viewing Park will open at 7am on Friday and remain open until around 17:00. It will open as usual on Saturday and Sunday, from 8.30am until around 17:00. Admission per car varies depending on how many adults are in the vehicle. A car with two adults costs £3.50 at weekends, a car with four adults costs £4.50. The charge is 50p per person on foot.
Delighted Airport Chairman Cllr John Byrne said Manchester was the first airport in the country to take delivery of one of the fleet.
He said: "Concorde's arrival will mark a very important milestone in the Airport's history and will be an immensely proud and sentimental moment for all those watching on Friday."
John Spooner, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said: "Concorde's arrival is not only fantastic news for the thousands of aviation enthusiasts who visit our viewing park each year, but is great news for the region as a whole."
"Given Concorde's unique appeal in aviation history and Manchester's status as a centre of science and technology, it is fitting that one of the fleet has a permanent final home here at the airport."
Museum of Flight Lands Supersonic Concorde
SEATTLE, October 30, 2003 — British Airways announced in London today the donation of a supersonic Concorde jet to The Museum of Flight. The aircraft will be flown from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to Seattle's King County International Airport, site of the Museum, on Nov. 5. The aircraft will be one of only four Concorde's on display outside of Europe.
“We are delighted to be able to share Concorde with the public here in the Pacific Northwest and with our visitors from around the world,” said Museum president and CEO Ralph Bufano. “This exciting airplane represents the pinnacle of technological achievement in commercial air transportation, and it is highly fitting that this historic type joins other airliners in our world-class collection such as the Douglas DC-2 prototype; the Boeing 727, 737 and 747 prototypes; and the only de Havilland Comet in North America.” The British-built Comet was the world's first commercial jetliner.
The Concorde will be on permanent public display from the time of its arrival in Seattle. The aircraft cockpit and cabin will be open to the public as soon as interpretive signage can be installed and arrangements made to preserve the aircraft from wear and tear. The Concorde will be parked in the Museum's outdoor gallery along with America's first presidential jet (a Boeing 707), the 747 prototype and other significant jets. Eventual plans call for the enclosure of all these aircraft in a very large Commercial Aviation Wing, which will be the third and final phase of the Museum's ongoing major expansion.
“As we retire Concorde after more than 27 years of exemplary service with British Airways, it gives us great satisfaction to know that we are sending it to such a good home in Seattle,” commented Rod Eddington, the airline's chief executive. “The Museum of Flight is internationally known for the significance of its collection and the high standards of stewardship it maintains for the aircraft in its care. We are excited about the Museum's plans for telling the British Airways Concorde story to generations of visitors to come.”
Concorde, which first flew in April 1969, has been the world’s only supersonic jetliner since 1978, when the Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 was withdrawn from passenger service. With a cruising speed of more than twice the speed of sound — around 1,350 mph — Concorde can carry 100 passengers from New York to London in less than three-and-a-half hours at altitudes of up to 60,000 feet. Developed jointly by the governments of Great Britain and France, Concorde was flown only by British Airways (and its predecessor BOAC) and Air France. The latter airline retired Concorde from commercial service in May 2003; British Airways’ Concorde made its final commercial flight on Oct. 24. Since entering service in 1976, more than 2.5 million British Airways passengers have flown faster than sound on Concorde.
Details on Concorde’s Nov. 5 arrival in Seattle will be available on the Web at www.museumofflight.org
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND SECURES SUPERSONIC TREASURE FOR NATION
The team at the National museum of Scotland is jubilant at the decision by British Airways to locate one of their prized aircraft at Scotland's National Museum of Flight as East Fortune airfield.
The announcement comes following the week when Concorde made its last flight to Edinburgh and is momentous news for a nation steeped in aviation history.
NMS fought off stiff competition from over 60 bidders around the world to secure one of the seven aircraft.
Golf Bravo Apha Alpha (G-BOAA) will take pride of place at East Fortune where it tops an aviation collection unsurpassed anywhere else in the UK.
The iconic Concorde will be exhibited alongside some of the most significant items in aviation history, such as the Comet airliner, and will complete the picture of flight from its earliest beginnings to the present day. It will also be the key focus of a planned redevelopment of the whole museum.
The decision by British Airways is acknowledgment of NMS as a world-class museum body, capable of caring for the most important of exhibits. NMS Chairman, Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, stated: ”This is a tremendous news for Scotland for us at the National Museums of Scotland. We are very grateful to the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Parliament for all they have done in supporting us to get one of the Concordes to Scotland.”
Dr Gordon Rintoul, NMS Director added, ‘I am thrilled that we have managed to secure this wonderful aircraft for the Scottish people. I believe that the level of interest shown in recent weeks reflects the fondness we have for this breathtaking piece of engineering. We are particularly fortunate as G-BOAA is perhaps the most significant aircraft in the entire fleet. Once on display the aircraft is certain to be hugely popular with both local people and visitors from abroad.’ The announcement comes just days after Concorde made its farewell tour, when crowds flocked to airports around the country to see it in the air for the last time.
Bryan Mitchell, Head of Corporate Decommissioning commented: ‘We are proud to be donating this aircraft to such a worthy home. The proposal from NMS demonstrates that they appreciate the significance of the aircraft and have the professionalism needed to care for such an important item. No matter how old you are, Concorde has the ability to capture the imagination. This announcement means visitors to the Museum of Flight will be able to enjoy the excitement for years to come.’
G-BOAA played a central role in the development of Concorde. Not only was it the first flight aircraft to be delivered to BA, it was also the first in commercial service, flying the first scheduled flight, to Bahrain, on 21 January 1976. In addition, it was the first aircraft to make the monumental journey to New York, touching down only minutes before an Air France plane.
The announcement that the aircraft is coming to Scotland is testament to the collective effort of a number of different individuals and organisations, including strong support from the First Minister, the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport and local MSPs.
The Scottish Executive has agreed to provide funding for the transport, housing and display of the aircraft. G-BOAA will be transported to the Museum of Flight next spring and will be available to the public by summer 2004.
Concorde to go on display at Intrepid
A British Airways Concorde will go to the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum, where it will become part of a permanent new exhibit, Intrepid CEO Col. Tom Tyrrell, USMC (Ret.) announced today.
The Concorde made aviation history as, the world’s only supersonic passenger aircraft, cruising at more than twice the speed of sound, and at an altitude of up to 60,000 feet.
“The Museum is an ideal location to feature the British Airways name and celebrate the legendary history of Concorde,” said Col. Tom Tyrrell). “In addition, the new exhibit will complement the Museum’s mission to honor our heroes, educate the public about achievements in sea, air and space and to inspire our youth to dream.”
“We are extremely proud that Concorde has been our flagship for the past 27 years - during it’s tenure, it became a defining icon of our age,” said David Noyes, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, British Airways, North America. “Concorde is bowing out in style, with dignity and affection, and we can be especially proud that the legacy of Concorde will have a place of honor at the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum and that millions of people visiting New York City will be able to marvel at this wonderful aircraft.”
The Concorde will be on display at the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum in November 2003. The 204-ft. long, 88 ton supersonic jet will be placed on a 260-ft. barge, attached to the Intrepid Museum complex. Special features will be added to the barge including exhibit stations on supersonic flight and the history of the Concorde. The official opening of the Concorde exhibit will be in the spring of 2004.
Concorde made its last commercial flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport to London Heathrow Airport on Friday, Oct. 24, 2003. An aircraft is scheduled to be ferried back to JFK from London in the near future, and after a decommissioning process at JFK airport, the Concorde will be lifted onto a barge especially designed for the Museum exhibit. The barge, which was once used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to transport Apollo Saturn 5 moon rockets, will make a historic trip past the Statue of Liberty, before docking at the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum at 46th Street in Hudson River Park.
Bristol Evening Post Article
The last Concorde ever built - Concorde 216 - will be given a permanent home at Filton. And the Evening Post can reveal today that Captain Les Brodie, Concorde's flight manager, will be at the controls when she lands at the Airbus site, where she was designed, built and tested.
Capt Brodie said: "I have been given the great pleasure of flying Concorde into Filton."
"Filton holds many special memories for me because I, and all the other Concorde pilots, did a large amount of our training there over the years and I can't wait to land back in Bristol in November."
Three other Concordes are expected to sent to UK museums, with the remaining three going overseas.
The hold-up in making the announcement has been blamed on BA officials finalising contracts with a number of the centres. Some of the contracts were still being drawn up at the 11th hour this morning.
But today messages of support for the Filton decision began flooding in.
Former Bristol MP Tony Benn - who was instrumental in making sure the supersonic project wasn't scrapped in the 1970s - was the first to welcome the announcement.
Curator of the Bristol Aero Collection Oliver Dearden was also delighted that the Evening Post Bring Her Home campaign had paid off.
They both said the strength of feeling for the supersonic plane in Bristol - which has been at the heart of Concorde's development and existence for more than 40 years - was as strong now as it had been when the first plane rolled off the production line in Filton in the 1960s.
Mr Benn said: "It is absolutely right that Filton should be named as one of the retirement homes."
"It was built in the city and belongs in Bristol."
"I am extremely pleased that it is coming home to its birthplace."
"I will definitely be coming to Filton to see it."
In time, Concorde 216 will become the centrepiece of a new aviation heritage museum, which is to be built on Filton airfield.
Mr Dearden, who has worked closely with Airbus in persuading BA to retire the plane to Filton, said: "This is tremendous for the whole of Bristol and the surrounding area. It is coming home to the people that designed it, built it and tested it and kept it flying for all those years."
"This is the news that we've been waiting for and we acknowledge the part that Airbus has played in all this because they placed the bid."
"The number of people who signed the Post's petition shows the strength of feeling, not just in Bristol, but around the world."
"BA was made well aware of the love that Bristol people have for Concorde, which it simply couldn't ignore."
"I hope this news will now act as the catalyst for a new aviation heritage museum at Filton, with Concorde as its centrepiece."
The Bristol Aero Collection, which is currently housed at Kemble Airfield, in Gloucestershire, will be moved to Filton in the coming months.
The Evening Post launched its Bring Her Home campaign in April, just days after British Airways announced it was retiring its Concorde fleet on October 24.
More than 8,000 people added their signatures to the petition.
Fans from America, Canada, Australia and parts of Europe all joined with Post readers to call for Concorde 216 to be retired to Filton.
Sir David Frost - Concorde's most frequent flier - also supported the campaign.
Following today’s announcement of the allocation of British Airways’ Concordes to museums worldwide, Brooklands Museum at Weybridge can report that it is discussing with the airline the future of Concorde C/N 202, registered G-BBDG. This, the first British production Concorde, was used for much of the flight-testing prior to Concorde entering service, and is currently stored at Filton near Bristol.
Brooklands Museum Director Allan Winn says: “We are determined to ensure that the predominant role played by the British Aircraft Corporation’s Weybridge organisation headed by the late Sir George Edwards in the design, development and production of Concorde is recognised and celebrated. We will be working closely with British Airways over the next few weeks to determine how that story can best be told.”
Brooklands Museum’s Aviation Curator Julian Temple says Brooklands has made a vital contribution to Concorde since its design work began in the late 1950s, and the site’s unique historical association with this – the world’s most famous aircraft - was the prime reason for the Museum’s ambition to acquire an example for its aviation collection.
“ A greater proportion of the Concorde airframe was manufactured by the British Aircraft Corporation at Brooklands than at any other factory in Britain or France. In particular all the forward and rear fuselages, the massive tail fins and rudders as well as many more smaller components, were made here. Thousands were employed here on Concorde in the sixties and seventies and many local people still have proud memories of their and their families’ associations with this outstanding supersonic airliner,” he says. (Brooklands-built assemblies, like those from other British and French factories, were shipped to either Toulouse or Filton, near Bristol, for final assembly and test-flying.)
Brooklands Museum will make a further announcement over its plans for the available Concorde once its feasibility studies with British Airways have been concluded.
BA retirement flights underway - 31/10/03
G-BOAC's maiden flight was on 27th Feb 1975 and the aircraft has flown over 22,260 hrs and carried out 7732 landings since delivery to British Airways on 13th Feb 1976. The aircraft carried out the majority of the UK-based route proving and endurance flying in 1975, before being modified for full airline service
On board the aircraft for its final flight were Captains Mike Bannister and Paul Douglas, who were accompanied by engineering officers Bob Woodcock and Trevor Norcott.
82 passengers were on the flight. They were members of the BA Concorde family who are being carried on the ferry flights to thank them and their families for the commitment to the aircraft since its entry into service with the airline.
Managers at the Manchester Airport said they had undertaken a six-month campaign to secure one of the aircrafts for the North-West. More than £500,000 is being invested at the airport in Manchester to house the jet at a viewing park for visitors. A special "glass hangar" will be build that will eventually house the aircraft. Peter Hampson, Manchester Airport general manager, said it was a "major coup" to have secured one of the aircraft.
"Undoubtedly [having Concorde in Manchester will] make it one of the best training grounds in the UK for the engineers of tomorrow," said Mr Hampson.
David Evans, general manager of British Airways, said he was "delighted" Concorde was going to Manchester.
"This is the 205th time Concorde will fly into Manchester," he said.
He said the aircraft, which "engenders passion like no other machine", would be looked after with "tender, loving care" at Manchester. John Spooner, Manchester Airport's managing director, said the arrival of Concorde - "an old friend to Manchester" - is great news.
"Given Concorde's unique appeal in aviation history and Manchester's status as a centre of science and technology, it is fitting that one of the fleet has a permanent, final home here at the airport," he said.
Work to extend a replica runway at the viewing park is to begin next month and the aircraft will go on display at the viewing park early in 2004.
An outdoor display will be unveiled by April next year when the jet will be open to the public for escorted tours. It could also be used for corporate events, conferences and even weddings.
G-BOAC will temporarily be moved into one of the airports current hangars for what has officially been called "component recovery" that will see it decommissioned and drained of fluids. Certain systems such as the Air Intake Computer will be removed and kept by British Airways as they are still treated as a "State Secret", 30 years after their development ...
Thanks for greeb0 on the forum for the Manchester pictures, and David Apps for the take-off shot from Heathrow.
ConcordeSST will follow Alpha-Charlie as she moves to her temporary and then final home in the coming years.
Alpha Echo, with Mike Bannister and Les Brodie at the controls took off from Heathrow shortly after 12:30 and headed to the Caribbean Island, that was an important BA Concorde route for 21 years.
Engineering officers Warren Hazelby and Robert Woodcock were also on the flight that carries 70 members of staff from the BA Concorde family
The flight was delayed by over an hour due to a refuelling problem on the aircraft. The crew requested use of the north runway at Heathrow, so BA staff at the Compass centre could get a better view.
Although most of the spectators had set up at the end of the south runway, everyone moved to the end of 27R to ensure a good view after it was confirmed on the airband radios that she would be departing out of pattern.
After less than 4 hrs, in whcih Alpha-Echo reached it maximum certified height of 60,000ft, the aircraft touched down at Barbados for the final ever time, with Captain Bannister weaving the Barbados flght from his DV window and Les Brodie waving the Union Jack from his side.
Barbados’ new aviation museum, to permanently house the Concorde, will be constructed over the next year and a new company is being created to manage the facility.
“ It will take 12 to 14 months but it is going to be a site to parallel any aviation museum in the world,” said Minister of Tourism and International Transport Noel Lynch.
He was speaking yesterday at the Savannah Hotel where a formal sign-over of the Concorde aircraft to Barbados took place.
British Airways’ (BA’s) procurement manager for Concorde, Bryan Mitchell, signed on behalf of his company while Minister Lynch signed for the Government of Barbados, after he had been earlier presented at the airport with the Concorde’s technical log by Captain Mike Bannister.
The agreement signed yesterday between the Barbados Government and BA covers several areas and, among other things, speaks directly to care and maintenance of the aircraft.
BA’s manager for Barbados and the South Caribbean, Elvin Sealy, who played a lead role in ensuring that the local bid was successful, listed some of the criteria set out by his company. He said the aircraft must be maintained in good condition; it must be displayed with adequate public access, and marketing and promotion activities associated with the aircraft must be relevant to tourism and aviation.
“ The challenge for us Barbadians, and the authorities in particular, is to realise the enormous tourism marketing potential that this unique gift presents to Barbados,” said Sealy.
The museum, to be located east of the airport at the old Spencers Plantation, will be constructed as a two-phase project and will include a theatre, administration offices, a restaurant and a souvenir shop.
In the meantime, the Concorde will be housed in a temporary steel-frame tent before the permanent structure is completed. Lynch said he was unable to provide the cost of the project, but several private sector contributions are expected to make the showpiece museum a reality. Construction magnate Sir Charles Williams was among those attending the formal welcome for the aircraft, along with Government, tourism and aviation officials.
Click on the picture to watch a Quicktime video clip of today's take off (2.7MB) you will need Quicktime 6 software from apple.com to watch this.
Barbados info and picture from Nationews.com in Barbados
Concorde's famous radome nose cone sold for £287,490, fetching the highest price at an auction of memorabilia of the supersonic airliner in Paris at the weekend. The radome had been expected to sell for just £10,000.
The next best prices were paid for two Rolls-Royce Olympus engines going for £106,000 and £82,250 respectively.
The first 10 lots alone fetched £52,000. Lot 1, a Machmeter from the pilot's control panel, valued at under £300 in the catalogue, went for more than £7,500. Passenger doors went for up to £34,000 and even green plastic rubbish sacks from the plane's galley fetched £2,400.
"It was amazing," said Capucine Milliot, from Christie's. "Absolutely astonishing."
The auction house had found it difficult to put a price on the Concorde parts and did not know how much money would be made from the sale, Mlle Milliot said. Proceeds are to go to the Air France fund for needy children.
"It's not like jewels or paintings where you can put a rough value on them. We knew people were attached to Concorde, but we had no idea there would be such an enormous interest in the sale."
More than 1,300 people were packed into three auction rooms for the sale, while 45 buyers in 35 countries made bids by telephone. From the moment the auction began it was clear that this was going to be Concorde madness. Ordinary Concorde fans hoping to pick up a cheap souvenir were quickly disappointed as bidding leapt into the thousands.
The auction was conducted by Francois Curiel, the head of Christie's in France, who seemed as surprised as everyone else as bids soared. The buyers were the sort of people who looked as though they had been regular Concorde passengers - women of a certain age in designer suits and businessmen wearing their weekend cravats. Queues of Concorde fans had formed outside the auction house an hour before the sale started. When it finally began, it was a supersonic souvenir hunter's dream. Everything you wished you had taken from the world's favourite aircraft - but were too afraid the stewardess would catch you - was up for auction: crockery, napkins, knives, forks and much more.
The lots, most of them marked with the number of hours they had flown, were taken from the five Concordes that remained in the Air France fleet after the devastating crash just outside Paris in July 2000, in which 113 people died. The crash heralded the beginning of the end for the plane which was taken out of service here in April after 27 years.
In the UK, Concorde Collectables were auctioning off parts from the Concorde development aircraft, that had been held in a private collection since the late 1970s. These original Concorde parts were all used in the test flight prgramme, making them very collectable. Some even came with their original documentation.
All items came from the Flambards Collection, which was acquired by Commander Douglas Kingsford-Hale, MBE from British Aerospace in 1979 at the end of the test programme. Each item is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity showing the serial number and Concorde part numbers of the specific item, with each certificate personally signed by Commander Kingsford-Hale.
One of the top items was the droop nose selector panel from the cockpit, which sold for nearly £5000. A set of original 1970 style seats went for £700, while various instruments and control boxes fetched upwards of £1500. Smaller parts from aircraft systems were easily snapped up for around the £100 mark. The auction was hosted on eBay.
This was only the first part of the collection to be auctioned by Concorde Collectables. Later sales will include a 50% scale Olympus engine model and a full size mock-up of the Concorde cockpit.
British Airways will auction off a selection of Concorde parts and memorabilia on December 1st through Bonhams Auctioneers in London. The BA auction should see over £500,000 being donated to the Children's charity "Kids Get Going"
The auction will be held at the Olympia Exhibition Centre in London.
Martin George, British Airways' director of marketing said: "Concorde is a true icon, the ultimate in glamour and speed. Concorde has turned heads and inspired people around the world for decades and has a unique place in history and in people's hearts. We are proud to have operated Concorde for the last 27 years and glad that by giving people the chance to own a part of aviation history we will also be raising money for a very good cause."
The last Concorde ever to take to the skies will take off from London's Heathrow airport on November 26 at around 11am, British Airways have announced.
The final flight of the world's only supersonic civil airliner will be - as expected - to Filton, near Bristol, with a short supersonic flight around the Bay of Biscay, BA said.
Filton - now home to plane maker Airbus - used to be the base of the British Aircraft Corporation, the British half of the Anglo-French consortium that built Concorde.
The plane, G-BOAF - the last Concorde ever built - will go on display at Filton, where all the British-made models were constructed and tested.
Captain Mike Bannister, BA's chief Concorde pilot, said: "British Airways is delighted that we are returning the last Concorde ever built to her birthplace at Filton. She first flew on Friday, April 20 in 1979 and will land for the last time at 1pm on November 26."
"Concorde was born from dreams, built with vision and operated with pride."
"She's a fabulous aircraft that will become a legend thanks to the people who built her, flew her and looked after her. The people of Bristol should be tremendously proud of all that Concorde has achieved throughout its 27 years of wonderful service."
Captain Les Brodie will be landing Alpha Foxtrot for the final time. Captain Brodie is the Concorde Flight Training manager, and he has spent a great deal of his time working at the Filton site, training Concorde crews on the full-motion simulator that was based there.
The flight path and timing of the fly-past over Bristol is still to be confirmed, but thousands are expected to gather on the Downs, with the plane passing over the Suspension Bridge.
Airbus spokesman Howard Berry said: "We're pleased that we've at last been given an exact date by British Airways and we're looking forward to receiving the plane. We'll now put everything in place ready for the aircraft's home-coming and try to ensure that as many people as possible will be able to see her flying over Bristol into Filton."
The aircraft will be ferried from New York's JFK airport on a barge to her final resting place, the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier. The carrier is an aviation museum on the West Side of Manhattan.
Concorde 210 will be displayed on the barge alongside the carrier, in an environment that many see could see its life come to a premature end, due to corrosion from the coastal salt air and polluted atmosphere.
“The arrival of a British Airways Concorde further enhances the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum as a global destination for aviation history,” said CEO Col. Tom Tyrrell, USMC (Ret.). “In addition, the Museum is an important site to celebrate transatlantic travel. It was here at Pier 86 in New York, where the museum is located, that the SS United States, the fastest passenger liner in history, served the New York-England route from 1952 to 1969.”
“We are extremely proud that Concorde has been our flagship for the past 27 years - during it's tenure, it became a defining icon of our age,” said David Noyes, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, British Airways, North America. “Concorde is bowing out in style, with dignity and affection, and we can be especially proud that the legacy of Concorde will have a place of honor at the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum and that millions of people visiting New York City will be able to marvel at this wonderful aircraft.”
The Concorde will be on display at the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum in late November 2003 on the same 260-ft. barge that was used to transport it from the airport.
The museum have plans to protect the aircraft and will eventually place it under cover. They visited Duxford to understand how they looked after G-AXDN (Concorde 101) over the 26 years that is has been on display there. However, many see this visit by the Intrepid staffers as mere lip service to BA, as the atmospheric conditions in Cambridgeshire are completely different to those found on the East coast of the United States.
Members of the 500+ strong ConcordeSST forum - part of this website - have pledged to keep an eye on the condition of the aircraft, and draw BA's attention to any neglect that is seen over the coming years, before it is moved to a protected indoor environment.
Special features will be added to the barge including "exhibit stations" on supersonic flight and the history of the Concorde. The official opening of the Concorde exhibit will be in the spring of 2004.
The first picture shows Alpha Delta departing Heathrow for the final time, courtesy of David Apps. The other picture is an artist impression of the aircraft on display next to the USS Intrepid.
Another record bites the dust! - 5/11/03
Special air traffic clearance was granted for the aircraft to fly supersonically over the uninhabited areas of northern Canada, thus enabling the aircraft to fly from New York on the American east coast to Seattle on the west coast in a record-breaking time of 3 hours, 55 minutes and 12 seconds.
Alpha-Golf started the first part of her final ever trip on Monday November 3rd. She departed from runway 27R at Heathrow for the final time at 15:30 for the standard trip to New York. After "resting for a day" she was ready to depart for her final resting place.
Captains Mike Bannister and Les Brodie departed from New York at exactly 13:35:18, after calling the tower at the moment they became airborne, to allow the tower controllers to verify independently the take-off time.
Thousands of people turned out at Boeing Field to welcome the aircraft to Seattle. It will go on display at the Museum of Flight alongside the very first Boeing 747, 727 and a BOAC Comet 4C that is being restored.
“The Concorde is what we consider an icon of this first century of flight. And to have it added to our collection is just marvelous,” said Ralph Bufano of the Museum of Flight.
Bufano is a very happy man. Since 1985, the museum has tried to get its own Concorde for display alongside slower but more commercially successful jets.
“There were between 70 and 80 museums vying for these aircraft, and only two British aircraft came to the United States,” he added.
More details and pictures to follow....
Departing Heathrow, estimated at 11.10 on the North runway, via English Channel on standard route out of Heathrow to the Supersonic acceleration point, to fly around the bay of Biscay. Landing at Filton is estimated at 12.42.
Inbound to Filton Concorde will leave controlled airspace at Compton (approximately 10 miles west of Reading), 250 knots, at 12.18
It will pass overhead Filton at around 12.27, then continue west to the Severn estuary.
From there it will head down the Bristol side of the estuary and turn south to overfly Weston Supermare at 12.32 continuing east to overfly Bristol International two minutes later.
Then it heads to fly past the Clifton suspension bridge at around 12:35 and on up to the Downs
If it is landing on Runway 27, it will go east to Cold Ashton (junction of A46 and A420), making a 180 degree turn to line up for landing flying over the A38 on short finals.
Otherwise, if landing 09, it will go overhead Filton heading North then West 'over the M4' (tunnel),making a 180 turn back east for landing.
Either approach it's estimated to land at around 12.42
In Techie Speak:
NAVW: FROM 03/11/26 11:10 TO 03/11/26 12:45
CONCORDE G-BOAF FINAL FLT AND FLYPASTS WI BRISTOL AREA. ACFT MOUNTING HEATHROW AD (ETD 1110HR) VIA ENGLISH CHANNEL LDNG FILTON AD (ETA 1242HR). EN-ROUTE INBOUND TO FILTON THE ACFT WILL DEP CAS(AWY G1) AT PSN COMPTON 512950N 00113W. SPEED 250KT.
OHD BRISTOL FILTON AD (1227HR)
(HDG 275 DEG MAG) TO THE SEVERN ESTUARY(PSN 5131.2N 00244.3W)(1229HR)
SOUTH WEST(HDG 242 DEG MAG)TO PSN ABEAM WESTON SUPER-MARE(5125N 00259W) (1231HR)
THEN SOUTH (HDG 185 DEG MAG) TO OHD WESTON SUPER-MARE (5121N W00259W)(1232HR)
THEN EAST(HDG 084 DEG MAG)TO OHD BRISTOL INTL AD(5123N 00243W)(1234HR)
THEN (HDG 046 DEG MAG)TO FLYPAST CLIFTON SUSPENSION BRIDGE(1235HR)
THEN(HDG 024 DEG MAG)ON TRACK TO EASTFIELD (5127N 00221W) OVERFLYING THE DOWNS(1236HR).
THEN IF LANDING RWY 27 - EASTFIELD(1238HR) TO COLD ASHTON
THEN NORTH TO INTERCEPT RWY 27 RCL(PSN 51312N 00221W)
LANDING AT FILTON AD(ETA 1242HR).
IF LANDING RWY 09
- OHD FILTON
- THEN NORTH TO PSN 5132.5N 00235.4W
- THEN DIRECT PSN 5134.4N 00242.6W DIRECT 5134.4N 00244.3W DIRECT 5131.2N 00244.3W
- LANDING AT FILTON (ETA 1243HR).
2 HEL PHOTO/CHASE ACFT WILL ACCOMPANY CONCORDE IN THE BRISTOL AREA.
OTHER ACFT ARE REQUESTED TO AVOID CONCORDE RTE BY AT LEAST 2NM EITHER SIDE OF TRACK. F)SFC G)2000 FT AGL
The pictire is of G-BOAF being prepared at Heathrow
Thanks to the chaps on the forum for this info
Concorde G-BOAD has completed her final trip from New York's JFK airport to the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier, situated on the Hudson river, right in the heart of New York and less than 15 minutes walk from Times Square.
The aircraft travelled on a former NASA space shuttle external tank barge from JFK International Airport to the Intrepid museum. She travelled along the Atlantic coast, under the Verrazano Bridge, into New York Harbour, past the Statue of Liberty, and up the Hudson to the Intrepid’s home at Pier 86, on the West Side of Manhattan.
After de-servicing to remove hazardous fluids and sources of explosive compressed air, such as the escape slides and life jackets, the aircraft's Olympus engines were removed to reduce its weight for the lift onto the barge.
She will initially go on display alongside the carrier, but preliminary plans have been mooted that will see her eventually on display on the quayside in a special glass built building to protect her from the elements of the Atlantic Ocean
By the Christmas holiday season, Concorde Alpha Delta will be open to the public for tours.
In early 2004, a dedicated exhibit will open to the public, illustrating the history of Concorde and aviation, and honouring the men and women who made transatlantic travel on Concorde an everyday reality.
Pictures - AP and Tim Black
November 26th 2003 can only been seen as a truly sad day for aviation - the day Concorde flew its final ever flight. Nearly 35 years after that first test flight in March 1969, when Concorde prototype 001 captained by André Turcat took off from Toulouse Blagnac, the supersonic era came to an end when Captain Les Brodie landed G-BOAF, the last Concorde built, at Filton shortly after 1pm.
Captain Brodie, along with co-pilot Paul Douglas and Senior Engineering Officers Warren Hazelby & Trevor Northcot took Concorde out of Heathrow at 11:30 am for the final time on her journey home to her birthplace, via the Bay of Bascay. Captain Mike Bannister, the BA chief Concorde pilot, was also on the flight deck.
Well over a thousand people had lined the perimeter fence at Heathrow Airport to watch the plane for one last time as it roared towards the patch of blue that had opened in the gray, drizzly London sky.
Crowds gathered across the entire Bristol area to see Concorde's final flight. Sightseers began arriving from before 9am at the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Downs, and on the seafronts along the Bristol Channel at Weston-super-Mare, Portishead and Clevedon.
Estimates said over 20,000 people welcomed her home around the airfield, but many more thousands had turned out on the route to catch a glimpse of the final flight.
Prince Andrew greeted the flight - which was carrying 100 airline staff - at the Airbus U.K. facility at Filton, where Alpha-Foxtrot will go on display in a location close to where she was assembled in 1979 and from where Concorde 002 took off for its first British test flight in April 1969.
"Today is one of the saddest days in aviation history but at the same time, it's a day to reflect on the glory of what the U.K. can achieve," the prince said.
As Concorde taxied back down the runway the crew hung from the windows waving their flags and drooping the aircraft's famous nose to salute the crowds that had turned out.
After all the passengers had departed, a short ceremony was held where Captain Bannister symbolically handed over the aircraft's technical log.
The aircraft will spend the next few days being decommissioned and made safe for public display, before officially being signed over to the guardianship of Airbus.
The following is a selection of pictures from the events at Heathrow and Filton. A few videos will follow shortly.
Download Quicktime Movies of Alpha-Foxtrot's Final Landing and Departure
Filton Arrival + Salute
Res Quicktime : 2.9MB
Although Concorde's flying career is over, collectors are showing no sign of slowing down in their rush to snap up Concorde collectables and pictures from auctions and traders around the world.
South West News Service has made available to the public for purchase what is sure to become one of the most famous Concorde pictures ever taken, one that is set to rival the Arthur Gibson Red Arrows and QEII picture from 1985.
As Concorde circled on a final flypast of the Bristol area, en route to Filton, it flew over the Clifton suspension bridge where thousands of people had gathered to bid farewell to the aircraft.
The print and others taken on the day are available in the following sizes from www.concordefinalflight.com, with reductions for additional copies.
In the auction market, British Airways followed Air France's lead in selling off some of their "sexiest" Concorde spares for charity.
Like in France, the nose cone - or radome to give it its technical name - fetched nearly 10 times the expected value and went for a £320,000 price tag. The trademark droop snoot was bought by Hungarian born but U.S.-based civil engineer Ferenc Gaspar, a self-confessed Concorde fanatic who said he had got a bargain.
The captain's Machmeter was sold for £28,000 and a scale model of the plane itself went for £17,000.
Various cockpit controls and dials were sold. A droop nose controller went for £6,500 while the primary artificial horizon went for a stunning £14,000. Smaller items such as fuel indicators went under the hammer for around £2,000. A set of brand new passenger seats, from the 2001 re-fit, sold for £10,000.
In total the auction raised a just over three quarters of a million pounds, which will be donated to a number of charities,. including "Kids get going". A full list of the final sale prices is available here.
Also continuing is the sale of the Flambard's Concorde collection by www.concordecollectables.com. These original Concorde parts were all used during the test flight programme. Some come with original documentation. Each item comes with a Certificate of Authenticity showing the serial number and Concorde part number of the specific item, with each certificate personally signed by Commander Douglas Kingsford-Hale MBE (the current owner, who acquired them from BAC in 1979).
Key items that are on sale, via e-bay, include a Concorde Horizontal Situation Indicator, a visor glass panel, the landing gear status display panel, and various other instruments, indicators and controls.
Items that they intend to sell in the future include:
• A flown Concorde radome like the one that went for £320K at the charity auctions,
• The full size exact replica of the front section of the Concorde aircraft used in the original ground test programme,
• The original wind tunnel 50% scale engine model,
• Original "space suit" and helmet worn on the first test flights,
• A photographic display piece from the first ever London - NewYork flight signed by all the crew and many of the celebrity passengers.
100 years to the date of the first ever powered flight I thought I would try to do a brief update on the Concorde fleet, so here goes:
With the on-going re-development work about to start on the "superhangar" at Duxford, Delta November is due to be moved outside in the Summer of 2004
Details on this site as soon as they are known.
|Toulouse||Even though she is on public display at Airbus HQ at Toulouse, they seem unable to clean her and she looks in a little bit of a state... Come on Airbus... get you finger out!|
|Presently at Filton||
Preliminarily work is progressing to facilitate a move to Brooklands Museum at Weybridge. The museum have soft-launched their fundraising programme: Bring Back Delta Golf (BBDG). The campaign name is apt as the cockpit and rear fuselage sections were originally constructed at Weybridge.
It is hoped she will be restored into the original 1970's colours.
Alpha-Charlie is in storage at Manchester Airport, but has recently been on display on the taxi-way adjacent to the viewing park to help celebrate the centenary of flight.
Work will soon get underway to create a "runway" for her to sit on in the viewing park, before work gets underway on her permanent hangar next to the viewing park. It is hoped she will be in the park by April 2004.
Pic : T. Silgrim
The Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport has just opened and Concorde Fox-Alpha is on show there along with some world class exhibits such as the original Boeing 707 and the Enterprise space shuttle.
Rumour has it that she will be re-painted in the next year or two....but into what colours?
|Presently at Heathrow||Logistical and preparation work is underway for G-BOAA's move from Heathrow's bay 16 on the West base, up to East Fortune (outside Edinburgh) in the late spring of 2004.|
With the aircraft fully re-assembled, work is now underway to modify the landing gear so it can be mounted on the roof of the museum early next year, next to their existing Tu144.
Public access will be via a staircase that leads into the rear cargo hold.
Pic : Sven S
G-BOAB has been fully repainted and is looking great
as can be seen in the picture!
Although not confirmed it is understood the current plans are for her to go on display as a gate guardian for the new Heathrow terminal 5.
|Toulouse||Since carrying out a few high speed taxi tests in July as part of the judicial accident review, the aircraft has now been decommissioned and is in storage pending the construction of Airbus' new aviation museum at Toulouse.|
Alpha-Delta has arrived alongside the USS Intrepid at the Air and Space museum. Initial preparatory work is underway to protect the aircraft from the elements before it goes on general show inside and out to the public in 2004.
It is understood that the museum has taken on board a lot of the concerns and will in the coming years move it onto the dockside and place it under a specially constructed glass dome structure.
G-BOAE is being looked after rather well in the Caribbean, she is parked right under the control tower!
Work has started to build her first temporary home that will soon get her under cover and out of the high humidity of the area.
Plans for a fantastic building that will eventually house her at Grantley Adams Airport are at an advanced stage.
|Le Bourget, Paris||
Sierra-Delta, Air France's record-breaking aircraft, is currently sitting outside the Concorde hall at the Le Bourget Air and Space museum.
The aircraft has just been given a thorough wash, in preparation for her moving inside the Concorde hall to sit alongside the very first Concorde 001 (F-WTSS) in January 2004.
G-BOAG at Seattle's museum of flight is open to the public on selected days and, not surprisingly, is proving very very popular. Their plans are for it to be open permanently once everything is in place.
The museum's team that are looking after the aircraft are being assisted by former BA Concorde Captain Peter Duffey, and by the team restoring the Comet 4C in Seattle that will eventually go on display close to Concorde.
Fox-Fox has just been repainted in a temporary paint shop that was constructed at Charles de Gaulle, where the aircraft is stored after being re-assembled cosmetically after an aborted D check.
There are plans afoot for it to go on display at the new Terminal 2E, but so far nothing seems to have been firmed up and its short term future looks a little uncertain.
G-BOAF, after her last ever landing on November 26th, was de-commissioned in the Brabazon hangar, before being moved outside by the A38, next to the Royal Mail building, for temporary storage over the winter.
Airbus and the Bristol Aero Collection are in talks as to the best way to open her to the public next year. A hardstanding area will possibly be constructed next to the West Gate's staff car park. This website will update the details on when she will be open to the public in 2004.