F-BTSD - VIP & Ferry Flight

AF4404 : Paris CDG to Paris CDG
AF380Y : Paris CDG to Paris Le Bourget

June 14th 2003

Air France's record-breaking Concorde F-BTSD was retired to Le Bourget on Saturday June 14th, with very little of the pomp and circumstance that should have surrounded the final flight of such an important aircraft. Sierra Delta flew overhead during the opening air display of the 2003 Paris airshow before landing at the airfield, where she will go on display at the French Air and Space museum.

Sierra Delta, which holds the records for the fastest round-the-world commercial flights, made its final flights on Saturday, before slowly taxiing to its new home at the national museum. Earlier in the day the aircraft had flown a final supersonic trip around the Bay of Biscay with VIPs on board.

As passengers are not allowed on board during airshow flights, the planned VIP flight took place earlier in the day, to allow the VIP passengers to disembark at CDG and be bussed to Le Bourget for the handing-over ceremony. The arrival of "SD" at Charles de Gaulle at 9:45 marked the final ever Concorde arrival at the Paris hub, that has been Concorde's home for the past 27 years.

As has been the scene at CDG for all Concorde flights since the decision to retire the fleet was announced, many enthusiasts turned out at the airport as the aircraft taxied past to salute them, with the traditional drooping of the nose and visor, while the aircraft's flight crew waved out of the windows.

Concorde 213 is a gift of Air France to the Le Bourget Air and Space Museum. The arrival of the aircraft in the blue skies over the Paris Air Show brought a hush to the crowd of spectators, straining to hear the approach of the unique sound of the Rolls-Royce Olympus engines.

French president Jacques Chirac, seated in a viewing stand along with his defense and transport ministers, the cream of the French aviation industry and the crowd broke into measured applause.

"The adventure concludes, but the story continues," the announcer of the air display declared.

Sierra Delta holds the records for the fastest round-the-world commercial flights -- in 1992 westbound and in 1995 eastbound -- due to its fuel-saving lightness compared to other Concordes, this in turn due to it being one of the last built and new technologies having been used during its construction, such as titanium rivets.

Since joining the Air France fleet on May 18th Sept 1979, first on lease and eventually sold to AF in October 1980, F-BTSD has flown 11 globe-circling trips and clocked 12,974 hours in 5,136 flights. It flew the last Air France commercial flight on May 31st from New York to Paris.

For her final flight Sierra Delta was under the command of Roland Demeester as the pilot, with Patrick Delangle as the co-pilot and Yannick Pluchon as the flight engineer.

F-BTSD will eventually go on show at the museum which also houses the very first ever Concorde prototype (001 - F-WTSS).

"It is an honor for Air France to officially donate F-BTSD, an aircraft with multiple records, to the Air and Space Museum," Air France chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta told museum director Marc Alban in a ceremony under the Concorde prototype.

"This aircraft, particularly an icon, should figure in one of the greatest aeronautics museums. The Concorde is part of the aeronautic legacy and, as such, Air France should offer it a second life, notably through its exhibition at the Air and Space Museum."

Aircraft F-BTSD (213)

Roland DEMEESTER (Commander)
First Concorde flight on January 13, 2001.
340 hours flying on Concorde.

Patrick DELANGLE (First Officer)
First Concorde flight on January 11, 2002.
250 hours flying on Concorde.

Yannick PLUCHON (Flight Engineer)
Engineer officer since October 1999.
500 hours flying on Concorde.


10 000 hours of flight including 500 hours on Concorde.
1st flight carried out in April 1981.
Flies on Concorde and Boeing 777.

Started with the company in 1989.

Started with the company in 1972.

Started with the company in 1978.

Startedwith the company in 1973.

Started with the company in 1973.

Paris CDG 08:10
Paris CDG 09:45
Flight Time
1hr 35 mins


Paris CDG 11:10
Paris Le Bourget 12:45
Flight Time
1hr 35 mins


(Bay of Biscay Flight)

North to the Channel, crossing the coastline overhead Le Havre. Heading north-west to the TESGO waypoint in mid-Channel, where the route then heads left down the Channel towards the Bay of Biscay via the AKELO waypoint.
Over the Bay of Biscay, around 250km to the west of Brest, a 270 degree clockwise loop is performed that sends the aircraft back to Paris over the Channel Islands and Cherbourg Peninsula.

Hours Flown 12.974 hrs
Landings 5,135

VIP passengers were flown on a CDG-CDG trip around the Bay of Biscay, before being transferred to Le Bourget by bus, as the DGAC would not allow passengers on the flight into the airshow grounds.

F-BTSD took off from CDG and held station in a holding pattern, before completing a low level fly-past of the airshow and French president.

Sierra-Delta circled above and then landed for the final ever time. After landing, the aircraft taxied around the airfield, before parking and being put on static display for the duration of the show.

Picture Gallery

F-BTSD departs from CDG for the VIP flight

Philippe Noret

Sierra-Delta blasts off from Paris CDG

Philippe Noret

Concorde 213 taxies back to Terminal 2 after the VIP flight


The crew wave to the large crowd at the 'Parallels'


The show over, the aircraft heads to the gate for the last time


Sierra-Delta overhead the Paris airshow at Le Bourget

Philippe Noret

F-BTSD on finals into Le Bourget


Sierra Delta only a few feet from her very last touchdown

Antoine Grondeau

F-BTSD landing for the final-ever time

Philippe Noret

Sierra-Delta lands ahead of the Paris airshow at Le Bourget

Airbus picture

Air France sign over the ownership of the aircraft to the Air and Space Museum

Pool Picture

Concorde 213 - F-BTSD on static display at the airshow

Philippe Noret

Official Press Release

Air France

Air France hands Concorde Sierra Delta over to the Air and Space Museum at Le Bourget 

On Saturday 14 June 2003 at 10 am, Air France Concorde F-BTSD will take off from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport for the very last time, heading for Le Bourget. Before setting down at Le Bourget Airport at noon, it will make a loop over the Atlantic. Following this, General Marc Alban, Director of the Air and Space Museum will greet Jean-Cyril Spinetta, Chairman of Air France, who will officially present the museum with the pioneering aircraft.

Concorde F-BTSD (serial number 13), which entered the company's fleet on 9 May 1980, holds the highest number of records: the speed record for a commercial airliner flying westward around the world, in October 1992, and the round-the-world speed record in the eastward direction in August 1995, three years later. The aircraft has made 11 round-the-world flights and totalled 12,974 hours in the course of its 5,136 flights.

This Concorde, better known as "Sierra Delta", weighs 930 kg less than the heaviest Concorde, and therefore consumes less fuel, explaining its outstanding performance.

"It is an honour for Air France to officially hand over F-BTSD, the multi-record supersonic aircraft, to the Air and Space Museum," declared Chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta. "This particularly emblematic jet deserved a home in one of the world's greatest aeronautics museums. Concorde is a part of the history of aeronautics and because of this, Air France had to offer it a worthy second life; one way to do this was to exhibit it at the Le Bourget Air and Space Museum."