A side trip on the way home from the FOSS4G Conference in Bonn and from one extreme to the other…
Poor old Concorde 208, abandoned in a disused staff car park a Heathrow, while 207 is perched majestically on the roof of the wonderful Auto Technik Museum alongside one of the rarest of all aircraft the Tupolev Tu-144 “Concordski’.
Concorde 207 F-BVFB was one of the least utilised aircraft, having flown only 14,771 hours, indeed Foxtrot Bravo spent nearly seven years in storage with Air France. However the aircraft did play an important role as the test aircraft for the modifications made to the fleet in 2001.
In June 2003 Foxtrot Bravo was flown for the last time to Baden Baden and disassembled and taken by road to Sinsheim. Although displayed at a spectacular angle on the roof of the museum it is possible to tour the aircraft entering through the rear baggage compartment door via a spiral staircase.
Sinsheim offers the unique opportunity to compare the world’s two commercial supersonic transport aircraft. It is noticeable that the Tu-144 is larger this is most obvious from within the passenger cabin which is much less cramped than Concorde. As is often the case with Soviet era aircraft the Tu-144 feels well-built and rugged with a massive undercarriage and a large cockpit painted in that Green colour so iconic of Russian Aircraft even today. For more pictures see the album here.
Seeing such an amazing aircraft displayed so well just reinforces my indignation of Heathrow Airports treatment of Concorde 208 !