Blog Concorde

The Last Concorde

Back in June of last year I visited the now disused Aerodrome at Filton to visit Concorde 216 G-BOAF as part of my quest to visit all the Concordes in a year. Then Alpha Foxtrot was a rather sad sight parked in a remote corner of the airfield visible only from a Car Showrooms car park…

Todays visit find conditions somewhat improved.

Alpha Foxtrot is now the centrepiece of the Aerospace Bristol visitors centre and museum which opened last week the result of a £19 million investment, in addition to a building specifically built to hold the Concorde there are three beautifully restored aircraft sheds  holding other notably exhibits including some Bristol helicopters and the nose section of a Bristol Britannia.

Alpha Foxtrot looks in very good condition and is displayed using some clever 3D projectors including this one which explains how the innovative variable geometry intake made sure that Concorde’s Olympus 593 engines always received subsonic air despite travelling at Mach 2.

There is also a small display of Concorde artifacts including test pilot’s Brian Trumshaws Overalls !

Alpha Foxtrot is now up there with East Fortune’s Alpha Alpha as the best presented Concorde and Aerospace Bristol is well worth the visit.

Blog Concorde

Every Concorde in a year…

All the Concordes… where are they ?

To visit every surviving Concorde in a year…

Mission Accomplished…

Well I enjoyed that challenge, here for your reference are details of my quest all eighteen airframes visited in a year.

To find out more click on the date, link in the table below for details of each aircraft visit..

RegistrationLocationDate visited
G-BOAAEast Fortune, Scotland10th May 2016
G-BBDGWeybridge, EnglandMay 15th 2016
F-BVFAChantilly, USA19th May 2016
G-BOACManchester,England28th May 2016
G-BOAFBristol, England11th June 2016
F-WTSBToulouse, France1st July 2016
F-BVFCToulouse, France1st July 2016
F-BVFFParis CDG Airport, France21st July 2016
F-WTSA Paris ORY Airport, France21st July 2016
F-BTSDLe Bourget, France22nd July 2016
F-WTSSLe Bourget, France22nd July 2016
G-BSSTYeovilton, England2nd August 2016
G-BOABLondon LHR Airport, England21st August 2016
F-BVFBSinsheim, Germany28th August 2016
G-BOADNew York, USA28 December 2016
G-BOAEBridgetown, Barbados2nd February 2017
G-BOAGSeattle, USA19th February 2017
G-AXDNDuxford, England31st March 2017

Much as I expected it was in some ways a rather sad process of course we would all rather see Concorde flying rather than in museums, but the fact that a few of the airframes seem almost forgotten and unloved in a few locations is rather depressing.  

Highlights in terms of the best preserved and presented aircraft are pair at Le Bourget, Alpha Alpha at East Fortune and Alpha Echo at Bridgetown.  

At the other end of the spectrum are of course Alpha Bravo in the car park at Heathrow and historic Concorde 02 at Orly !

Seeing Concorde remains an emotional experience, even if you have not been lucky enough to see one fly, there is something so special about the design or at a more fundamental level just the shape.

Of course Concorde was an engineering marvel but perhaps it’s real appeal is that it is the manifestation of the paper dart that we as children imagined all aircraft to be !

Blog Concorde

Concorde 101 G-AXDN, Duxford, England

So my last Concorde completing my year long quest to visit all eighteen remaining airframes… Concorde 101

Or is it 01 and what are these numbers all about anyway…

Well is started quite logically, the two Prototype aircraft were 001 and 002, the pre-production aircraft of which this is an example would be 01 and 02 and the production aircraft numbering would start with airframe number 1, then 2, 3 etc.

Then is was realised it would be easier if all manufacture numbers contained three digits, so 01 and 02 became 101 and 102 and the production aircraft started with 201.

Just to add to the confusion there are the type variant numbers, a number associated with a particular customers version of an aircraft, so Air France Concorde were variant 101 and British Airways variant 102.

Anyway 101 had a short but distinguished life, completing 273 Flights totalling just under 575 hours as the British Development aircraft, quite different to the prototypes and much closer to the production aircraft in design. 01 is the fastest Concorde to fly achieving a speed of 1,480MPH (Mach 2.23) in March 1974.

101 is preserved within the Airspace Hangar at the Imperial War Museums Duxford facility which is a rather full of interesting aircraft making photography rather difficult. A recent innovation is the monthly dropping of the Nose of 101 on the last Sunday of each month  following restoration of part of the hydraulic system… Something I intend to go back to see !

It is possible to walk through the aircraft and view much of the test equipment which is currently being restored by the wonderful people of the Duxford Aviation Society.