Concorde & the future of supersonic passenger travel


Concorde bobleeds.jpg
I think a lot of people, including many not normally interested in aviation, would like to see a Concorde fly again.

I'm not concerned which Concorde took to the air but I suspect the more time goes by the less likely it is, and there didn't seem too much chance once the decision had been taken to ground the French and British fleets permanently.

It was generally believed that the most likely candidate would be G-BOAF, the last Concorde to be built in Britain and the last Concorde ever to fly - so far!!

AF returned to her place of birth at Filton but then spent seven years in the open air at the airfield as a tourist attraction. She sustained a lot of damage from the elements in that time and has now been removed from public access whilst engineers assess the frame. There is no timescale for her return to the public domain.

The plan was and remains to have her as the centrepiece of the Bristol Aero Collection which is earmarked for a site next to the Filton airfield and Cribbs Causeway regional shopping centre. Land has been acquired but the cost of building a museum escalates as time passes, with no progress because of a lack of cash.

A sad tale and it can only be hoped that at some time in the future AF will find a home in keeping with her celebrity status in the aviation world.

Some have suggested that AF should be moved and exhibited at the Bristol Harbourside alongside Brunel's SS Great Britain, another example of a quantum leap in the progression of public transport. My view is that she should be put on show in her natural home, at or near Filton airfield.

Picture: bobleeds
Last edited by a moderator:


Re: Concorde

The best one is G-BOAC she in prime condition she kept in a hanger where she safe from the elements she got all the parts still in place all she would need to fly again would be hydrolic fluid ad fuel and she could take to the skies, she gets checked over each month by BA maintaince so i couldn't see why not she can't fly.
Re: Concorde

Cribbs Causeway Concorde museum gets £840,000 boost

A museum planned in Bristol which would house the last Concorde to fly has been given a £840,000 cash boost by Airbus.

Plans for the £9m museum at Cribbs Causeway were first submitted in 2007 but building work has never started because of a lack of funding.

The proposed museum will also house the Bristol Aero Collection, as well as an education and learning centre.

The Bristol-based Concorde Trust has also applied for £2.9m of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

That decision is due to be made in the next week.

In April, Airbus denied speculation that it was planning to move a Concorde exhibit away from the city.

The jet has been at Filton since 2003 and was closed to the public in October 2010 for maintenance.

Airbus has previously said it was committed to supporting a bid to build a permanent home for it in the Bristol area.

But BAE Systems, which owns Filton Airfield where the jet is based, is to close from the end of 2012, meaning a new home will soon have to be found for the jet.

The plane - called Concorde 216 or Alpha Foxtrot - was the last of the fleet to fly when Concorde was withdrawn from service by British Airways in 2003 due to increased running costs.

British Airways, which owns the plane, has handed over responsibility for the aircraft to Airbus.

Airbus said it had been carrying out extensive maintenance on Alpha Foxtrot, including weather proofing, skin panel repairs and corrosion removal work.

Other Concorde exhibits are located at Manchester Airport, Edinburgh, Heathrow Airport, Seattle, New York and Barbados.[/textarea]

Another welcome step on the way to gaining the much-needed museum to house G-BOAF.
Re: Concorde

The decision to ground the Concordes completely was, in my view, tragic and wrong. There are certain aircraft that should be treated as something more than just a means of transport and which should be preserved in flying condition, and the Concorde has to be one of those. After all, it is the only successful supersonic passenger aircraft (I don't think the Tupolev SST was a success). It is without doubt the most beautiful aircraft of its type ever built, and the Governments of the UK and France should have done something to preserve at least one flying specimen. It makes me very sad that they no longer fly, and I freely admit to getting very emotional when I watch videos on U Tube of Concordes landing and taking off at LBA. G-BOAC would be a good example to fly again - and it was registered with the name of the airline that placed the most orders too, so quite fitting really. I just hope that somehow they find the funding to do it, although I don't really have much hope given the problems funding the restoration of the only Vulcan.
Re: Concorde

Concorde was essentially the victim of American protectionism. Because they had not designed and built it they made sure that no-one else would do so successfully. Their lengthy prevarication on letting the aircraft into the USA, mainly on the spurious grounds of noise, ensured that airlines other than British Airways and Air France lost interest.

Had Boeing built the Concorde there is little doubt the aircraft, and subsequent later models, would be criss-crossing the globe now.

It probably is too late, on grounds of cost alone, for any Concorde to fly again.

The last British Concorde to be built, G-BOAF, was certainly the one earmarked for further flight if any of the British Concordes was to fly again. She has the melancholy distinction of being the last ever Concorde to fly - on Wednesday 26 November 2003 when she returned to her place of birth at Filton.

In 2004, Jock Lowe, former chief Concorde pilot and manager of the fleet at BA, estimated it would cost £10-15 million to make AF airworthy again. That was at 2004 prices and anyway AF has sadly deteriorated since then so it may be that AC or another sister would now be in better shape to take to the air again if a miracle happens.

I saw that final Concorde flight. I was on a high vantage point called Dundry Hill, several hundred feet above and overlooking the city of Bristol from the south and for many miles beyond to the west, north and east. There were hundreds of others on Dundry Hill and similar groups could be seen through binoculars on many high vantage points around the south of the city.

AF flew right over the top of us having done a circuit of North Somerset including overflying Bristol Airport. She then flew over the city of Bristol, swooping low over the spectacular Clifton Suspension Bridge (many professional photos and paintings recorded this event). Finally, she flew eastwards towards the Cotswolds before turning 180 degrees to begin her final approach into Filton on the north side of the city.

I was able to follow her final progress on my camcorder and although Filton was around ten miles away in a direct line the 20 x optical zoom enabled me to track her until she disappeared behind high buildings just before touch down.

In 1997 I was under the Clifton Suspension Bridge when a replica of John Cabot's ship The Matthew set off down the River Avon to recreate Cabot's discovery of Newfoundland five hundred years before. As The Matthew sailed through the gorge under the Bridge a Concorde (never did find out which one) right on cue flew over the top a few hundred feet above the Bridge towers. I was able to get a few seconds of tape of the old (well, pseudo old anyway) and the new (well, 1960s new anyway) in the same shot.

I also saw the first ever flight of a British Concorde on 9 April 1969 when the second prototype (002) took to the air at Filton. The first prototype, the French 001, had flown for the first time from Toulouse a month earlier. I was at Cribbs Causeway, not far from where the regional shopping centre is now, when 002 took off almost over my head flying westwards towards the Severn estuary.

So though I've never worked in the aviation industry I feel I was present at the birth (or at least the first steps) of the baby British Concorde and at the retirement 'do' of the elderly lady.
Re: Concorde

Interesting Local Yokel. Incidentally, a distant relative of mine worked on Concorde during its development at Filton, and gave me a set of detailed plans of the aircraft, which I still have some where. (In a box in the loft no doubt). I will be moving house before too long, so no doubt all sorts of old aircraft memorabilia will turn up including those plans. A few years ago I visited the air museum at Duxford and had the pleasure of going on board the Concorde 002 which is on display there. It amazed me how cramped it was inside!
Re: Concorde

It amazed me how cramped it was inside!
I think that's the reaction of most people.

I've never flown in a Concorde but have been or looked inside one or two - G-BOAF at Filton (no longer on public display) and 002 (the first British Concorde to fly) which was a flying test bed and 'retired' to the Yeovilton Fleet Air Arm Museum in Somerset - so far as I know 002 is still there.

The old Bristol Industrial Museum also had a mock-up of a Concorde nose and I hope it will be moved to the new Museum of Bristol on the old Industrial Museum site that opens its doors later this month after several years in construction
Re: Concorde

If Concorde 002 is at Yeovilton, what is at Duxford? The one at Duxford is in the red and blue livery of the prototypes, so slightly shorter than the production versions, and it is the aircraft that broke the transatlantic speed record. It is definitely a UK registered aircraft not French registered. I might be wrong, but I seem to recall 001 was French and 002 was British. Was there a 003? Perhaps 002 was moved from Yeovilton to Duxford?
Re: Concorde

Yeovilton has 002 (G-BSST), the first British Concorde to fly - the one I saw take to the skies that April day in 1969.

Duxford has 01 (G-AXDN), the third pre-production Concorde after 001 (the French one that flew first) and 002.
Re: Concorde

Thanks Local Yokel, that explains it. Effectively AXDN was 003 then - it is just that for some reason they didn't carry on the sequence of numbers and went back to 01! I hadn't realised that there were more than 2 pre production aircraft. You learn something every day!!
Re: Concorde

The Club Concorde website released the following News release this Moring on the 9th Anniversary of Concorde's official final flight.

Dear member,

9th Anniversary of Concorde's last flight

Monday marks the 9th Anniversary of Concorde's last flight, from London Heathrow to Filton. The Concorde, Alpha Fox, was flown by Captain Les Brodie. When we informed Les of our plan to relocate a Concorde to London's South Bank, this is what he said, in support of our project.

"I think an easily accessible Concorde exhibit in London would help remind people of what we had achieved, and seeing it may inspire someone to do it again, so you have my endorsement."

£36 Million Investment in Concorde

A private, British Investor is backing two Club Concorde projects, in London and Paris. This millionaire businessman was so impressed with our Concorde for London business plan, that he asked us to organise a similar plan for Paris. As such, we now need two Concordes.

We have been in discussions with the Intrepid Museum in New York regarding the possible relocation of their Concorde, Alpha Delta, to London. If successful, this Concorde would be transported intact, by sea, directly through Tower Bridge, to the Pool of London, and on to the South Bank. Ideally, this would coincide with the 10th Anniversary of Concorde's last flight, on 26th November, 2013.

We have been made aware of the recent arrival of the Space Shuttle Enterprise at Intrepid and the subsequent reduction in the number of daily tours of Concorde. As such, we are in the process of making an improved donation of US$4 Million / £2.5 Million to the Intrepid Museum, for the relocation of their Concorde to London. This donation is to compensate for the loss of Concorde revenue over the next decade.

British Airways retain ownership of their Concordes and would have to approve any relocation plans. However, details of our Business plan, plus proof of funding, have already been submitted to the main board of British Airways.

The first concern many of you will have is the absence of a roof, protecting Concorde from the elements. Well, apart from the fact that Concorde is used to extremes of speed and temperature, the answer is that we have been advised to make a separate, later application for what will be a clear, glass roof. We will be in a very special part of London, which includes a World Heritage site, just across the river, so established views must not be obstructed. Before we get to that stage, the Concorde will be surrounded by a curved, clear glass security screen which will act as a wind breaker and shelter visitors from the elements.

This project is subject to stringent Planning regulations and we have taken advice from numerous interested parties. Most of the parties we have approached are favourable towards our project. We anticipate the planning process will take around six months and cost around £500,000.

There are restrictions on commercial activities on such a platform, so the lower deck will be confined to the storage of maintenance equipment and supplies. As such, all commercial activities will operate from our two riverboats, one of which will be moored between the platform and the new landing stage, which will form part of the Planning application. This landing stage will be open to the general public, as well as Concorde visitors. The idea is that this will help to alleviate the river traffic congestion along this stretch of the Thames.

The riverboats will contain our booking office as well as a memorabilia shop, aircrew presentation area, plus restaurants and bars. One of the riverboats will serve Concorde style cuisine and cater for both corporate and special events. We calculate that this project will generate around 160 new jobs, including many for young people. We envisage a core team of experienced former airline professionals who will pass on their expertise to a new generation.

On the Paris front we are in discussions with several parties about the relocation of a French Concorde to a new display site in the Capital City.

Return to Flight Project - Potential £40 Million Investment

Since the last flight of Concorde in 2003, this has been the dream of Concorde lovers around the World. Both Air France and British Airways had decided there was no commercially viable future for their Concorde fleets. We have it on good authority that the real killer blow for Concorde was not the tragic accident in Paris, but 9/11 and the deaths of around 40 major clients, who were also decision makers on which of their colleagues were allowed to fly on Concorde.

As such, the only way back is as a private, heritage aircraft financed by corporate sponsorship, backed by a viable business plan. We believe we have such a plan, and we already have potential investment of £40 Million to back it up. Our Concorde for London project was oversubscribed to the tune of £40 Million, and we are confident of convincing both investors to back our Return to Flight project.

It will take cross-Channel co-operation to get a Concorde back in the air. As such, our London and Paris projects put us in an ideal situation as they involve technical expertise from both former Air France and British Arways staff. As such, we plan to run an investigation into the technical viability of returning a private, heritage Concorde to flight, such an investigation to run in parallel with our London and Paris projects.

Best regards,

The Club Concorde Team
Re: Concorde

Also UK based "Save Concorde group" released the following statement on its website and video to go along with it this morning regarding Concorde...

Concorde and Return to Flight

Posted 25th November 2012

November 26th 2012 marks exactly 9 years since the last Concorde flight, when Concorde G-BOAF (Alpha Fox) touched down at Filton Airfield in Bristol, UK. In all that time, Save Concorde Group (SCG) has campaigned tirelessly to promote the best interests of all the remaining Concorde aircraft – and, to continue our campaign to return Concorde to the air.

Concorde is the jewel in the crown of British and French engineering prowess – yet look what has been allowed to become of her. This magnificent machine, still state of the art, is now merely a museum piece or worse – an outdoor relic subject to the elements, slowly sliding into ignominy.

SCG has been closely involved in the plans to create a new aviation museum centred on Concorde G-BOAF at Filton, but as yet the plans are still not finalized. Chairman Ben Lord makes the following comment: “Another year, another anniversary and our beloved Alpha-Foxtrot still remains on the ground, with no roof over her. With Filton Airfield imminently due for closure, it is imperative that the green light is given, preferably to our low-cost proposal, for this aeroplane to finally be in the undercover museum environment that she thoroughly deserves.”

SCG’s primary objective, however, is to get Concorde back in the air. We have been advised by Concorde experts that there remains no technological reason why Concorde could not once again take to the skies. SCG, along with our partners in France (Olympus593), continues its fight to get this iconic aircraft back into the skies, and we will not give up the fight.

In the words of Dr David Jones, SCG Communications Director: “This anniversary is a crucial time to stress our on-going commitment to return a Concorde to flight in a heritage capacity. There remains no technological reason why this aircraft cannot fly again, and 2013 sees the 10-year contracts agreed with the retirement museums expire. With this in mind, and given the earnest dedication shown by SCG thus far to the preservation of Concorde, we would call for new discussions with all relevant parties to consider the release of an aircraft with a view to returning it to a flightworthy state.”

Today we are releasing a specially commissioned video, as part of a wide-ranging publicity campaign, in advance of the 9th anniversary of Concorde’s retirement.


We continue to push for our main stated aim: to return a Concorde to the skies in a heritage capacity so that the world can once again marvel at the unique aircraft we created – and the legacy it left for aviation in general.

Please help join our fight by disseminating the video as widely as possible, joining our Facebook site and keeping up the pressure on everyone and anyone who can help to get this beautiful aircraft off the ground and back into the skies.

We have the engineering expertise standing by – we just need YOUR help and YOUR support.
Re: Concorde

It would be fantastic to see Concorde take to the skies once again. It should never have been canned in the first place. If every aircraft type was canned because of an air crash no airliner would be flying today.

New member of the forum IL76MAN has posted some beautiful pictures of Concorde in the Nostalgia Gallery this evening.

Here's one of them...

Air France Concorde "PEPSI" F-BTSD by IL76MAN hosted on
Re: Concorde

I am fairly sure that F-BTSD, the Concorde in this picture, is the same one that came to LBA as the first ever Concorde way back in the mid 80's.

Lets hope that this campaign is successful, firstly in getting a Concorde in London and eventually getting at least one back in the air. Grounding such an aircraft was unforgiveable in my view.
Nobody seems to have picked up on the latest Concorde successor currently being built in the US. The aircraft made by Boom is named the XB-1. The 55 seater aircraft is expected to travel at speeds of up to mach 2.2 with a launch date of next year.

#concorde #boom #XB-1

Top Bottom