Concorde - last week of operation - Chas{P}
Apologies for the non-motoring nature of this thread but I just wondered whether any of the BackRoomers have travelled on Concorde or got any interesting stories.

It would be nice to hear some recollections as the country celebrates the retirement from 27 years of the greatest civil airliner ever made.
Concorde - last week of operation - Baskerville
>the greatest civil airliner ever made.

Debatable point. Carried fewer people at greater expense than any other, noisy and highly inefficient in many ways: Concorde fails in just about every area of desirable airliner qualities, which is why nobody else is interested. Plus it cost the taxpayers of Britain and France millions yet was enjoyed by a very few. Pretty though, I must say, and worked well in PR terms (until it blew up).

Meanwhile there will be huge traffic jams at Manchester airport this week because of it.
Concorde - last week of operation - BrianW
Story told to me by one of our members who was a steward on Concorde.

Seems that one day the London-Edinburgh shuttle had just over a planeload and in accordance with BA policy they laid on another plane for the half dozen extras.
Seems the only plane available was a Concorde, so they got everyone in, took off and did a sharp right out over the North Sea, opened it up and easily landed in Edinburgh before the regular shuttle.
Concorde - last week of operation - Clanger
Whether it was a commercial success or not, it was a heroic venture resulting in one of the most beautiful, safest and technologically advanced aircraft ever. It also paved the way for Airbus to become a respected manufacturer. Why didn't Britain make use of the opportunity?

Once was stuck on the M25 (motoring link) years ago with the caravan behind and the sunroof open. We had a view up Concorde's exhaust pipes so to speak just after take off from Heathrow. Spine tinglingly awesome.

I only hope that Richard Branson can get his mitts on a couple before they all get mummyfied in some sad aviation museum.
Sell Concorde to someone who actually wants to part with cash for one? Too sensible; it'll never happen.


Hawkeye
-----------------------------
Stranger in a strange land
Concorde - last week of operation - Vansboy
Think I was behind you in the que, Hawkeye, a Friday pm , on my way back from Blackbushe auction.Certainly impressive, from that perspective.

When it's gone, it'l be ANOTHER thing I've never got around to doing!

Now must get on with planning my route,to drive around the world!!

VB
Concorde - last week of operation - SjB {P}
As I just wrote to my brother:

"One of my few regrets in life is never to have prioritized spending a sizeable sum on a scheduled Concorde flight, and I'm glad for you that you experienced it! My plan was to treat (my wife) for our fifth or tenth wedding anniversary, as funds permitted, but world events overtook us, unfortunately."

I love the quote from the BBC2 documentary over the weekend, the gist, if not the verbatim accuracy of which was: "There are four classes. There's economy, business, and first class. And there's Class. Concorde is the only one with the latter."

At least I HAVE flown on a VC10, the second most beautiful commercial aeroplane ever to have flown, with grace and presence even when standing still. In original RAF trim with Super Ten wings and engines on a standard fuselage, quite a sports machine, too. I will never forget my jump seat ride as a CCF cadet on an annual air test flight over the Bristol channel! :-))
Concorde - last week of operation - Pugugly {P}
Brilliant Timewatch programme last night. There were numerous motoring links in it with models from 1959 thru 2003 in the footage shown, and guess what they all looked like antiques against this Aircraft which has constantly managed to look modern over three if not four decades. A true icon of our times.

The hidden history is that this aircraft was that it was pencilled in with a cold war role and could have easilly been adapted as a nuclear missile delivery system which would have been invulnrable to interception by anything the Warsaw Pact had.
Concorde - last week of operation - Martin Wall
Too true - another one of those things I meant to do but never did. I even ordered a brochure from Goodwood Travel a few years ago now with a view to going on a Concorde charter just for the experience but sadly I never did and it's too late now.

Maybe it's becuase there were so few built that it still looks fabulous and futuristic - if we'd all been travelling supersonic by now think how blase we'd be!

Ok so it cost a lot of cash the country could ill-afford but the engineering is amazing.

I for one am sad too see it go.

See: news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/uk/2003/concorde_reti...m
Concorde - last week of operation - J Bonington Jagworth
"I only hope that Richard Branson can get his mitts on a couple"

BA won't let him have one, apparently, even though they don't own them! Perhaps he should approach the French...

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Illegitimi non carborundum!
Concorde - last week of operation - matt35 {P}
Charles,
I agree with your post, except to say that I do not celebrate the demise of Concorde - I weep!
Never flew in it - but one morning in Kennedy Airport, I think American Airways flight to Chicago about twenty years ago, in the time when the Yanks were trying to kill Concorde because they had no equivalent - the American Captain of the flight said 'Ladies and Gentlemen, if you look out of the right side windows you will see Concorde taking off - isn't she beautiful?'
And she was.
I later saw three of them in Casablanca - the nearest test landing for Air France to the base at Toulouse I think?
An example of the kind of engineering of which we were capable some years ago.
I recall that, when there was a long discussion about whether it would be called Concord - or the French Concorde - Michael Heseltine stood in Parliament and said;
We have today agreed with the French that Concorde will have the final E - as in merde!
Matt35.
Concorde - last week of operation - Baskerville
Concorde looks cool, and that is enough for me. Actually it looks better than that. But lets get past all this dewy-eyed technological stuff: why is it engineers get so sentimental? I thought that was for arty liberal types like me. Anyway, Concorde, despite still looking great, is outdated: your average Airbus or Boeing whathaveyou is far more technologically advanced. It doesn't take an engineering genius (these days) to stick huge engines on the back of a pencil-thin fuselage and guess it will go very fast: there's just as much elegance in carrying a lot of people quite fast.

The only reason it survived in the first place is because we subsidised it to the tune of billions. And Concorde concentrated the efforts of the British aerospace industry in a direction that was a commercial dead end, just as the old British 'walnut dash and leather' image helped finish the car industry: it is a glorious, fantastic-looking British engineering failure. I'll be sorry not to see it in the sky again, but it's time to move on to better things (such as more legroom).
Concorde - last week of operation - Altea Ego
Did some engineering training on it in a previous work life. Its noisy, cramped, dirty, thirsty and uneconomic. It has always been a near disaster waiting to happen, regularly breaking things, bits falling off, unreliable. And having lived under its flight path for most of its life I for one will shed a genuine and real tear. It is simply the most stunningly beautiful creation of man, standing still or moving, And if you are lucky enough to be near it as it takes off, it really does raise the hair on the back of your neck. I shall look up at 8:30 in the evening and miss her. I hope to god they keep one flying.
Concorde - last week of operation - cockle {P}
'Concorde looks cool, and that is enough for me. Actually it looks better than that. But lets get past all this dewy-eyed technological stuff: why is it engineers get so sentimental? I thought that was for arty liberal types like me.'

Because all great engineering is truly art.

Commercial failure, almost certainly; engineering failure, certainly not. Regardless of all the argument about cost, ecological impact, etc., I think the world would have been the poorer if it hadn't been built and will be the poorer now it is no longer to fly.
Sometimes mankind has to do things like go to the Moon or climb Everest, just because we can.

Concorde came to the first few Southend Airshows, people still talk about it flying along the seafront. The majority of the public only talk about five 'acts' that have graced the airshow over the years; the Red Arrows, the Vulcan, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the Harrier and Concorde.


Cockle
Concorde - last week of operation - Altea Ego
AH the Vulcan. Same engines as conny but without any silencers..........................now THATS loud.
Concorde - last week of operation - cockle {P}
AH the Vulcan. Same engines as conny but without any silencers..........................now THATS loud.

Certainly is.

We have one that lives at Southend Airport, not in flying nick, but fit enough to do the odd medium speed run down the runway once a year. It does rattle the trees a bit...

Cockle
Concorde - last week of operation - Reggie
Slightly off thread I know but, I used to live adjacent to R.A.F. Leconfields flight path as a child. We used to get everything in, Lightnings , Phantoms, Victors , Ansons etc etc, but I always remember once when a Vulcan presumably put the after-burners on when taking off, and it is no exageration to say that the windows in the house RATTLED. Awesome.
Reggie
Concorde - last week of operation - J Bonington Jagworth
Pedantic, I know, but the Vulcan had four Avons and Concorde four Olympuses. I only remember because they stuck one Olympus onto a Vulcan for test/show purposes, and so they could switch from four to one...

Also depressing to recall the Miles M52, whose secrets were given away to the Yanks and then cancelled, enabling them to reach Mach 1 first (programme on C4 tonight). No-one seems to know why HMG cancelled it, but the designer and test pilot are still alive and were clearly a bit miffed.

Sorry, can't think of a motoring link offhand.
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Illegitimi non carborundum!
Concorde - last week of operation - Altea Ego
Its ok me old mate except

quote

"Despite the appearance of having only 2 air intakes, a total of four powerplants are used on the Vulcan. In the B 2 variant, these are Bristol Siddeley Olympus Series 301 engines which are rated at 20,000 pounds of thrust each. Alternatively, the Vulcan can also be powered by four of the less powerful, 17,000 pound thrust, Series 201 turbojets"
Concorde - last week of operation - J Bonington Jagworth
You had me worried, there, RF!
We're both right, it seems: "4 RR Avon, later Conway, then Olympus"

All right Mark, I'm going...
-------------------------------
Illegitimi non carborundum!
Concorde - last week of operation - Clanger
Because all great engineering is truly art.


Right on, Cockle.

You can keep you henry Moores and Anthony Gormleys for form without function is a waste of space and raw materials.

If you can get something to do its job well and look good, that has the makings of a masterpiece.


Hawkeye
-----------------------------
Stranger in a strange land
Concorde - last week of operation - Dave E
I am lucky(!) enough to live adjacent to the flightpath at Manchester Airport and will be sat with dv camera on the garage roof on Wednesday.

Two memories of Concorde stick out.

Sat at traffic lights on Finney Lane, directly under the flightpath, I hear a noise that makes me feel that a plane is about to land on my car. When I pluck up the courage to look out the window I see Concorde on a fast, low trajectory, afterburners shedding a blue flame. Wow!

Once up a ladder cleaning the windows, the distant rumble of a plane approaching reaches my ears. I know it is Concorde before I turn to look. As I do, the pilot suddenly throttles the engines and a tremendous roar sets off all the car and house alarms in Heald Green, as the pilot aborts the landing. The sight of Concorde rising and banking sharply to the left is an image that will never leave me. It was simply an awesome sight.

It will be a shame to see it go, whenever it came in to Manchester, you instantly knew it was coming before you saw it because of the engine note. It was noisy but there have been others that have created as much racket without an ounce of the charm and magnetism that Concorde displayed.

Concorde - last week of operation - Baskerville
I agree with your entire post Cockle. But Concorde isn't going away and isn't going to be less of an engineering achievement, it's just not going to be a commercial airliner any more, if it ever was. It's from another time. And that is the essential difference between engineering and other arts: good engineering is always also commercial and has a practical job to do, however good it looks. It is therefore always tied to its time while the other arts are not. Not that that makes engineering less, just different. In fact on the contrary the modernity of Concorde and the finite lifespan that implies is, I think, part of what makes it so amazing: why do something like that when it won't last forever?
Concorde - last week of operation - bafta
Concorde was a milestone in aviation history and will never be forgotten. In the sixties it was an engineering marvel and I don't care how much it cost me in taxes. I was proud to come from a country which could make such a plane and that feeling never went away in forty years.
It is iconic and simply beautiful. 'A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.'
Lots of memories of the great bird but two in particular.
One, the replay at Wembley and Ricky Villa about to score an amazing individual goal for Spurs. Concorde flies overhead and drops its nose ready for landing. Eyes fixed on this awesome sight and completely missed the goal.
Early summer morning helming a Moody down the french coast. Everyone down below and enjoying the tranquility when 'boom.' I nearly fell overboard. Concorde going supersonic. No wonder they didn't want it doing that over land.
Concorde - last week of operation - jeds
When I was a lad my junior school was near the flight take off path just behind Filton airport in Bristol. On the first take off day of 002 (April 9 1969) we all went to the top of the hill behind the school and watched. It was a sight I will never forget.

My uncle worked on the development of Concorde and flew to Casablanca hundreds of times during testing. I remember him telling me it took him longer to drive the couple of miles to RAF Fairford than it took to fly to the tip of Ireland. You have to bear in mind that I thought Ireland was on the other side of the World at the time.

My uncle gave me dozens of models and photographs of the plane when I was young but unfortunately they have all got lost over the years.
Concorde - last week of operation - THe Growler
Everyone has a Concorde memory it seems. Of course it is the airplane as art -- who's going to get all excited at a 747-400, unless it's Air Force One.

My Concorde memeories date to the 1970's. My office in Bahrain had a view of Muharraq Airport's main runway. BA and SQ used to code-share, so the Concorde's livery on the port side when the airplane was eastbound was British Airways', and on the starboard westbound to London it was Singapore Airlines'.

No Hollywood special effects guru could reproduce the sight and sound of that bird with its shimmering image distorted by 43 C air temperatures, lifting off and peeling away down the Gulf. As so many have said, the windows rattled and no matter what you were doing, nor how many times you'd seen it, you still stopped whatever it was you were doing for a look.

The Shah of Iran was at that time developing Kishm Island in the Gulf as an exotic holiday playground for the rich and famous, and it was to have been served by Concorde in IranAir livery, but unfortunately the mad mullahs put paid to that in 1979.
Concorde - last week of operation - THe Growler
.....but it's time to move on to better things (such as more legroom).

Wrong unforch, almost all airlines are reducing seat pitch and width in order to pack more bodies in in ever more miserable conditions. Business class spacewise is now what economy was 20 years ago, and recent trips I've made on 777 widebodies have been in such cramped conditions in a completely full coach sections that it is clear airlines are stretching passenger safety to the limits and have long gone past caring about comfort, only the bottom line. I used to average 100-120 medium and long-haul sectors annually on business, I'm glad now I only have to 8 or 10.
Concorde - last week of operation - Mark (RLBS)
I have some sympathy with this thread, but it isn't motoring.

So if you don't continue it, then I won't moan about it.
Concorde - last week of operation - pdc {P}
Well before you close the thread, can I just say that I was lucky enough to go on a 1hr 40 min pleasure trip out over the Bay of Biscay, on March 1st this year to celebrate my 30th birthday. I have to say that when the reheat was applied to push through Mach 1 the acceleration was very noticeable. The service was fine, but as someone who flew in loads of military aircraft with the Air Cadets, I did't find it that exciting. I will be at Manchester Airport tomorrow though.

Thought the Orient Express was much better!

In any case, if you want to post further then get over to www.concordesst.com.
Concorde - last week of operation - Stargazer {P}
One last memory, my Uncle worked on the Olympus engines at Filton in the 60s and 70s, got me a ticket to a staff open day when I was 5 or 6 not long after the first test flights of 002 at Filton. We got the usual exhibits of partially assembled engines (Spey, Avon, Olympus, Pegasus) then a spectacular air display followed by an unannounced flyby of 002 doing a land and take off sequence with parachute deployment. I will never forget the sight. One of my major regrets is not being able to afford to go on at least one trip on board. (While I get to fly around the world with my job, astronomers usually get to fly cattle class at the cheapest possible fares!)

regards

Ian L
Concorde - last week of operation - Baskerville

>Wrong unforch, almost all airlines are reducing seat pitch and width

You fly Emirates or BA, I think. I wrote a piece on this a while back and IIRC they are the only two that have ten seats across in a 777. I've found American best in coach and choose them for USA flights as a result. Still no better than my old Metro, though and there weren't any occasions when I sat in that for eight hours straight. BA World business class among others buys you a full-size bed--but you knew that, I guess.
Concorde - last week of operation - superannuated rocker
How little you know about engineering. The technological problems involved in making Concorde a functional success if not a commercial one were awesome. You might stick four big engines on the back of a pencil thin fuselage and end up with the same degree of success that the Russians did!!(Go on let me guess,I suppose you're an accountant).
Branson has in fact lined up a lot of technical support and could quite probably operate successfully for say five years. the real reason BA won't sell is because of the 'halo' effect that Concorde brought them.
Concorde - last week of operation - volvoman
Like most people I've never been lucky enough to travel on it but have always lived in a part of London where we have seen Concord on a regular basis. It was a fine achievement of engineering spolied primarily I believe by the Americans who didn't take too kindly to the Europeans trumping their civil aviation industry. IMO, the arguments about sonic bangs and pollution were a combination of sour grapes and excuses by which to deny a non US aircraft access to the world's most profitable market.

All I can say about Concord is that for all the hundreds of times I've seen it, it still sends a shiver down my spine each time it passes over and looks well at home in the 21st century.

I really think it could/should be saved but I don't think the current owners want that to happen - it seems they'd rather it be consigned to the scrapheap than give someone else a chance to run it. That's a very sad indictment of the world we live in I'm afraid.

BTW - I always understood that the French aircraft were called "Concorde" and the British "Concord". Is that correct anyone ?
Concorde - last week of operation - volvoman
As regards tthe Vulan bomber - we live only a few miles from Biggin Hill and some years ago we were woken up one Sunday morning by the most incredible noise I've ever heard. Jumping out of bed I ran to the front door to see a Vulcan bomber flying directly over our house.

What a sight and what a sound !!!!!!
Concorde - last week of operation - pdc {P}
Fingers crossed XH558 will be back in the air soon, setting off car alarms at every airshow it visits. As you say Volvoman, the noises are amazing. It screeches like a bird of prey.
Concorde - last week of operation - Chas{P}
Fingers crossed XH558 will be back in the air soon, setting
off car alarms at every airshow it visits. As you say
Volvoman, the noises are amazing. It screeches like a bird of
prey.


They are desparate for pledges to match a Heritage Lottery Grant that they have re-applied for. All the details are here to support a worthy cause IMO:

www.tvoc.co.uk/

Charles


Concorde - last week of operation - Altea Ego
VM,

I think I was there. One of the Biggin Hill airshows. The Vulcan did a low pass over the runway, then put on full afterburners to pull away. Everyone in the crowd was buffeted by the sound waves coming from the back of the engines. You didnt hear it, your whole body vibrated. Jeez I can still feel it now.
Concorde - last week of operation - volvoman
Interesting RF - I've lived here since 1986 and we can usually see but definitely hear the displays at Biggin Hill every year. I might be wrong but I think that year was the only time the Vulcan visited BH and when it went over our house it was very low and travelling away from the airport so it looks like I saw it just after you.

As a Land Surveyor I spent quite a bit of time on US airbases in the early 80's and got quite used to seeing planes like B52's practicing landings/take-offs. At US Fairford they did it all the time and although those aircraft were huge they didn't seem as noisy as the Vulcan.
Concorde - last week of operation - Peter
One thing is certain, the Vulcan's never had afterburners, the four Olympus 301s where powerful enough and wonderfully noisy too.

Apart from the name, there is very little in common between the Concorde and Vulcan engines. A major redesign took place, utlising alot of information gathered from the TSR2, another lost cause.
Concorde - last week of operation - BrianW
The amount of nose-up attitude at low speed was quite amazing. Looked like about 45 degrees, but probably wasn't quite as much.
Seemed to be balancing lift from the wing with thrust from the engines.
Like that it needed Concorde's droop nose, pilot must have been looking at sky.
Concorde - last week of operation - Stargazer {P}
Volvoman,

The UK government dropped the E in a hissy fit after a disagreement, but Tony Benn reinstated it. Sorry dont have the detailed info...I threw out last weeks papers this morning and there was a very good article about the politics during the late 60s surrounding concorde. So both the UK and french planes were known as Concorde with an e

Ian L.
Concorde - last week of operation - smokie
I used to work in Victoria and the Vulcans used to fly a formation up the Mall, maybe for Queen's birthdays. Very spectacular.

Once in my parents back garden we were below a Tornado doing a vertical climb for the Southend Air Show. Almost made my heart stop!

And lastly...last Aug a mate's daughter who works for BAe won two seats on Concorde, one way from NY, but on staff stand by basis. When the time came (last Aug), they flew sub sonic to NY but when they were due to return there was only 1 standby staff ticket available. She let him have the ticket - ain't that nice?
Concorde - last week of operation - Andy P
The Vulcan and Concorde were regular visitors to Finningley (while the airshow was still on). Been inside Concorde on the ground a couple of times - amazing how cramped it actually is. Have to admit though, I still prefer the sound of a Merlin....


Andy
Concorde - last week of operation - BrianW
Reportedly, BA refused to sell to Branson because it would be uneconomic to run.

Very considerate of them, but surely that's the buyer's decision?
Concorde - last week of operation - Altea Ego
Let us get this right. The reason Concord(e) will not be flying is because it is no longer safe. BA, Branson or anyone can not make it otherwise. Sure wrap it up in economics, hard to get parts etc. The truth is that Aerospatiale can no longer guarantee manufacturer support, and that makes it hard to keep an FAA/CAA license. It has reached its time, we all get old and cronky and it has to go.


Unsafe? Yup. Would i stand under the flightpath to see it fly once a year, tell me where and when and I will be there.
Concorde - last week of operation - BrianW
Reportedly, BA refused to sell to Branson because it would be uneconomic to run.

Very considerate of them, but surely that's the buyer's decision?
Concorde - last week of operation - terryb
Quick before Mark locks this thread...I will mourn Concorde's passing and always regret never having flown in her. In all this no-one ever mentions that an American airline *DID* fly Concorde. In the early days Braniff International chartered one to fly subsonic from Dallas(I think) to Washington for onward connection to London. Don't think they painted it bright orange though...
Terry
Concorde - last week of operation - Nsar
I could have flown on Concorde for £10 but didn't....
I was one of the lucky ones to get a pair of return tickets to NY in BA's promo a few years back. I was pretty chuffed but not as much as I knew my parents would have been so I gave them the tickets. My wife is about the most understanding, caring person I've ever met and has a heart of gold but it's still the subject that neither of us dare mention after all these years!
Concorde - last week of operation - GolfR_Caravelle_S-Max
Story told to a relative by a senior pilot from Concord.. Allegedly true.
He was flying over the Atlantic to New York and had heard that the Queen was in New York on Britannia meeting President Reagan. He knew the press secretary to the Queen and got patched through to her via the radio...
"Hello Lucy, it's Captain xxxxx here, I have just had an idea. Why don't we arrange for a fly past of Britannia whilst in the harbour. I'm about 20 mins away from land"

"That would be marvellous... I will call her majesty and arrange for her to be on the deck in 20 mins"

So, 20 minutes later, Concord made a "slight detour" on approach to JFK, and did a (lowish) flypast over Britannia. Apparently stunning. The Queen and the President saw the flagship of the British aviation industry from the Royal Yacht.

10 minutes after landing, Pilot xxxx was called to an urgent phone call. It was Lord King...

"What the **** do you think you were doing? It's not your ******* aircraft, it's mine - I'll have your b***s up a flagpole for this. You come and see me as soon as you are back in London"

Oops.

Five minutes later, a call from Lucy, the press secretary..
"Her Majesty would like to express her gratitude for arranging the beautiful flypast. It was magnificent. President Reagan was MOST impressed and it has been most rewarding"

"Ah, well, Lord King was not quite as happy" replied the chagrined pilot.
"Oh. Well leave it to me, I'll see what we can do"

Fifteen minutes later, the pilot is hailed to another phone call. It was Lord King.

"Her majesty would like to say *****ing ' Thankyou very much' " through clenched teeth

It transpires Lord King had been called personally by her Majesty and thanked for the gesture that had impressed the President and herself, how it had strengthened relations between the countries and what a thoughtful action it had been. Her Majesty also asked that Lord king thank the pilot on her behalf......

I believe no further action was taken...
Concorde - last week of operation - Altea Ego
Or what about the time, Concorde did a fly over of the golf course with the Ryder cup team (complete with cup from the previous competition) on board while the ya...Americans were practising..........
Concorde - last week of operation - Mark (RLBS)
I'll give you until midnight, then I'm locking the thread. And I think that's nice of me.
Concorde - last week of operation - P.Mason {P}
About 7 years ago I took a party of Young Engineer Award winners to visit the Concorde maintainance base at Heathrow - spent five minutes sitting in the 'driver's' seat, 'Walter Mittying'..what stuck in my mind was the instrument panel,- pure WW2 vintage. The workload compared to a modern Airbus must have been huge.
Quote from an aeronautical engineer in today's paper,"Perhaps we'll see another supersonic transport in about 20 years' time"
I hope all the Concordes are preserved.

P.
Concorde - last week of operation - bradgate
I work for a british airline wich has a reciprocal concessionary staff travel agreement with BA. The star attraction of this scheme was a standby on Concorde's scheduled LHR-JFK service @ £450 one-way. I always fully intended to do this, but never quite got round to it as there appreared to be no hurry. The aircraft was making good profits for BA and had plentyb of servce life left in them.

Then SC crashed in Paris, the fleets were withdrawn and the offer was never reintroduced services were reinstated.

I missed my chance. I will probably regret this for the rest of my life.....
Concorde - last week of operation - alex
Regarding BrianW's earlier posts re Concorde being used to Edinburgh. The fact was that when BA was flush with cas in the late 80s it regularly used Concorde as a promotional tool and operated it on short distance routes from time time. I remember it operating the Heathrow-Manchester/Edinburgh Shuttles. I myself, took Concorde on a similar promotion between Gatwick and Copenhagen in Aug 1990. But the flight operated directly without any supersonic detour.
Concorde - last week of operation - pdc {P}
What is annoying is that BA lost more through the baggage handlers strike than it would cost to keep Concorde going. She is still making a profit, albeit a smaller one than she used to.

To decomission them all to museums is wrong, and I just hope that they do maintain one as a heritage aircraft for displays on special occasions, such as 13th December this year, the 100th anniversary of the Wrights brothers first flight.

There have been too few historic aircraft preserved in a flying state, let's not keep making the same mistakes.
Concorde - last week of operation - rg
Bradgate,

Ditto. I thought £300.00 astronomical when I could fly to Bangkok for £20.00.

Talk about missed opportunities...

BTW, are you a BD chap?

rg
Concorde - last week of operation - henry k

I usually say it cramped, noisy, smelly, hot and lovely. The seats are narrow and the leg room not up to club class. It has a smell of singed hair on take off, I guess from the reheats. The walls feel warm cos its 100C outside the skin.

I have flown on Concorde several times as I worked in the airline industry
Taking off in November. Before take off I watched the sun set in London. En route saw the sun rise in the west or is it sun set in reverse. So that is two sunsets and two sunrises in a day.
Just before the Miami flights were withdrawn I travelled Washington Miami with only six other passengers. With many many tons less fuel on board and virtually no commercial load that was quite a take off.
I also had the rare sight from Concorde of another Concorde at cruise going in the opposite direction 2640 MPH closing speed.

A rarely seen view is Concorde taking off at night with four reheats on and that unforgettable sound. I remember being one of the few who many years ago saw Concorde land at Heathrow unplanned during its development. It came out of the clouds 3 miles from the runway. There were no complaints about noise then but it was in the VC10 era.
I was in Alderney and experienced its sonic boom. It was a regular event because the Air France scheduled flight seemed to ignore noise restrictions and go supersonic before it was way down the Channel.

I am very fortunate to have flown in it. I will miss the sound of it climbing out of Heathrow.
A lot of rubbish has been printed about its demise. It is an old aircraft that needs specialised tending. Getting parts manufactured if they are out of stock must be a nightmare. They first flew 1975 ?1979 so some parts may not have been made for nearly 30 years. Imagine asking for a part not knowing if the company even still exists. It is bad enough on older cars.
Sadly I cannot see them other than destined for a static display.

I think Branson was just after the publicity and stirring the BA pot as usual.
Once the manufacturers withdraw support it is the end of its commercial life.
It is especially sad after all the work to overcome the safety concerns arising from the Paris crash.

A comment the other day was that producing Concorde ensured that the British and French aviation teams learned to work together and thus enabled Airbus and all that has lead to.
There have been many spin offs from the Concorde programme. Carbon fibre brakes as used on many aircraft . Concorde takes more stopping than a 747. The new tyres offer benefits to other aircraft. In flight fuel transfers to adjust balance. To name but a few.

One part of the aircraft which impressed me is on the main control panel just to the right of the Captains knee. It is a little bit of what looks like grey painted L shaped tin on a little bracket. It can be flicked up and down. It either shows 4 on the panel or covers the 4 and shows 3. The numbers look like they were painted with Tippex . It really does look that crude. It indicates by a flick of the finger how many reheats the crew have selected. It has no electrics or anything else So simple amongst all that technology.

I heard the tale that in the early days a Panam 747 radioed a passing Concorde and asked what is the weather like up there? The reply was Buy one and you can find out.

I will miss the big bird.
Concorde - an addendum - Ian (Cape Town)
Mark et al, aplogies for throwing this in now ... please add to the other thread.

Just this once. But from now on, Read Only means Read Only. ND

Rugby World Cup - Australia...
Wouldn\'t it have been good to fly the Rugby players in white to Oz on the Concorde???
Concorde - an addendum - THe Growler
What a great national statement, especially as they're going to win....

The answer's black and white. But I'm hedging my bets Ian, got some Steinlager in the fridge as well as Boddingtons in case Mr Greenwood doesn't make it back in time.
Concorde - last week of operation - Dynamic Dave
To quote Mark's earlier post in this thread:-

"I'll give you until midnight, then I'm locking the thread. And I think that's nice of me."

Thread write locked.

DD.
 

Value my car