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Current State of British Airways Concordes

Updated on May 17, 2017
Source

The British Airways Concorde Story

This page outlines the location and current status of all the British Airways Concorde aircraft that were built.

Brief History

British Airways's (BA) last Concorde revenue departure took place on 23rd October 2003 from London Heathrow to New York. Earlier BA had conducted a mini North American tour, followed by a series of farewell flights around the United Kingdom which included Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

On 22 October, British air traffic control arranged for a flight from Manchester, and one from New York to land simultaneously on the left and right runways at Heathrow Airport.

That last flight from New York was carried out by G-BOAG to a fanfare similar to that given for Air France's F-BTSD. At the same time 2 more aircraft made special round trips from London: G-BOAF over the Bay of Biscay and G-BOAE to Edinburgh. The three British planes then circled over London, having received special permission to fly at low altitude, before landing in sequence at Heathrow.

After BA's Concorde fleet was grounded all the aircraft had their certificates which permits them to fly withdrawn. They were also drained of hydraulic fluid, effectively grounding them for good. While BA maintain ownership of the fleet they have stated that they will not fly again, as Airbus ended support of the aircraft in 2003.

British Airways Concorde G-BOAA
British Airways Concorde G-BOAA | Source

G-BOAA - Museum of Flight

Edinburgh, Scotland

Concorde 206 was the first to be delivered to British Airways on Jan 14th 1976. It flew the inaugural service to Bahrain on the 21st January 1976, before starting regular services to New York from 1977. On the 2nd of June 1996 Captain Mike Bannister flew her in formation with the RAF Red Arrows over Heathrow Airport the celebrate the 50th anniversary of the airport, which had been Concorde's base since the late 1970s.

Current state

In 2004 the aircraft was dismantled and transported by road and sea to East Fortune airfield in Scotland, where she was fully re-assembled and put on public display in a hangar at the National Museum of Flight.

British Airways Concorde G-BOAB
British Airways Concorde G-BOAB | Source

G-BOAB - Heathrow Airport, London

London, UK

G-BOAB was the third Concorde to be delivered to British Airways in 1976.

The most notable events during her career include: setting a distance record for an airliner with a flight from Washington to Nice, flying the inaugural charter service from London to Seattle via New York and carried the 1998 England World Cup squad from Nantes in France.

Her last duty was a positioning flight back to Heathrow, on the evening before the fleet's certificates of air-worthiness were to be officially withdrawn.

Current state

She is currently located in the Concorde engine test bay at Heathrow airport but there is a possibility she may be moved to a public display near the London Eye in central London or sold to a consortium in Bahrain. It has been reported that her interior has been stripped down to the bare metal, that stacks of old magazine are stored at the front of the aircraft (to prevent her from tipping onto her tail due to the lack of weight) and that rats and other vermin are free to roam around her. Access to this aircraft is restricted so it is not possible to substantiate these rumours.

Supersonic question

Have you ever flown on the Concorde?

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British Airways Concode G-BOAC
British Airways Concode G-BOAC | Source

G-BOAC - Manchester Airport

Manchester, UK

G-BOAC was one of the oldest Concorde in the BA fleet and was also the heaviest. The older aircraft in the series benefited from changes in technology which reduced their weight as production went along. British Airways considerered her as the flagship of their fleet as the acronym BOAC refers to the British Overseas Airways Corporation, the forerunner to British Airways. G-BOAC was the aircraft chosen to launch the Washington service on the 26th of May 1976 and was retired in 2003.

Current state

This airframe is located in a purpose-built facility at Manchester Airport. The building has biomass heating fuelled by willow grown on the airport site, a rainwater harvesting system and solar panels. The facility further includes a corporate hospitality suite, an education centre for local schools and a glass-walled visitor restaurant alongside Concorde, with views of the runways.

During the course of 2011 a team of volunteers worked in secret to restore this aircraft's hydraulic and electric systems. The purpose was to allow for the nose to be dropped so that maintenance work could be carried out on the cockpit windows. The full story and a photo account of the work achieved can be seen on the Heritage Concorde Website.

British Airways Concorde G-BOAD
British Airways Concorde G-BOAD | Source

G-BOAD - Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum

New York, USA

In July 2008, defunct British Airways Concorde G-BOAD, which was being stored at Floyd Bennett Field during the restoration of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, was damaged by a passing truck.

Current state

NYC Aviation members arranged to anonymously inspect the state of the aircraft regularly until its return to the old aircraft carrier, reporting back its findings to the Intrepid organisation. The aircraft has been repaired.

British Airways Concorde G-BOAE
British Airways Concorde G-BOAE | Source

G-BOAE - Grantley Adams Airport

Barbados

This aircraft first flew in 1977, entered service with BA in 1979 and was retired in 2004. In 1999 she flew in formation with the Red Arrows over Glasgow and Edinburgh as part of the ceremony at the opening of the Scottish Parliament. Some minor cracks were found in a wing in 2000, causing her to be grounded. She remained in that state after the Paris crash in that year.

She took to the skies once more in 2001 after extensive safety modification and as the first post-Paris revenue flight from Heathrow to New York. In 2003 she took part in the final day of Concorde services with a return trip to Edinburgh which included a low circuit over London with G-BOAF and G-BOAG.

Current state

On November 17th 2003 she made her final trip to Granley Adams Airport Barbados where she is stored in a purpose-built facility known as the Barbados Concorde Experience.

G-BOAF Taking Off
G-BOAF Taking Off | Source

G-BOAF - Filton Factory

Filton, England

Concorde 216 was purchased by BA as their 6th Concorde, allegedly for a token amount.

In 1989, while on a trip from Christchurch to Sydney, this aircraft suffered a rudder failure where a section was lost in flight. This problem re-occured on other aircraft leading to all Concordes being fitted with re-designed rudders. In 1995 her nose was damaged in a handling accident at Heathrow airport. British Airways swapped this nose with the nose of G-BBDG, the test Concorde which used to be stored at Filton.

G-BOAF was the first in the fleet to be painted into the Utopia livery which led it to be heavily featured in BA's marketing material. This airframe was also the first to be fitted with the Kevlar-lining in the fuel tanks as a result of the safety modifications required after the Paris crash.

The Concorde at Filton is in a temporary home while local organisations and companies get together to create a new aviation heritage centre, where 216 will be under cover as the centre-piece of displays and exhibits that detail the story of the region's long-standing role in the world of aerospace.

Current state

Public access to this aircraft was halted in November 2010 and there are currently no plans to place it back on display. According to the press it needs to be restored and repaired and there are reports that it is in "desperate need of repair and was starting to rust in several places" [source This is Bristol, 25th November 2010]. There are however no funds available to complete the project. On 30th May 2011 the Concorde Trust failed to obtain funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, further delaying the start of the conservation project.

British Airways Concorde G-BOAG
British Airways Concorde G-BOAG | Source

G-BOAG - Museum of Flight

Seattle, USA

Airframe 214 was first registered in 1978 as G-BFKW to British Aerospace, and took to the sky for the first time in the same year. . She was eventually delivered to British Airways in February 1980 when she was re-registered as G-BOAG.

She suffered a a serious engine problem in April of the same year, which resulted in an aborted flight to New York. She re-entered service in February 1981 after extensive and costly repairs. She was grounded once more between 1982 and 1984 for use as spares but was eventually returned to flight once more, to promote a new interior, a new external livery called Landor and had the honour of joining the Red Arrows for a fly past at the Royal International Air Tatto in 1985.

In 1996 was once more refurbished and, in 1999, repainted in the new Chatham livery. As part of the retirement farewell tour she visited Toronto, Washington and Manchester. Her penultimate flight was from New York to London Heathrow, where she landed in sequence with G-BOAE and G-BOAF after performing a low circuit over London.

In November 2003 she re-positioned to Seattle. During the trip she set a new record for the East to West crossing of North America, having been given permission to fly supersonic over land.

Current state

This aircraft is part of the outdoor exhibits of the Museum of Flight in Seattle, is the only Concorde on display on the West Coast of the USA, and one of only four outside Europe.

British Development Aircraft

Testing supersonic flight

G-BSST (002) - Yeovilton Fleet Air Arm Museum, UK

Concorde serial number 002 was the second prototype to be assembled (the first was built in France), and she made her maiden flight from the British Aircraft Corporation's plant at Filton, Bristol on the 9th April 1969. She was retired and preserved following seven years of extensive supersonic testing, This aircraft completed her last flight in July 1976 by landing at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovilton, where she is preserved in one the Museum's exhibition halls.

G-AXDN (101) - Imperial War Museum, Duxford, UK

Concorde number 101 (pictured below) is now located at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford and was the third to be built for test purposes before the world's first supersonic airliner went into production. During testing the aircraft carried 12 tons (12,209 kg) of test equipment as well as two escape hatches, to be used should things go wrong (they were never used, other than for crew training).

G-BBDG (202) - Brooklands Museum, Surrey

G-BBDG first flew in 1974 and was considered to be a pre-production model used to finalise the Concorde design before the other aircraft entered passenger service. This aircraft was painted in BA livery throughout the tests and spent a total of 1282hrs in the air. The last flight was in 1981 and the aircraft was then stored at Filton before being bought by BA in 1984. However, she never entered service but became an extremely useful source of spare parts. In 2001, the airframe was used to test reinforced cockpit doors required for all aircraft after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Brooklands Museum at Weybridge in Surrey was offered the aircraft, hence it was dismantled, cut into sections and transported by road to its' new home. A team of 100 volunteers from the museum, assisted by students from the University of Surrey, re-assembled and restored it to a high standard.

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    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      This is an excellent resource on a great plane. I first saw Concorde fly over Newbury on a test flight before she entered production, and later when I lived outside Wimbledon, she used to circle around my house twice nightly before landing at Heathrow.

      We had a dog flap in the kitchen door, and my dog used to recognise the distinctive sound of the engines and run outside. I don't know if he ever looked up to see it though.

      Several times I saw Concorde come into land in Barbados when I was working there, it was a great sightseeing her come in from the ocean and over the beach, almost overhead.

      Great lens, and blessed.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Fascinating lens - Amazing that you have tracked down the current location of all these planes. I can see the one at the Museum of Flight in Seattle every time I drive past on the freeway.

    • charlesn profile image
      Author

      Charles Nullens 6 years ago from London

      @UKGhostwriter: Thank you, it's appreciated ;-)

    • charlesn profile image
      Author

      Charles Nullens 6 years ago from London

      @thesuccess2: A few years ago one of them flew at low altitude over my house, and as I had just seen one leaving Heathrow, I assumed that it was returning to the airport for some reason. In fact, it was the inbound aircraft and the Captain had received permission to fly over the Wimbledon Tennis Championships which take place near me.

      As this was done on a whim they didn't have time to plan it properly and missed the grounds by about a mile or so. They tried again next day, publicised the event and I was ready with my camera. Unfortunately they got it right this time and flew 1 mile south of my house, turned left and flew directly over the tennis grounds. Ironically I work there every year but was off-shift when it happened!

    • thesuccess2 profile image

      thesuccess2 6 years ago

      I saw her last ever landing at Fulton, must find the photos. Always a thrill to see her flying overhead

    • profile image

      GetSillyProduct 6 years ago

      a grand old bird, a great icon of a by gone era

    • profile image

      masunyoananda 6 years ago

      great lens....love n blessings............

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 6 years ago

      very interestlens , well done!

    • oktalBlizzard profile image

      oktalBlizzard 6 years ago

      Very interesting article indeed!

      Enjoyed every part of it!