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Concordes retired to museums

Since the last commercial Concorde flight on 24 October 2003, the British Airways fleet of seven Concordes have gone to their final resting places at museums around the world.

British Airways chief executive Rod Eddington said, "We have chosen the final homes based a number of criteria: their ability to properly exhibit and preserve the aircraft, their geographical location and accessibility to the public."

The locations are:


∑ Airbus UK, Filton Bristol, UK
∑ Manchester Airport, UK
∑ Museum of Flight, near Edinburgh, UK
∑ Heathrow Airport, UK
∑ The Museum of Flight, Seattle, USA
∑ The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York, USA
∑ Grantley Adams Airport, Bridgetown, Barbados

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Concorde facts and figures

Statistics

Concorde measures 204ft in length - stretching between six and ten inches in-flight due to heating of the airframe. She is painted in a specially developed white paint to accommodate these changes and to dissipate the heat generated by supersonic flight. The wingspan is 83ft 8ins - much less than conventional subsonic aircraft as Concorde flies in totally a different way using "Vortex Lift" to achieve her exceptional performance. The height is 37ft 1ins. The characteristic droop nose is lowered to improve pilots' visibility for take-off and landing.

Power

Concorde's four engines - specially designed Rolls-Royce/ Snecma Olympus 593s - give more than 38,000lbs of thrust each, with 'reheat'. This adds fuel to the final stage of the engine to produce the extra power required for take-off and the transition to supersonic flight. They are the most powerful pure jet engines flying commercially.

Speed

Concorde takes off at 220 knots (250mph) (compared with 165 knots for most subsonic aircraft). She cruises at around 1350mph - more than twice the speed of sound - and at an altitude of up to 60,000 ft (over 11 miles high). A typical London to New York crossing would take a little less than three and a half hours as opposed to about eight hours for a subsonic flight. Travelling Westwards, the five-hour time difference meant Concorde effectively arrived before she left. She travels "faster than the sun".

Service

More than 2.5 million passengers have flown supersonically on British Airways' Concorde since she entered commercial service in 1976. The most frequent passenger, an oil company executive, clocked up almost 70 round trip transatlantic crossings a year.

Safety Enhancements

A team of about 250 British Airways' engineers worked tirelessly, together with the relevant authorities, to further improve safety on board. The engineers and manufacturers worked closely together to create and install a new Kevlar-rubber lining for Concorde's wing-based fuel tanks and the addition of specially developed Michelin tyres, as well as strengthened wiring in the undercarriage.

History

Supersonic airline research in Europe began in 1956 and resulted in the British and French Governments signing an international treaty for the joint design, development and manufacture of a supersonic airliner six years later. The first prototype was rolled out at Toulouse in 1967 and since then, there have been a number of notable dates in the history of Concorde.

2 March 1969
First flight of Concorde 001 from Toulouse France.

9 April 1969
First flight of Concorde 002 from Filton, Bristol, UK to its test centre at Fairford.

1 October 1969
Concorde's first supersonic flight.

28 June 1972
British Airways (BOAC) orders five Concordes.

20 September 1973
Concorde 002 lands at Dallas/ Fort Worth on first visit to the USA.

17 June 1974
Concorde makes its first double Atlantic crossing in one day.

5 December 1975
UK Civil Aviation Authority awards Concorde its Certificate of Airworthiness.

21 January 1976
British Airways commences commercial supersonic travel from London to Bahrain.

22 November 1977
British Airways Concorde's first London - New York commercial flight.

8 November 1986
First round the world flight by a British Airways Concorde - covering 28,238 miles in 29 hours 59 minutes.

7 February 1996
Concorde G-BOAD crosses the Atlantic between New York and London in a new record flight time of 2 hours, 52 minutes and 59 seconds.

11 August 1999
Two British Airways Concordes fly in supersonic formation to chase the total eclipse of the sun.

7 November 2001
British Airways re-launches its scheduled services to New York.

4 June 2002
Concorde flies up the Mall with the Red Arrows to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

24 October 2003
Concorde makes itís last commercial flight from New York to London.

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