LHR27C From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 1279 posts, RR: 15 Posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4620 times:
1 year ago today, on 26th November 2003, Concorde G-BOAF operated the very last Concorde flight, LHR-FZO with a final supersonic routing round the Bay of Biscay before overflying Bristol and then landing at Filton. I was among the people at Filton to watch her land; it was a very moving occasion, particularly as the weather which had been awful all morning burst into brilliant sunlight as G-BOAF made her very final approach.
Since then, at least at LHR, it's been that little bit less exciting without Concorde flights .
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13497 posts, RR: 76
Reply 4, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4565 times:
Eddington said in April 2003, that the retirement was being brought forward 18 months to 2 years early, that's in the post Sept 11th environment, which matched our own expectations.
However, with AF stopping in mid 2003, there was really no way we could go on for much longer, as BA would get hit for the full cost of supporting this tiny fleet of unique aircraft, hence this advance in the retirement date.
In the context of the pre Sept 11th environment, then the retirement in October 2003 was brought forward 3-4 years early, it is worth remembering that with the success of the 2000/2001 return to flight programme, culminating in the return of the C of A on 5th Sept 2001, we did expect to fly until 2006/7, however, you all know what happened six days after that.
I miss it terribly, life is less interesting, many of the long term Concorde veterans I worked with from April 1997 to November 2003, were rightly proud that BA had successfully operated this machine for so long, considering Concorde originally was expected to operate for 15-18 years, but after the D checks from 1988-95, it was found that without significant modification they could run until the early years of the 21st Century, depending on utilization.
It was a challenge, it was a thrill, best of all was experiencing this amazing aircraft in flight, I count myself lucky in this respect, let these TR's be my tribute;
Interestingly (and conincidentally), I marked the first anniversary of my flight by going on the world's fastest train, the Maglev service that whisks you from Shanghai's Pudong airport to the city centre (well, somewhere in town anyway) in eight minutes, so there I was again, one year on, standing next to a digital speedometer having my picture taken. It was a mere 430kph this time, instead of Mach 2 at 56,500 feet. But a fitting way to mark the anniversary.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
Evolution From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 53 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4404 times:
I was at Filton to watch the final landing. There must have been over 5000 people who gathered on the perimeter fence. The crowd was so big the police had to close the 4 lane A38 road!
The final flight overflow Bristol before heading out to the Bay of Biscay. The return saw a very low flyby of Bristol (Clifton suspention bridge, Filton airfield) followed by a very long turn to the north of Bristol before the landing.
It was interesting to note that when the crowd dispersed, no one spoke! Everyone returned to their places of work or homes in a very somber mood.
Since then, the Concorde has be on display at Filton and tours have been available to the public. That was until a few weeks ago when and elderly gentleman slipped from the viewing platform / entrance steps. The Concorde has been closed to visitors until further notice.