Mirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7438 posts, RR: 62 Posted (11 years 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
This story beings over 26 years ago. I hope you will enjoy reading about my experience.
My dad worked at the USPS at JFK. Most Saturdays he would take us to the roof top of the old Pan Am building at there in order to watch the weekend SST departures. Hence began my love of aviation, with the Concorde at its heart. Thank you Dad.
As you can see, I had my sights on Concorde with I was young. Look close in the first pic and you will see an
AF SST behind me.
As to how I scored this ticket? Well, when I was born, my parents allowed 2 important people into my life. My godparents. As it turns out, 27 years later, my godmother really turned out to be a fairy Godmother afterall! Her husband works for BA and that was vector that got me on G-BOAC. Thanks!
Tuesday April 8, 2003. BA001 on G-BOAC, departs LHR at 18:30
I spent 4 days in London and was fortunate to cap off my last day having breakfast with Barcode. She knows I dressed for the occasion. I strategically placed myself near Paddington Station so that I could easily catch the Heathrow Express to the Airport.
Two VERY nice things about Paddington station. One: It is where the story of Paddington Bear began. I like him. Two: You can check in your luggage there and actually receive your boarding pass right there. So here I am, not even at the airport, and I got my luggage checked in and was going to get my boarding pass.
It was 10:30 and I walked up to the BA Concorde counter at Paddington. A pleasant french girl assisted me. She gave me a pair of luggage tags made of gray plastic, saying “Concorde.” I then politely asked if any window seats were available, specifically in row 11. No problem, I got 11A.
I then took the Heathrow Express into the Airport and arrived at terminal 2. I looked around for that MACH 3 store but was told that both it and the observation deck were closed. So I got back on the Heathrow Express and headed for terminal 4,
Once I got there, there was a long circuitous route to get to the actual gates. I recall taking 3 moving walkways to get there. On my boarding pass was a sticker “FAST TRACK”. Apparently this allowed me to go through a different security gate. It was just as thorough but the queue there was nonexistent.
11:00: I make it inside the terminal and hang a right and walked over near gate 10 and found the hidden from view “Concorde Room.” The lady at the door checked my boarding pass and allowed me in.
You walk into a large lounge full of leather sofas and lounge chairs as well as small coffee tables. Beyond the chairs are the windows that overlook the gates. At the moment, a BA Airbus 319 sits at the gate where the Concorde will later pull up. To the extreme right, there is a traditional bar as well as a self serve bar. In front of the bar are tables and chairs and in front of those chairs is a wall of glass with the words Concorde” etched upon it. These were the gate doors where we would later board the aircraft.. To the left, there was a flat screen TV mounted on a wall with some sofas facing it. More news about the war. I was not interested.
11:30: I walk up to the bar and order a glass of champagne. Then the bartender, a lovely Asian lady, handed me a menu. I now ordered a Johnny Walker Blue, on the rocks. Apparently this retails for over $180/bottle in some places. As this was the first time I had tasted this edible Jet-A fuel, it hit me hard at first but I soon became accustomed to its smooth texture. I ordered a chicken salad sandwich with parmesan slices on olive bread. It was served cold and tasted awesome. I then ordered a second JBW and walked over to a leather lounge chair overlooking the A319 and I relaxed a few moments.
The bar: note: pic taken without even looking in viewfinder.
I then got up and walked around, getting a feel for the place. I walked out of the Concorde Lounge and made a right where we also had access to an internet room. It was complete with computer terminals, fax machines, and its own self serve bar. I checked email and then went downstairs.
the internet cafe and bar:
13:00: Downstairs, there was a door marked “Molton Brown Travel Spa” (My HEARTFELT Thanks to Stretch 8, who alerted me to the existence of this spa! ) I walked in and asked what services were available. They said I could take a shower there. Then they looked at my boarding pass and said that I was entitled to either a foot massage, back massage, facial or pedicure. As this was my first time, I opted for a back massage at 15:15. I then asked where the showers were. She took me to a solidly enclosed bathroom and I was blown away.
This room was a completely clean, beautiful 9x20 foot room with a toilet, shower and sink and Molton Brown amenities. I undressed and stepped in the shower. The showerhead rained down on me most of the time but I could change the settings so that the water jets off the wall could shoot water horizontally at me as well. I sat in that shower a good 15 minutes whilst the lava hot water cruised down my back. I used the Molton Brown Vit A, B and C soap and shampoo. It left me smelling real nice, like a fruit (insert totally un-PC comments here )
I toweled off and got dressed and made my way back upstairs, back to the bar and now had a glass of red wine. As I drank, the bartender was making a roast beef sandwich for someone else. She took out this chunky sauce and started spreading it. I asked what it was and she said it was horseradish sauce. I wanted to try some, so ordered another chicken salad sandwich ( I really liked them) as well as a vegetable crudite platter with a side of the horseradish sauce and a third JBW.
The crudite platter and sandwich were brought up to me at my seat. The platter had carrots, celery and these nacho chips in it. The dipping sauces were a very zesty and chunky salsa, guacamole and sour cream as well as the horseradish I ordered. The horseradish was a REALLY hot and ZIPPY one. I had just a little bit and in a flash, this searing rush shot up my nose, around my skull to the base of my neck. Guys, if you love horseradish, this stuff was GOOOODDD!!!
15:00: I sipp another glass of champagne and then head downstairs to the spa. I open the heavy wooded door and there is a small young woman, about 5 foot 3, with dirty blonde hair and she she says, “Mario?” I acknowledged and she introduced herself as Elena. She was an attractive lady from Venice and so we got to some very small talk. She asked if I took any medications or had any health problems and then began to explain what would happen.
"I am going to leave the room now for a moment. You will need to take off your shoes as well as your shirt. There is a hangar there where you can place them. I need you also to undo your belt and you can take off your trousers if you like (With God as my witness, I swear she said that. So here I am thinking, what should I do?). Then lay down on the couch and I will be right with you.
Deciding that I should keep my trousers on, I undressed and laid down. Some very light classical music played in the background. She then returned and began some soothing talk to relax me. NOTE: This is all being said in a very nice italian accent. She said, “ I want you to take a few deep breaths and relax. Imagine the waves of relaxation coming all over your body. They are coming over your feet.(pauses 5 seconds as she firmly touches my feet), your calves (again pauses and touches my calves,) your thighs (again...) And all over your back (now runs her fingerrnail up my spine lightly. But are you so relaxed by this point that it doesn’t tickle but feels good.
She then started getting into the intricate details of the massage, paying careful attention to the right amount of pressure and speaking only a few times throughout. A few times, I smelled different scents being sprayed in the air.
She then put some oil in her hands and started to do a great job on my lats and my rhomboid muscles. At times, she angled her body on the side opposite where she worked and she seemed to be digging into and pushing my shoulder blade out but it was some awesome, good pain. I kept thinking, wow, this little woman is beating the crap out of me and I am loving it.
Then I began to feel some very soft strokes against the small of my back along with the major strides her hands took. With time, the light strokes grew longer and harder. And I thought I could hear her taking labored breaths. I tilted my head back and now she was topless! A bit in shock, I assumed this was part of the ritual. She didn’t notice me looking back at her so I played dumb and stayed still. Then she began to move higher up on my back and I could feel her chest and hair flowing against my back. Moments later, she kisses my neck and I slowly stop her and say, “Elena, I’m engaged.” to which she whispered, “Don’t worry, I’m not.” and she now pushed me down on my back and continued kissing my neck. Then she worked her way down to my shoulders , kissing them and working her soft hair into my chin and neck as she writhed her body against mine. Her hands wandered up and down my torso and teased the top of my trousers, allowing only one or two fingers to reach lower then finally sliding her hand inside my boxers and continuing with her massage. She was now kissing my navel and releasing from my pants...
Yep, then I stopped daydreaming as Elena rang a small chime to signal it was over. She asked in her pleasant accent, “Would you like some chamomile or peppermint tea to go with that?” I declined. She then asked if I would like some water, which I did. She fetched me a glass of water. Then she gave me a pricelist of all the Molton Brown products that are sold and she highlighted in orange the various following products that she used whilst massaging me:
Warming Eucalyptus Bath and Shower Gel
Seamoss Stress relieving Soak Therapy
Air of Calm Fragrance Spray.
I signed my name in the register and went back up to the Concorde lounge.
15:50 I walked into the lounge and I noticed a small gathering of people at the window. G-BOAC was being towed into our gate. Some folks in the lounge started getting up and taking photos of her as she was docked. I waited for this to pass before I fired off a few shots of my own.
Then I went to the bar, sat and ordered my forth JBW (I am losing count.). I watched the bartenders and servers now turn up the tempo as they prepared more champagne glasses and food for the passengers just showing up.
As I sat at the bar, I noticed the very minute details that go into a Concorde flight. Like the small plastic container full of, I shit you not, “Concorde Sliced Mixed Peppers.” These would be used on the shrimp salad which was just ordered. The bartender puts on plastic gloves and reached into various “Concorde” containers, pouring on some romaine lettuce, greens and shrimp. Nearby the other bartender now prepared a cheese platter for another passenger. It was composed of Stilton, Cheddar, Chesire and Wensley cheeses and biscuits.
Now, I am not a complete pig, but I did need a way to pace my drinking. So I had another chicken salad sandwich (yeah, my third) with another glass of champagne (does it ever end?) As well as 2 canapes. One was of salmon and the other I believe was of sundried tomoatoes and advocados. To the right of the bar sat an assortment of milk and white chocolate cover cookies and wafers which some folks nibbled on.
17:00 hrs An announcement is now being made. It said, “Passengers waiting to board the British Airways Supersonic Concorde Service will soon be asked to hand in their coats.” I walked up and handed them my coat and they marked my name and I went back to a comfy lounge chair and waxed poetic with a lovely older couple from Glascow. Ma’am, another champagne please? Thanks.
17:30 hrs “We would now like to announce the boarding of passengers for the British Airways Supersonic Concorde Service to New York.” Boarding pass in hand, with my video camera and camera in my backpack, I made my way to the 2 etched-in-glass “Concorde” sliding doors opposite the bar. A gate agent on either side checked my pass and welcomed me in. I walked past them into another door which now led down 1 short flight of stairs to another gate. This lower level gate had the entry to the gateway. I walked up the gateway and walked up to G-BOAC. There was a “Oneworld” sticker to the right of the door opening.
* this wasn’t happening to me, I thought. Even as I type this now, I still can’t believe it.*
I caressed her white skin and let my fingers circle the rivets. Then, I DUCKED to get in. ( I am a small guy of only 5'8" and I had to duck to get in!! She already made me feel taller!) I stepped in and looked to the left and caught a glimpse of the cockpit, then turned right and walked through the first cabin. I still cannot tell you if I had any famous people in that cabin b/c I could not care less. This was my moment.
I got to my seat and pinched the leather. My eyes welled up with tears and I just started laughing. I was (and still am) overcome with emotion. I am so ecstatic that I am tearing and laughing. Maybe I am a sap, but for every guy out there that wanted to be president, play for a major football team or be a millionaire, all I ever dreamed of since I was young was to fly in the Concorde. This was my sports contract, my presidency, my million dollars. I’ve worked hard and prayed my entire life to accomplish my goals. So I was never the rich kid with all the opportunities. Here I was, 22 years after I first set my sights on her. I didn’t know how I would do it but I knew I would one day do it.
I sat in seat 11A which was a bulkhead seat on the left side (port side of the aircraft). So directly in front of me, I had the screen that said, “Welcome to Concorde.” This would later show the plane’s speed and height. A lovely FA named Anita took my drink order. This would be served once airborne. Anita was a very cute thirty-something brunette with the most heartwarming smile. I requested the champagne, to which she replied, “excellent choice.”
I pinch the seats some more and am in disbelief. I now look at the 3 windows available to me. They are TINY and no bigger than my hand. For comparison, I took my Canon Rebel and held it up against the window. The window is only 1 inch longer than the camera body’s longest aspect. TINY.
Now the Pilot came on to introduce himself and the flight crew:
Capt. Chris Norris
Co-Pilot Dave Byass
Flight Engineer Dave Hoyle
Capt. Norris then went on the explain that we were about “to push back and start the Rolls Royce engines. We will then take a long taxi to 09L for departure. A couple of things about this aircraft though...” He then explained that we would takeoff on 09L with reheats (AFTERBURNERS) applied and we would reach a speed of 250 MPH in 30 seconds. Then we’d immediately go into a tight right hand turn in accordance with noise abatement issues.
I had Anita take a photo of me in my seat. You know, for once, they didn't "randomly" search me in security. Go figure. hey, I just got Photoshop. LOL.
back to the TR.
Then I listened at the engines were started, one by one. What I did not hear was the distinctive whine of spooling up I was accustomed to. Instead, I heard a low growling up of noise that tapered to a whirr of sorts. I heard this sound go 4 times, then we started to meander over to 09L. There were a lot of bumps in the taxiways that we are all used to. BOAC took what seemed like a lot of bumps to get to to the runway. Keep this in mind.
We turned onto 09L and heard 3 cabin beeps, which I assume signaled takeoff, and the engines groaned and then settled into a roar as we began to pick up speed, and lots of bumps on the runway. The acceleration was unlike any I had encountered before. The nose pitched up, my butt sank into the crevice of the seat and we swooped up and within 100 feet, we started to roll right into this deep right that GDB told about.
I was thinking of all the ways I would explain it to you guys. It did not feel like flying. It felt like being on a rumbling rocket rolling to the right. It felt like we were cutting into a very deep surf, the kind that sends ships to be wrecked on rocky shores. It felt like, well, the plane was rumbling, literally, as we cut that turn. It felt as though we were still rumbling on the ground and it felt rough. Purely different. Maybe what I imagined. Purely Concorde.
I tried to look out my window on the left but we were pitched too far to the right for me to see anything on my side! I looked across the aisle at their windows and WOW, my guess is we were rolled 33 degrees to the right.
With our nose still up, we completed the 180 degree turn, rolled straight and then my stomach gave out as we surged up higher and we got a tiny bit heavier for a few seconds and we pulled more G’s. The Marilake display was now on. Mach 0.71=530 MPH. The reheats were now off and we were building speed.
I felt every change in pitch as we pulled more G’s and angled higher. Mach 0.76=560MPH, 13,000ft. Excelsior! Ever Upward!!! You know how when you are driving, you sometimes put your hand out the window and make angles? And the wind hits it and your hand goes up or down? That is how it felt. I felt my stomach drop delightfully a few times as we kept climbing. We were now at Mach 0.95 and Anita brought out my champagne.
I now put my armrest up. It was cool. It was horizontal and flat but when I put it up, it twisted and aligned itself between the seat. I guess the best way to explain it was that it changed pitch in much the same way a propeller could.
Our Cabin service director Jerry Smith came around with a round of canapes. True to legend, these 3 canapes were served on bone China, as was all the food. As that started, Capt. Norris interrupted and now explained that in a few moments, the reheats would be applied until we reached Mach 1.7. As has been described, you DO feel two subtle nudges as the reheats go on and all of a sudden, the Mach number goes from 0.95 to 1.0 and just keeps climbing.
Back on canape detail: the first one was of bits of salmon on a small egg on phyllo dough. The second has pesto on it with some sort of cheese. The 3rd was a hazel-nutty mix. Anita then came by with a selection of three wines. I now had the red wine and the champagne ahead of me.
Mach 1.04 @FL310
1 minute later, Mach 1.6 @ FL345
Anita now refilled my glass with a second pouring of champagne. What a nice smile she had.
Mach 1.74=1180 MPH @ FL440 reheats are now off.
Dinner....well, how about a glance at the menu???
Let’s open to Page 1....this is the menu is written,.. I apologize as I cannot center the words as they were on the menu.
The Ultimate Experience
Welcome to the Concorde. British Airways ultimate flying experience showcases fine dining inspired by the collective contributions of the British Airways Culinary Council. This team of renowned chefs Michel Rous, Shaun Hill,
Richard Corrigan, Laim Tomlin, Mark Edwards and Claudia Fleming has risen to the highest challenge-creating the ultimate in-flight menu. Despite space and time constraints, the Culinary Council has developed superior quality menus without compromising individual culinary styles. We trust that their creations will please the eye, delight the palate and, most importantly, make your journey on the Concorde the Ultimate Experience.
Lobster and Tabbouleh salad
Grilled corn-fed chicken breast with a
tiagiatelle and morel veloute
New season lamb cutlets with thyme and herb
pancake wrapped in brioche, served with
ginger and redcurrant compote
Caramelised red onion and Gruyere cheese
tart Tatin with a red pepper coulis
Poached wild salmon with new potato and
Vanilla and white chocolate creme brulee,
cassis compote and brandy snap
Shropshire Blue, Gubben,
Selection of bread rolls
Coffee, decaffeinated coffee, a selection of tea
As an alternative to the full menu, we are
pleased to offer a selection of freshly made
sandwiches including prawns on malted
bread, Parma ham, Mozzarella and rocket on
softgrain and Brie, celery and spinach on wholemeal bread.
We have great pleasure in introducing the Concorde Cellar- a unique collection of fine wines, specifically chosen for Concorde, from some of the finest vineyards in the classic regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne. These wines have been purchased, sometimes several years in advance, and cellared until ready to drink. The wines listed here are just a part of the
entire cellar- the rest are gently maturing atthe chateau for your enjoyment
in the years to come.
British Airways wine consultant is Jancis Robinson M.W. Her expertise and knowledge have been instrumental in the continued success of the Concorde Cellar.
As a journalist Jancis Robinson was the first person outside the wine trade to qualify as a Master of Wine. Now she is a wine writer for the Financial Times, editor of the Oxford Companion to Wine and, with Hugh Johnson, co-author of the latest edition of the World Atlas of wine. She is alo an award winning
television presenter and today writes principally for her website jancisrobinson.com which has subscribers in more than 25 countries.
This list features the wines chosen from the Concorde Cellar for today’s flight.
Alfred Gratien Cuvee Paradis
Cuvee is the deluxe blend from this
Epernay based champagne house, founded by
Alfred Gratien in 1864. It is mostly from the
1996 vintage and has been aged in their
cellars for at least 5 years before release.
This vintage combines good maturity with
good acidity, which explains the beautiful
balance evident in the wine. A high
proportion of chardonnay gives it a zesty,
fresh citrous character to complement the
richness that comes from a long period of
ageing and it has a fantastic length.
Meursault 1er Cru Poruzot 1996
La Grande Famille des Domaines
The Le poruzot vienyard is located
immediately to the south of hte large,
sprawling village of Meursault and is the
source of some of the finest wines of the
appellation. The 1996 vintage was
outstanding for white burgundy with a dry and
sunny September bringing the chardonnay
grapes to perfect ripeness. This wine has the
telltale buttery, nutty aromas of Meursault
with rich, opulent fruit flavors and balancing
acidity leading into a lengthy, oaky finish.
Chateau La Lagune 1995
Grand Cru Classe Haut-Medoc
Chateau La Lagune is the most southerly of
the Crus Classes of the Medoc, being just,
fourteen kilometres from the centre of
Bordeaux. The beautifully restored chateau
and its vineyards sit right in the middle of a
bank of gravel, which provides excellent
drainage for the vines. For many years now
the wines have proved exceptionally reliable,
full bodied and rich without being
Warre’s 1982 Colheita Port
Warre’s 1982 Colheita is a blend of the very
highest quality wines from the 1982 harvest,
using the traditional Portuguese grape varieties
and a centuries old method of vinification.
Colheita ports must be matured in wood for a
minimum of seven years- in practice it is usually much longer.
The wine has a fine amber tawny color. On
the nose it has complex and intense aromas
of orange peel, walnuts and almonds. The
flavour is deliciously sweet, smooth and
elegant with a long lingering finish.
The Concorde Cellar
Krug Brut Grande Cuvee
Alfred Gratien Cuvee Paradis
Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill 1986
Krug Clos du Mesnil 1986
Jacquart Cuvee Nominee de Jacquart 1988
Pommery Cuvee Loiuse 1989
Lanson Blanc de Blancs 1990
Meursault 1er Cru poruzot 1986
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champs Gain 1996
Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 1996
Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 1997
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru les Vergers 1997
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot 1998
Meursault Les Narvaux 1999
Chateau Pape-Coement 1994
Chateuu Gruaud-Larose 1994
Chateau Pichon Lalande 1994
Chateau Smith Haut-Lafite1994
Chateau La Lagune 1994
Chateau Branaire Ducru 1995
Chateau de Fieuzal 1996
Volnay 1er Cru Les Chervets 1990
Corton-Pougets Grand Cru 1994
Le Corton Grand Cru 1996
Pommard 1er Cru Les Chanlins 1997
Warre’s 1982 Colheita Port
Tangueray No.10 Gin,
Smirnoff Black Label Vodka,
Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum,
Martini Sweet and Dry Vermouth,
Tio Pepe Fino Sherry,
La Concha Amontillado Sherry,
Canadian Club Rye Whisky,
Glenfiddich Ancient 18 year old
Single Malt Whisky,
Johnny Walker Blue label Whiskey,
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
Prepared to your choice from the range of beverages carried on board.
A selection of traditional and modern soft drinks
Fresh orange juice, tomato juice, apple juice,
Highland Spring Still or Sparkling Mineral Water,
Schweppes-tonic, Bitter Lemon, Soda Water,
Malvern Mineral Water, Coca-Cola, Diet Coke,
Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Sprite.
Lager- Grolsch, Stella Artois, Holsten Pils, Fuller’s London Pride Ale.
Digestifs and Liqueurs
The Concorde Selection
Drambuie, Cointreau, Grand Marnier,
Tia Bella, Baileys, Amaretto di Saronno.
Anita came by with a tray of the Lobster salad entree and it was just delectable! The presentation of the lobster was excellent. And it was very fresh and moist, not mushy. Also, the cabin director came by with a basket of bread rolls to chose from. I chose a sourdough roll.
On the plate in front of me, I had a glass of red, a glass of champagne, one salt and one pepper grinder, utensils, the lobster salad and a bread roll, all served on elegant bone china.
Now we are at M 1.85 @ FL480.
Anita then asked what entree I would have and I chose the chicken entree. I also asked if they gave any certificates out any more. She said she would look for me. As soon as my salad was done, the individual plate was removed and replaced with an individual plate of the chicken on tiagiatelle.
The tiagiatelle was s a ribbon-like pasta that melted in your mouth and for once, the chicken breast was not a salt laden sponge but a tender piece of fillet with good hints of well balanced spices.
Now at M 1.91 @ FL495.
The aircraft takes another quick lurch up and once more I gain more apparent weight for a few seconds as I am pressed into the bucket seat.
M1.92 @ FL490
M1.94 @ FL490
I am eating, looking outside the window and at the Marilake displays. Just enjoying the moment. My neck feels warm though. I completely forgot! I touch the window and sure enough, it was very warm to the touch.
A different male F/A comes by with more rolls and this time I choose the wheat roll.
I continue eating and notice this like fruitfly, probably a drosophila, evading my capture. HITCHHIKER!!! Die fly, die! I continue eating and he flies away. I polish off my plate and turn over the bread saucer to find this written underneath, for your China lovers, “Royal Doulton, Bone China EC1143.”
M 2.00@ FL505
We are WAY above the cloud cover and I peer out over the horizon don’t see the ‘earth’s curve’ as some talk about. We are still too low to see it. As I digest, I start to feel a bit tired but then realize that I must continue to use all my five sense to experience this.
SMELL: not the proverbial ‘old coffee Jet-A-cologne smell’ on most planes. Instead, I smell fresh food and leather and fuel.
FEEL: I feel the heat of the windows pierce the nape of my neck. I touch the soft leather seats and squeeze them as well as the bulkhead cushioning some more. My shoes are off (socks on) and I flex my toes into the foot cushion at my feet. The dips we take with each pitch up press you into your seat. I walk to the back of the plane and then walk forward. I have now gone faster than the Concorde.
TASTE: The dining experience says it all.
HEAR: I hear the constant roar of the engines. Whoever said this was a quiet flight was hard of hearing. It was LOUD on the plane, make no mistake about it. I hear constant gushing roar throughout.
SEE: The gray seats, the very small cabin, the tight bathroom, the tapering of the cabin as you walk forward, the warmth of the crew, the attention to detail, such as the seats that pivot at the angle of the seat. The darkest blue hues of sky I have ever seen, the blankets of clouds thousands of feet below us. I see we are alone here.
The Capt. Comes on to say that right now we are at M 1.95 @ FL505 and that the temperature of the nose of BOAC is now 230 Degrees Farenheit. Dessert starts to be served and I chose the creme brulee. This was accompanied by 3 truffles and tea. The truffles were of Passion, Earl Grey and Champagne, from L’Artisan du Chocolat, on Sloane St in London. The creme brulee was good but the truffles were better. The Port complemented the tartness of the brandy snap well.
M 2.00 @ FL510
I notice on the elbow end of my table, there are some numbers and gibberesh written on it. All I could make out was a date of 02-10-71. Looks like an old fixture on the plane. For the first time on this flight, I put on the headphones ad get out the IFE. Guess what is on. Marvin Gaye’s “Flying High”
I love the artist but really don’t care for the song, yet you must admire the irony
(What’s equally ironic is that right before the trip, a patient I saw had the name Mach.)
Now the Concorde duty free items started going up and down the aisles. Guess what I bought:
Then I meandering into the bathroom. Even the bloody bathrooms spares no expense at luxury!
And yes, I cannot believe I will divulge such info, but yes, I did leave a supersonic deposit in the toilet.
M2.00@ FL570 Finally I can see the curve of the earths surface. Perhaps you will in these images.
I asked the Male FA how many people were on board. Turns out there were 58 on board. I would later learn that 46 of them paid FULL FARE. (Yeah right, they aren’t making money. Ok, this flight was not the norm, I know loads are lower lately.)
So I made my way from my seat in 11A and I plopped right down in the empty last row seat of 26A. I decided I wanted to have this perspective from now until landing. Anita had no issues with my move.
At this point, she presented me with a Concorde Certificate which was signed by the Captain. I thanked her and then asked for another JBW on the rocks. She brought my drink in as well as my coat.
The descent was not the “20 minute warning” announced on airliners. We now started our descent and to be blunt, we dropped out of the sky like a rock. From the last pax seat of the plane, I sat there getting all lightheaded as our airspeed dropped precipitously from M 2.0, 1.8, 1.72, 1.65, 1.55, 1.48, 1.35.....
M1.21 @ FL410
M 0.80 @ FL250
M 0.69 @ FL135
M 0.52 = 380 MPH @ FL085
We fell at well over 1000 ft/minute......I looked outside and saw the clouds below closing in on us quickly. I didn’t even bother to look at the altimeter as you can feel yourself descending very quickly. As we continued to swoop down, all that was said was “prepare for landing..”
We then began a wide right turn and I felt BOAC flare up a bit as I sank into my seat some more. Visibility is now nil as we pierce the clouds and pull up again and I feel more G’s being pulled in my stomach. The pilots then throttle up once more and the gear loudly comes down and locks into place. We take another hard right, more of that gut sinking feeling but we can't see anything outside besides the whiteness of clouds.
We break through the 2000 foot cloud cover and I see the ground rapidly approaching. I start videotaping. I can see we are lined up for landing on 31R at JFK. Upon piercing the clouds is when I realized that our nose was pitched way up and we were in that distinctive landing flare that we all know.
We keep cruising down hard and fast. Seconds before touchdown, the engines spool down. We make contact with the ground and the bucket clamshells literally snap back and reverse thrust starts. It gets loud,.. Then louder and louder and louder... then stops.
We are in JFK and I kept videotaping b/c I wanted to also hear and preserve the pilot’s final comments to us before he said goodbye.
I was in the last seat so I waited for everyone to get off before me (I think *NO, YOU CAN’T THROW ME OFF THIS PLANE!! Where’s the masseuse??!" LOL). I walk forward and talk to the pilot a bit. He said he has been flying Concorde since 1976. I then explained how I used to watch him from the Pan Am building rooftop as a child. “That was you?” he joked? I peeked inside the tiny cockpit and thanked them all, and we all hoped we could do it again soon.
Little did we know that less than 48 hours later, the announcement was made that the Concorde’s would soon be no more. How is that for a bitter ending? Or amazing irony?
Thank you for taking your time to read my T.R. I honestly didn't even want to write it as I didn't think you'd enjoy it. But many of you asked me to do so, ....so I hope you like
Please leave your comments.
And thanks Dad.
Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
LH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (11 years 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Thank you Mirrodie. As an employee of BA, I get some fantastic deals to fly on Concorde, and while I knew I had to fly on this bird, especially since we have just a few more months left to do it, your report has solidified my will to do it.
That was a beautiful report, and I'm happy you got to experience Concorde before she's gone.
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Mirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7438 posts, RR: 62
Reply 10, posted (11 years 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
My only tiny compliant was the windows had water spots. But I am NOT complaining! Also, do you notice here how smooth the wing looks? You ONLY see this smooth, tautness of the wing at high speeds.
In my other pics, which I did not yet upload, you can see that the wing, at lower speed and temps, has stretch marks in it. I will upload if I get a chance.
I bought a nice pair of these:
When you do, DO NOT forget the Spa.
A map of the place. I spent over 6 hours here and really got my dollar's worth
There she is, waiting for us: BOAC
If you are thinking of doing it, GO. Live life without regrets. I have met too many people that told me that in the 1980's they could have flown for $700 b/c of their airline associations! They didn't and regretted it since then. Enjoy the pics and thanks for your comments.
Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
Nonrevman From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1289 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (11 years 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
This trip report is certainly one for the books! I have wanted to fly on the Concorde, but that 800$ employee special seems to have disappeared . Therefore, I will have to realize that not everything in this world is attainable. It is too difficult to justify wiping out a great portion of our savings just to have me take on flight. I really enjoyed reading this report and the pictures are great! It seems like an awesome experience, to say the very least.
Olympic A-340 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 780 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (11 years 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
I was slated to fly Concorde on Air France next week, but my connections at Air France could not find ONE companion pass for 800 dollars ...at least we tried. I tried to live vicariously through your trip report hehe....GOOD JOB
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13043 posts, RR: 78
Reply 19, posted (11 years 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Outstanding, well worth the wait, the best TR I've ever read.
Despite being on and around the aircraft every day at work, I usually go watch a departure when not on shift, as it's just a few minutes walk from home to the LHR Northern runway.
And I was definitely going to see Mirrodie's flight go.
As OAC thundered skywards I waved and cheered, I know Mirrordie could not possibly see me, and afterwards I sheepishly looked around to see if anyone was staring at me! (There was no one around)!
I can say that everyone involved in the operation of Concorde gets an extra kick out of pax who are not regulars onboard, so truly appreciate this soon to be gone experience, we so miss doing charters, though more special offers and probably special flights will happen before retirement, I will do what I can, along with Gordon at concordesst.com to keep you all posted on these.
Now Mirrodie, all you have to do is link this great piece to the TR forum on www.concordesst.com!