Last Saturday, myself and 34 other members of http://www.concordesst.com/
spent a day at the Brooklands museum.
Once the site of a very early racetrack and where the first aircraft flight in Britain was made, later a Vickers factory, once merged to form BAC the forward and rear fuselages of all 20 Concordes were constructed there, as well as a host of other components.
Now it houses a motor and air museum, a good collection including a VC
-10, Vanguard, BAC 1-11 and many other aircraft, this museum is to get Concorde 202, G-BBDG, the first UK production aircraft.
Concordesst.com. as you can see if you click the link for the main page in line 1, is helping with this project.
It's a big project, but do-able, it will when complete, turn Brooklands from a small, not well known museum, to a must see for any self respecting aviation person.
Concorde should be dismantled at Filton for transport to Brooklands in a few months, then the restoration can begin.
Unlike other museums with a Concorde, eventually Brooklands intends to have the Concorde much more open to the public than any other museum, even the flightdeck.
You can see this now with some of the other aircraft we went on at Brooklands, the VC
-10, an ex BUA aircraft which was the aircraft of the Sultan of Oman until 1987, was fascinating with its VIP interior and spacious flightdeck.
So was the Vanguard, a BEA/BA machine, like most converted to a Merchantman freighter, before the last operator Hunting Aviation, retired it in 1996.
But most interesting was the BAC 1-11, built in 1965, it was stretched to become the first 1-11-500 aircraft, later still, it was restored to the original fuselage length as the first 1-11-475 version, before ending it's days as a testbed aircraft.
The museum also has Viscounts, a range of military aircraft and much else.
Many Concorde spares have been delivered to Brooklands for 202, we saw a nose/visor mechanism being worked on, an Olympus engine on a stand, 202 won't have engines fitted, rather they will display the modules that made up this powerplant system, the intakes, engine and exhaust/reheat/secondary nozzles.
Interesting to talk to some of the museum volunteers, many are BAC veterans, one old gent once worked on Comet 1s at BOAC.
Another was a former colleague from Concorde, who retired a few years ago, though I missed him as he was in the local pub for his lunch.
Plans to dismantle 202 and move it were discussed in the audio/visual conference room and a good time was had by all.
After which we returned to concordesst.coms adopted home, the Green Man pub near LHR
Some sst.com members had come from the USA for this day, so with the pub shut except for sst.com members on this day out, they were duly fed and entertained, as we all were.
For a bunch of people who a year ago did not know each other, the sst.com people have achieved much, such as getting a member on the last but one BA001 by raising money, mostly by selling Concorde CDs with material from members, more of this sort of thing will happen to raise money to help restore 202.
I claim no part in this, I've provided help and info where I can, but the real work has been done by others, and they are a diverse bunch, a good laugh too, not the stereotypical 'geeks' at all.
Some Airliners.net people are involved, from the UK and US, they can back up what I say here about sst.com.
One UK airnet member, Declan, was at Brooklands on Saturday.
Naturally I've contacted former Concorde colleagues about this, as their vast experience will be welcome, many of them started out at Brooklands, building VC
-10s and Concorde components.
Want to take part, in any way at all? You could get the chance to help restore the Concorde.
Well I've provided the links, and here is one from Brooklands, which you can navigate for an overview of Brooklands itself.