Once upon a time, there was a Concorde that carried passengers around the world, earning money for its owner. Little did this aircraft know it was to become the loneliest Concorde in the world.
Almost all Concordes are happily living new lives in museums, being visited by eager tourists and aviation fans. Some of them even let you take a ‘flight’ to experience what it was like in the supersonic age. There is one that is all alone though.
The Loneliest Concorde
On 18 May 1976, this Concorde took its first flight, reaching 63,500 feet or 19,354 metres in the air. Being a supersonic airliner, it reached Mach 2.05 on this trip and after 12 test flights it was delivered to British Airways on 30 September 1976.
Not one to shy away from new experiences, the aircraft flew for Braniff in the United States between transatlantic flights in 1979 and 1980.
After the Concorde accident, it flew home from New York to London Heathrow on 15 August 2000. Despite the whole return to flight programme, this aircraft never flew again.
Today, Concorde G-BOAB sits at London Heathrow airport, looking pretty near one of the runways. With no cabin installed, it is a shadow of its former self. Magazines are inside for ballast, which is a far cry from the luxurious interiors inside when it was flying.
G-BOAB was scheduled to be the sixth of seven British Airways Concordes to be upgraded with the post accident modifications. Unfortunately, BA did not need the last two aircraft, so they were never modified.
The other unmodified aircraft, G-BOAA, went to the museum at East Fortune in Scotland, but G-BOAB remains, to this day, at London Heathrow airport. While it is great to see it, it’s a bit of a shame it’s not somewhere where people can enjoy it.
Considering all the other Concordes went to museums, it’s a little bit strange that this one remains at London Heathrow. The loneliest Concorde probably wouldn’t be much of an attraction since it has no cabin installed, but even so, it’s strange that it hasn’t been snapped up.
It’s now been 19 years since its last flight. Sitting out in the London weather can’t be good for the long term future of the aeroplane. Hopefully it doesn’t corrode into dust.
Does anyone know what is planned for this Concorde, if anything? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Adrian Pingstone via Wikimedia Commons.
Interior picture via Heritage Concorde.
Landor livery picture by Ken Fielding via Wikimedia Commons.