When Concorde was retired in 2003, the fleet was dispersed to museums around the world so people in the future could visit them. Museums in Europe and the USA were the main recipients, which makes sense as this is where Concorde mainly flew to and from.
Just 20 of the supersonic jets were produced, ten each in France and England. Two of the French built Concorde’s no longer exist, one having been scrapped in 1994 and the other lost in an accident in 2000. In the second article for Concorde Week (the first is here), we have a look to see where you can visit Concorde today.
Visit Concorde in the United Kingdom
The English built Concorde’s are easily found in the UK and there are six scattered around the country. You can find the British prototype G-BSST at the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovilton, Somerset. It has been there since 1976.
On display almost as long is the pre-production aircraft G-AXDN. You can find this at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, where it is open daily for visits.
A production test aircraft registered G-BBDG is on display at Brooklands Museum at Weybridge in Surrey. I’ve been to this museum and the Concorde experience is really excellent. Going on a “flight” is really lots of fun, so I recommend it.
The National Museum of Scotland at East Fortune has British Airways Concorde G-BOAA on display. I have also been to this museum and going on board Concorde here is another great experience. They also have other British aircraft such as a Dan-Air Comet 4 and a BAC 1-11 on display among other things.
Over in Manchester, you can head to the Runway Visitor Park by the airport, which has Concorde G-BOAC available to visit. It’s another great place to see the aircraft, and there is also a Trident and an Avro RJX to see among other things as well.
G-BOAF was the very last Concorde built in the world, and it is on display at Aerospace Bristol, located at the former Filton Airport. This one is on my list to visit sometime in the future.
Visit Concorde In France
France built and flew the very first Concorde, registered F-WTSS. You can visit this at the Musée de l’air et de l’espace (Air and Space Museum) near Le Bourget in Paris. Interestingly, Air France Concorde F-BTSD is also at the same place, so you get two Concorde’s for the price of one!
F-WTSA, a pre-production model, can be found at the Musée Delta near Orly Airport in Paris.
Aeroscopia in Toulouse also has two Concorde’s on display. One is F-WTSB, a production test aircraft you can go inside and check out. The other is Air France Concorde F-BVFC which is located outside. When I visited it was closed, so I am not sure if you can go on board.
Finally, Air France Concorde F-BVFF is on display at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. You can see it when entering and leaving the airport by road, up on stilts. It’s quite a striking sight!
Visit Concorde In Germany
Technik Museum Sinsheim in Germany has Air France Concorde F-BVFB on display. This museum also has a “Soviet Concorde” on display, the competing Tupolev Tu-144.
Sinsheim is the only place in the world where both supersonic airliners are on display. You can get inside both of them as well, so it’s definitely a museum I’m looking forward to visiting.
Visit Concorde In The United States
Since the USA was Concorde’s main destination, a few aircraft were sent for display there also. Air France sent F-BVFA to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia outside Washington DC. They have a Space Shuttle and other great things on display too, so you should definitely go here.
New York hosts a world record holder, British Airways Concorde G-BOAD at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. It is there on the Hudson along with lots of other interesting exhibits.
On the west coast, British Airways Concorde G-BOAG now resides at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. There are many aircraft on display, including Air Force One, so a visit here is definitely worth it.
Concorde fans will see that I have missed two aircraft from the list. British Airways G-BOAE is in Barbados, however the Concorde Experience in Barbados is currently closed. I have no information on when it will reopen.
The other is G-BOAB, which sits near the British Airways maintenance hangers at London Heathrow Airport. You can see it when heading to the runway sometimes, but can’t go on board for a visit.
I’ve been to see many of the Concorde’s in museums. I’ve seen G-BOAA in Scotland, G-BOAC in Manchester, G-BOAD in New York, G-BOAG in Seattle, F-WTSB and F-BVFC in Toulouse, F-BVFF at Charles de Gaulle, G-BOAB at Heathrow, G-AXDN in Duxford and G-BBDG in Weybridge.
The ones that let you sit in the seats are best, which I did in Manchester, Weybridge and Scotland. The best of the bunch is easily the “flight” at Brooklands in Weybridge. It’s fairly realistic and the seats are unbelievably comfortable!
Have you visited Concorde in a museum before? What did you think of it? If you’ve been to more than one, which one was best? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Eduard Marmet on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.
G-BSST image via ConcordeSST.com.
F-BVFF image by Aero Icarus via Wikimedia Commons.
Concorde and Tu-144 at Sinsheim via Sinsheim Museum.
Seattle Concorde Cabin by FaceMePLS from The Hague via Wikimedia Commons.