No Kidding -- This Is The Last One...
While the last commercial flights of the Concorde drew lots of
attention from the aviation world as well as the general media, the
truly last scheduled flight of the airplane came about last week
with only a fraction of the fuss.
The glorious and occasionally tumultuous era of the supersonic
Concorde came to a close a few days ago with the final landing of
the world's last flying SST. A British Airways Concorde 216 made
its historic touchdown at the Filton UK site where the airliner was
originally built. In 1979, Concorde 216 (call sign 'Alpha-Foxtrot')
was the last of the Anglo-French supersonic airliners to come off
the twin production lines of Filton and Toulouse.
After leaving Heathrow, with 100 British Airways staff on board,
the aircraft landed at Filton in front of a crowd made up of the
public and aerospace workers. This was the last ever flight of a
Concorde, billed as a "a design triumph which pushed the boundaries
of aerospace engineering."
At Filton, the aircraft was received by HRH The Duke of York on
behalf of the community. This final flight was made by British
Airways Captain Les Brodie, accompanied by Captains Mike Bannister
and Paul Douglas, and Senior Flight Engineers Warren Hazleby and
Mike Bannister, Chief Concorde Pilot said: “British
Airways is delighted that we are returning the last Concorde ever
built, ‘Alpha Foxtrot’ to her birthplace at Filton.
Concorde was born from dreams, built with vision and operated with
pride. She is a fabulous aircraft that will become a legend thanks
to the people who built her, flew her and looked after
Concorde 216 was the last of seven Concordes delivered to
British Airways and made its maiden flight more than twenty-four
years ago from Filton, on 20th April 1979. Since then it has
clocked up more than 5,500 supersonic flights with British Airways
and transported over 300,000 passengers.
Concorde has been in service with Air France and British Airways
for just over 27 years - services began in January 1976 - and,
while various destinations were served at various times, the
aircraft served predominantly on just two routes - London-New York
and Paris-New York. Rolls-Royce designed Concorde’s Olympus
593 engines in collaboration with Snecma of France.
A total of 20 Concordes were built - six of them were used in
flight trials, and Air France and British Airways took delivery of
seven aircraft each. Designed in the 1960s, Concorde first flew in