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Concorde British Airways 2000

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Well caught shots of this aviation icon. She was and remains a stunning aircraft.  At the time of the retirement, the Concordes were the only aircraft in BA's fleet that still had analogue cockpits and still carried a flight engineer.  To convert them to to digital would have been too expensive and although they had comparatively low flying hours they were very old aircraft. Don't forget Concorde's initial  design dates right back to the 1950s when the first plans for an SST were proposed. Across the Channel France were already designing their "Super Caravelle" project.  the two designs eventually merged to become the aircraft we all know and love. I was at Heathrow when the first BA one went into service in 1976, but she had previously been to Heathrow in 1969  when Filtons runway was closed due to fog after the Farnborough display. We had watched her at that display and were thrilled to bits to find that whn we got back hope to Cranford she was now parked just 2 miles up the road from us in BA's technical area!, Naturally being impressionable airplane heads we all got on our bikes and cycled over to the airport where we were able to get a good look at her. Once she was in service we found that you could set your clocks by her punctuality as she flew right over our house! After the retirement, Virgin offered to buy the aircraft but Lord King who ran BA hated the idea of anyone making a bigger success of the job than he ever did and actually conspired with Airbus,( who by then owned all the tooling). to destroy all tooling and spares to make it unviable for Virgin to  operate the aircraft. Suffice to say Lord King was despised by many, including many of BA's own employees, many of whom are personal friends hence I was able to find out a lot of stuff that many were not supposed to know at the time.

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