Concorde – we care!
Like many other retired folk, I watched in awe Concorde’s development, paralleling the USA’S moon landing in the late 1960s. In the nick of time I achieved a lifetime ambition of flying Concorde to JFK, on G-BOAD’S penultimate flight, and am still able to see her there, well preserved. While I agree that G-BOAB should be on display as a reminder of ‘the best airliner ever made’, to achieve this end I believe compromise is vital.
It may be ideal that Concorde is displayed at LHR, but with Heathrow’s foreign ownership and their primary objective of shareholder satisfaction, the powers that be are distinctly lacking in British aviation sentiment and pride. Coincidentally, I have personally observed with dismay the deterioration in British Airways’ customer service, which could certainly do with a boost, however successful its IAG owners are at turning a profit.
The Duxford Imperial War Museum displays a fine static collection of British airliners (including BEA Trident and Viscount, BOAC VC10 and a British Airways BAC 111) to which the addition of G-BOAB would be brilliant. For forty years Concorde 01, G-AXDN has been well preserved; for the past three years it too has a working-again drooping nose! British Airways, from their advertising budget, and as a thank you for all the profit this venerable lady has produced, should seriously consider paying to move G-BOAB to where she could be truly treasured and cared for, and hence available for those who really want to see her. An additional entry ticket to board her could pay for IWM’S extra costs. Dr Peter Sander, Hythe
Another excellent article by Pat about Concorde in the latest Pilot magazine. What is wrong with us Brits that we can stick such a beautiful creature out of sight? For me Concorde is one of the wonders of the world. It operated so regularly and efficiently, making it possible for people like David Frost to work in the UK and the USA at the same time. Concorde is beautiful when you look at the detail of the design, especially the shape of the wings. We should be very proud of the achievement; even if the French-british link was tenuous at times it was nonetheless a tribute to the people on both sides of La Manche. I was told by a Concorde pilot that some pilots did not choose to go onto Concorde because it was like a domestic operation — there and back in a day!
I am a member of Club Concorde International clubconcorde.co.uk which exists to keep the memory of Concorde alive. I am lucky to have travelled a couple of times on Concorde from New York to London and London to Jeddah. People today who do not remember or have not seen Concorde in the air and coming in to land have missed a treat because the sight turned out thousands at airports where Concorde operated. Concorde’s attitude on the approach was a wonderful sight.
I do hope that Pat’s article will raise a few eyebrows and cause the question to be asked again, as we need Concorde as the gate guardian for our number one airport LHR, in an area accessible to the public. Surely there is someone who can make that happen before it is too late... Graham Stephenson, by email