It will soon be 17 years since the Concorde made its final passenger flight. The supersonic aircraft was retired in October 2003 after 27 years in service. Altogether, 20 units of the jet were produced. With the production program being so well-publicized over the decades, let’s take a look at where these planes are now.
Only 14 productions of the Concorde were for commercial purposes. The remaining six were prototype, pre-production, and developmental models. When it came to passenger services, Air France and British Airways were the principal operators. However, Singapore Airlines and Braniff International also short-term wet-leased a unit each. Nonetheless, the planes with registration numbers beginning with G were initially UK-based, and those beginning with F were based in France.
The preliminary units
According to Daft Logic, the first-ever Concorde to fly is currently at the Museum of Air and Space in Le Bourget, France. Registration F-WTSS had first hit the skies in 1969, seven years before the type’s introduction. The 51-year old flew for the last time on October 19th, 1973, and has been on display just four miles from Paris ever since.
Registration G-BSST was ready at the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Trade and Industry by September 1968. It then made its first flight on April 9th, 1969, before its final operation on March 4th, 1976. Now, it sits proudly at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovilton, UK.
G-AXDN first took off on December 17th, 1971, and has been grounded since August 20th, 1977. The plane is now at the prestigious Imperial War Museum in Duxford, UK.
F-WTSA flew for the first time on January 10th, 1973, and made its final flight on May 20th, 1976. Musée Delta in Orly Airport, Paris, France currently houses the aircraft.
Later on that year, F-WTSB had also departed for the skies. It first flew on December 6th, 1973, and it took over a decade for it to be officially retired. The plane flew for the last time on April 19th, 1985, and it is Airbus’ care at its holdings in Toulouse, France.
G-BBDG made its first flight on December 13th, 1974, and was grounded on Christmas Eve, 1981. The jet presently resides at Weybridge’s Brooklands Museum in the English county of Surrey.
The early arrivals
Before being delivered to Air France for commercial service in January 1976, F-BTSC flew for the first time on January 31st, 1975. It would fly until July 25th, 2000, when it was part of the crash on the outskirts of Paris. There were 113 fatalities following the tragedy of flight 4590.
Registration G-BOAC had hit the air on February 27th, 1975, before arriving at British Airways in February 1976. It would fly all the way up until October 31st, 2003. The aircraft’s current home is Manchester Airport.
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F–BVFA first flew on October 27th, 1975, from Toulouse, and it has been on the ground since June 12th, 2003. It now calls the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia, its home.
On January 21st, 1976, British Airways commenced its Concorde commercial operations with G-BOAA. The plane would fly until August 12th, 2000. Now, it rests at the Museum of Flight in East Lothian, Scotland.
F-BVFB first flew on March 6th, 1976, and touched down for the last time on June 24th, 2003. It is currently at the Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum in Germany.
G-BOAB flew for the first time on May 18th, 1976, and performed its final flight on August 15th, 2000. It is presently at London Heathrow Airport.
Registration F-BVFC took off on July 9th, 1976, and was in deployment until June 27th, 2003. It is now housed at the Airbus facility in Toulouse.
G-BOAD first hit the skies on August 25th, 1976. It took until November 10th, 2003 for it to make its final flight, and is now being taken care of at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York.
F-BVFD flew for the first time on February 10th, 1977, and was in service until May 27th, 1982. After that, it was a source for spare parts until 1994, when it was scrapped. Altogether, it was in the skies for only 5,814 hours.
G-BOAE first flew on March 17th, 1977. It then made its final flight on November 17th, 2003, and is now at a completely different location to the other units in this list. The plane can be found at Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados.
Registration F-BTSD first hit the air on June 26th, 1978, and it could be seen on operations until June 14th, 2003. Currently, it is on show at The Museum of Air and Space in Le Bourget.
The last to join
G-BOAG’s first flight was on April 21st, 1978. It was then grounded on November 5th, 2003, and is now being looked after at the Museum of Flight, Seattle, US.
F-BVFF took off on December 26th, 1978, and it was performing all the way until June 11th, 2000. It is now housed at Charles de Gaulle Airport.
G-BOAF was the last Concorde to be built and the last one to ever fly. It first flew on April 20th, 1979, and was put to rest on November 26th, 2003, marking the end of an era. Aerospace Bristol in South West England welcomed the iconic aircraft in February 2017.
Part of history
Altogether, even though we may not be able to see the legendary jet at airports again, at least most of them are being housed adequately by reputable institutions. Ultimately, there are plenty of ways that the public can see a Concorde in person across the globe at one of these locations.
What are your thoughts about Concorde? Do you miss seeing the aircraft in the skies? Let us know what you think of the plane in the comment section.