Concorde at 50: Where Are They Now?

Mar 2, 2019

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When the Concorde flew for the first time, 50 years ago to the day on Saturday, it was seen as the herald of a new era of supersonic transport. That did not turn out to be a sound prediction. Only 20 of the joint Anglo-French airplane were made, and only Air France and British Airways bought the 14 that entered commercial service.

Of those 20, one crashed, one was scrapped, and 17 are preserved and can be visited, or seen from very close in museums or open-air exhibitions. (The Barbados Concorde Experience, in the Caribbean country, is closed and its Concorde cannot be visited.)

Here’s a map of where every single one of those 17 Concordes can be seen.

Graphic by Abbie Winters

We’ve also broken down the list of every Concorde made, and divided it between prototypes, development aircraft, pre-production and aircraft produced for airlines. They can be found below, with each one’s registration code and production number.

Prototypes

F-WTSS (#001)
Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace, Paris-Le Bourget airport, France 

The first Concorde ever built, it flew in 1969 and proved that the design was good: “It did what it was expected to do,” Concorde test pilot Peter Baker told ConcordeSST.com. It’s now preserved at the LBG airport outside Paris, right next to another Concorde, a production model that used to fly for Air France.

People visit the "Paris Air Lab" situated in the Concorde Hall, dedicaced to the innovations of major players in aerospace industry as well as start-ups in the sector, in Le Bourget, north of Paris, on June 20, 2017 during the International Paris Air Show. / AFP PHOTO / ERIC PIERMONT (Photo credit should read ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)
The two Concordes together at the Bourget museum (Photo by ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

 

G-BSST (#002)
Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Museum, Somerset, UK

Just a few weeks after the first prototype took off from Toulouse, France, the first Concorde made in the UK took off from Filton. It flew as a testbed until 1976, for just 438 times, before landing one last time at Yeovilton, where it remains to this day.

UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 10: In 1959 the Supersonic Transport Aircraft Committee recommended the construction of long-range intercontinental airliners which would fly much higher and faster than those in service at that time - at Mach 2.0, twice the speed of sound. In 1962, the British and French governments agreed to develop the aircraft together. Exhaustive testing using a range of models was carried out to ascertain the ideal shape for the aircraft. Two prototypes were built, the 001(French), and the 002 which had her maiden flight on 9 April 1969. When it was decommissioned, 002 was presented to the Science Museum in London and arrangements were made to give it a permanent home at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovilton. It is pictured here after its arrival at Yeovilton in 1979. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
002 arrives at Yeovilton (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)

Pre-Production

G-AXDN (#101)
Imperial War Museum, Duxford, UK

Pre-production aircraft — one British, one French — never entered service, and introduced some innovations compared to the prototypes: different wings, bigger fuel tanks and better Rolls-Royce engines, fed by different air intakes.

Sir Richard Branson examines one of the first Concordes, on show at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambs, before meeting Airbus officials as part of his attempts to revive the supersonic airliner which is due to be grounded by British Airways in October. (Photo by Andrew Parsons - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sir Richard Branson sitting in the captain’s seat of the Concorde preserved at the Duxford museum (Photo by Andrew Parsons – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

 

F-WTSA (#102)
Musée Delta, Orly Airport, Paris, France

This was the first Concorde to cross the Atlantic, on a visit to the United States in 1973. It was put on display at Orly in 1976 and almost scrapped in 1988 before being saved by the Delta Museum — a reference to the Concorde’s trademark delta wing.

Development Aircraft

F-WTSB (#201)
Musée Aeroscopia, Toulouse, France

Looking more and more like the production planes, this one flew from 1973 to 1985 as a test aircraft before being retired to its birthplace, Toulouse, where Airbus now assembles most of its jets.

A Concorde passes in front of the Airbus production plant in Toulouse, on November 29, 2013. AFP PHOTO / REMY GABALDA (Photo credit should read REMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images)
F-WTSB being towed in front of the Airbus assembly plant in Toulouse (Photo by REMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

G-BBDG (#202)
Brooklands Museum, Surrey, UK

In the 50-50 joint venture that was Concorde, the Brits had their own development aircraft to match those made by the French. This one was used as a source of spare parts for British Airways after tests were completed.

The Brooklands Double Twelve Motoring Festival at the Brooklands Museum 14th & 15th June 2014Jaguars beside Concorde Roadsters at The Brooklands Double Twelve Motoring Festival at Brooklands Museum 14th June 2014 (Photo by Michael Cole/Corbis via Getty Images)
Jaguar cars beside Concorde at the Brooklands Museum,June 2014 (Photo by Michael Cole/Corbis via Getty Images)

British Airways Concordes

G-BOAC (#204)
Concorde Conference Center, Manchester airport, UK

G-BOAC was the second Concorde delivered to British Airways, which decided to use registrations that would recall the glory days of BOAC, its predecessor airline. British Airways is kind of doing the same today, but at much slower speeds, with the 747 it painted in BOAC retro colors.

G-BOAA (#206)
National Museum of Flight Scotland, East Lothian, UK

(Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
BOAA in its heyday, docked at New York JFK next to two other BA birds, a 747 and a very fast, but subsonic, VC-10 (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

 

G-BOAB (#208)
Near the threshold of runway 27L, London-Heathrow Airport (LHR)

“Alpha Bravo” made its last flight in 2000, coming from JFK. Just after it landed at Heathrow, all Concordes were grounded as a consequence of the Paris accident earlier that year, the only one in Concorde history. The fleet was later cleared to fly again after modifications, but G-BOAB never took to the air again: British Airways had more than enough Concordes to cover the routes it was flying then, and did not need to refurbish them all. Since then, it has been parked at LHR, out in the open and poorly cared for after being used as a source of spare parts.

G-BOAD (#210)
Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, Pier 86, New York, NY

The Concorde with the most flight hours, “Alpha Delta” sits in a most prestigious location in Manhattan, which it reached by barge after landing at JFK one last time. It’s possibly the most visited of all Concordes, given how easily accessible it is from a large metropolis.

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 25: In this handout image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, the British Airways Concorde sails up the Hudson River by tug and barge past lower Manhattan to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum November 25, 2003 in New York City. The Concorde, which made its final flight from New York's JFK to London's Heathrow October 24 will be part of the Intrepid's display of WW II nostalgia, memorabilia and 20th century aviation technology. (Photo by Mike Hvozda/USCG via Getty Images)
The Concorde sails up the Hudson River by tug and barge past lower Manhattan to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, 2003 (Photo by Mike Hvozda/USCG via Getty Images)

 

G-BOAE (#212)
Barbados Concorde Experience  (CLOSED)

G-BOAG (#214)
The Museum of Flight, Seattle, Washington

A Concorde in the home of Boeing? Yes — since 2003, when G-BOAG landed at Boeing Field after a flight from Heathrow via JFK.

SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 5: A British Airways Concorde passenger jet taxis down the runway November 5, 2003 at Boeing Field in south Seattle, Washington. This Concorde was donated after being decommissioned by British Airways and is one of four outside of Europe and the only one on the west coast of the United States. The pilot, Cpt. Mike Bannister, broke the world speed record from New York to Seattle on this historic last flight with by going supersonic over Canada for a time of 3 hours, 55 minutes, and 12 seconds. (Photo by Tim Matsui/Getty Images)
The Concorde arrives at Boeing Field on November 5, 2003, after it broke the speed record from New York to Seattle, by going supersonic over Canada, in a total time of 3 hours, 55 minutes, 12 seconds (Photo by Tim Matsui/Getty Images)

 

G-BOAF (#216)
Aerospace Bristol, Filton, UK

The last Concorde produced, and the last ever to fly. It landed at Filton on November 26, 2003 — it had made its maiden flight from there 24 years earlier.

Visitors admire Concorde 216, the last aircraft of its type to be built and which made the fleet's final flight, at the British Aerospace site in Filton, Bristol, where it was made, and is now the centrepiece in a dedicated Concorde museum that has opened to the public. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images

 

Air France Concordes

F-BTSC (#203)
Only Concorde crash – Air France 2590, July 2000 – Paris CDG

F-BVFA (#205)
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center, Washington Dulles Airport, Washington, DC

If you’re on the US East coast but not in New York, this is a good one to go see. If you have a long layover at Dulles airport, don’t miss it! Air France donated it to the museum in 2003.

WASHINGTON DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - JUNE 12: Air France's oldest Concorde, F-BVFA, taxis after landing June 12, 2003 at Washington Dulles International Airport. Air France is donating the supersonic jet to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum where it will be on permanent display at the new Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. The center is expected to open to the public December 15, 2003. (Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)
F-BVFA taxiess after landing June 12, 2003 at Washington Dulles International Airport (Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)

 

F-BVFB (#207)
Technik Museum Sinsheim, Sinsheim, Germany

Where can you see a Concorde next to its ill-fated, would-be rival from the Soviet Union, the Tupolev 144? Only in Sinsheim, Germany, which is worth the visit if you’re an AvGeek. The aviation museum has plenty other attractions too, including a 747 from Lufthansa.

Cars drive along motorway A6 past a supersonic passenger airliner Concorde (L) and a Tupolev TU-144 and leave streaks of light in Sinsheim, Germany, 06 August 2014 (TIME EXPOSURE). The two airplanes ar epart of the exhibition at Automotive and Technical Museum in Sinsheim. Photo: SEBASTIAN KAHNERT/DPA | usage worldwide (Photo by Sebastian Kahnert/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Cars drive along motorway A6 past a Concorde (L) and a Tupolev TU-144 and leave streaks of light in Sinsheim, Germany, August 2014 ((Photo by Sebastian Kahnert/picture alliance via Getty Images)

 

F-BVFC (#209)
Musée Aeroscopia, Toulouse, France

F-BVFD (#211) Scrapped

F-BTSD (#213)
Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace, Paris-Le Bourget airport 

Now living side by side with the first prototype, this is one very special bird, the Concorde that realized more than any other of its siblings the dream of a smaller world thanks to supersonic speed. According to the ConcordeSST site, “Sierra Delta” holds the record for the fastest flights around the world, in both directions. In 1992, it flew westbound from Lisbon to Lisbon via Santo Domingo, Acapulco, Honolulu, Guam, Bangkok and Bahrain in 32 hours, 49 minutes and three seconds; three years later it went from New York JFK to JFK via Toulouse, Dubai, Bangkok, Guam, Honolulu and Acapulco in 31 hours, 27 minutes and 49 seconds — faster than the westbound, thanks to the jetstream winds. In another distinction, it was also painted in Pepsi Cola colors in 1996.

FRANCE - APRIL 02: Pepsi Advertising Campaign On February 04th, 1996 In Gatwick (Photo by Patrick AVENTURIER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Photo by Patrick AVENTURIER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

 

F-BVFF (#215)
Charles de Gaulle International Airport – Paris, France 

You can see this one from taxiing planes, if you’re lucky, at CDG. And if you stay at the airport Hilton, you’re within walking distance. In the image below, the Concorde’s unmistakable arrow shape is at the left, and the Hilton on the right.

 

Screenshot from Google Maps

Howard Slutsken contributed research for this story.

For more, check out Concorde at 50: Faster Than a Speeding Bullet and Concorde at 50: What Flying Supersonic Was Really Like.

Featured image of planes, including a Concorde, at the aeronautics museum Aeroscopia in Toulouse by ERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images

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