G-BBDG was the third Concorde built in Britain and this country’s first production Concorde. First flown in February 1974, ‘Delta Golf’, as she is affectionately known, carried out a large part of the certification work that saw Concorde flying in commercial service between 1976 and 2003.
Like the prototype aircraft, Delta Golf was fitted with a flight observers' station and test equipment in the forward cabin but the aft cabin was fitted with seats. Delta Golf was called a production aircraft, but never went into commercial service because the final version specified by the airlines was different yet again, although not in a way that affected handling or performance certification.
Delta Golf was the fastest production Concorde and in 1974 she became the first aircraft ever to carry 100 people at twice the speed of sound.
After her final landing at Filton in December 1981, British Airways acquired the aircraft in 1984 and started using her as a major source of spare parts. To protect its investment and to keep her out of public view, British Airways constructed a special hangar at Filton for Delta Golf in 1988.
In 1995, Concorde G-BOAF's droop nose was damaged in a ground handling accident at Heathrow and BA decided to replace it with the droop nose on Delta Golf. The nose from 'Alpha Foxtrot' was then stored (but was later repaired at Brooklands Museum and fitted to Delta Golf in 2005).
In 2002, long after Delta Golf's flying days were over, the airframe was used to test fit and certify new strengthened cockpit doors required by the authorities after September 11th 2001.
In October 2003, Delta Golf was offered to Brooklands Museum for restoration and public display. Dismantled (and later reassembled) by a specialist contractor, her major sections arrived here by road in May and June 2004. With a comprehensive new Concorde exhibition in the rear passenger cabin and a representative British Airways Concorde interior installed in the front cabin, Delta Golf opened to visitors in Summer 2006.
|Brooklands Concorde - Data|
|Maiden Flight||13th February 1974 : Filton - Fairford|
|Final Flight||24th December 1981 : Filton - Filton|
|British Airways Ownership||April 1st 1984 - as part of Concorde buyout from Government|
|Registration History||First registered as G-BBDG on 7th August 1973 to the British Aircraft Corporation Ltd|
|Total Block Hours
||1435 hrs 3 mins|
|Total Flying Hours
||1282 hrs 9 mins|
|Total Supersonic Hours Flown
||514 hrs 9mins|
On Loan to Brooklands Museum
Like the prototype and pre-production aircraft, 202 was also fitted with flight observer's stations, installed in the forward cabin.
The two production test aircraft (201 and 202) were different in many ways from their four predecessors, necessitating repeating certain work to obtain certification. It was really these two aircraft that did the bulk of the flying that allowed the final certification of Concorde for airline service. However, even though called production aircraft, they never went into service because the final version, as specified by the airlines, was different yet again, although not in a way that affected handling or performance certification.
202 carried on flying after the 14 production aircraft had been delivered to the airlines. Work included further performance enhancements, such as the certification of the re-designed air intake profile. This modification, coupled to an uprated engine, allowed an increase in payload of 1,500-2,000 lbs.
Another change was an extention of the control surface trailing edges (by around two inches)- a modification that many now feel was part of the reason for the rudder de-laminations seen on the fleet over the years.
The aircraft was kept serviceable at Filton throughout early 1982 for any further development work or test flights that might be required.
© 2004 Brooklands Museum Trust Ltd, all rights reserved, Registered charity no. 296661.