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History of Concorde G-BBDG (202)

1970

Early 1970 – Construction started at Brooklands (and Toulouse) of Concorde c/n 202 - the 2nd production Concorde and first UK production aircraft.

April 1970 – Manufacture of forward fuselage of ‘Concorde KP.02’ in progress at Brooklands.

April 1970 – Manufacture of ‘Concorde Stage 2 Fuselage. Nose assembly – 2nd Production – Flight Deck component’ in hand at Brooklands.

1971

March 1971 - Manufacture of ‘Concorde Forward Fuselage 202' at Brooklands.

June 1971 – Front fuselage components of 2nd & 3rd full production Concordes now at an advanced stage of manufacture at Brooklands.

August 1971 – Forward fuselage of 202 nearing completion at Brooklands.

October 1971 - Brooklands built forward fuselage transported to Filton

November 1971 – 202 now at Filton with front fuselage already joined up with all of the wing sections and with outer wing tips about to be fitted. Rear fuselage not yet in position.

1972

January 3rd 1972 - Removed from construction Jig at Filton and moved on dummy undercarriage to allow systems integration to begin. 

c1971/72 – Full electrical harness is prepared on a full-size assembly rig before final installation on the 2nd production aircraft.

1973

7/8/73 – First registered as G-BBDG to BAC Ltd at Weybridge.

Dec73 or Jan 74 – Roll-out of G-BBDG at Filton.

1974

13/2/74 - First flight made from Filton to Fairford by Peter Baker & Brian Trubshaw.

This flight had a block time of 1hr 45 minutes and was supersonic for 12 minutes (reaching a top speed of Mach 1.4 at a height of 42,000ft). There was a Manomertics calibration when the aircraft made a low-level flypast at Fairford before landing.

28/2/74 – Flown overseas for the first time (on its 5th flight), to join sister ship 201 (F-WTSB) at Toulouse; Andre Turcat flew 202 while Brian Trubshaw flew 201 to cross check the conformity of the two aircraft’s flying qualities.

March –April 74 - The majority of the initial flying is used to check out the aircraft’s systems and calibration, as well as handling throughout the entire flight envelope.

10/4/74 - Flew at Mach 2 during its 15th flight.

May-June 74 - Fitted with entry into service production specification engines. Its avionics were also upgraded.

[July 1974 – Britain & France agreed to build an initial batch of 16 Concordes]

3/7/74 – Flew again after modifications. As passengers would soon be carried for sales purposes, air conditioning tests were carried out.

19/7/74 - Day trip to Casablanca. Two ferry flights and a 3hr test flight were carried out to test engines and intakes at speeds up to Mach 2.03, ahead of the Eastern tour.

6/7/74 – Became the first production Concorde to land at Heathrow Airport.

7/8/74 – Departure from Heathrow for Teheran and then onto Bahrain, The tour was used for aircraft sales, public relations and engineering purposes.

9/8/74 – 19/8/74 – Flights and ground hot soak periods undertaken that would test the aircraft’s systems (eg air-con, fuel, engine bay ventilation and electrics) in the tropical environment.

17/8/74 - Became the first aircraft to carry 100 passengers at Mach 2 for the first time.

19/8/74 - Transit flight to Kuwait to take advantage of the 46 degree ambient temperature to record take-off performance.

26/8/74 - 31/8/74 - With the test gear removed, demonstration flights were carried out at Doha, Kuwait, Abu-Dhabi, Muscat and Dubai.

3/9/74 – Departed from Bahrain for several days of ‘runway response trials’ in Singapore. The flight distance of 3,462N.miles and the supersonic duration of 3hrs 4mins was the highest clocked by a Concorde to date.

12/9/74 - After the tests and a demonstration flight at Singapore, returned to Bahrain and the next day flew home to Fairford.

24/10/74 - Visited Heathrow (at the request of the British Airport Authority) to confirm compatibility with ground installations and procedures. A number of handling and manoeuvring exercises were carried out on Stands J2 and J4 at Terminal 3.

28/10/74 – Joined Concorde 201 at Casablanca, Morocco. Casablanca offered easy access to the highly sought after cold stratospheric conditions over the South Atlantic and the unobstructed terrain around the airport allowed easy positioning of noise monitoring equipment. Certification tests were carried out over 6 weeks to test various systems and failure modes.

29/10/74 – Made her 100th flight: a supersonic test flight in and out of Casablanca.

18/12/74 – Returned to Fairford.

1975

Jan- Feb 1975 – Further certification work, including flights flown by CAA pilots.

18/2/75 – Flown by pilots from Pan-Am to Mach 2.04 with various failure conditions on an updating visit to Fairford.

28/2/75 - Positioned to Madrid to continue with the measured take-offs and landings. Completion of these low altitude airfield performance and climb certification tests supplied the last major batch of performance data that led to certification.

22/3/75 - Returned to Fairford for a few miscellaneous tests, such as subsonic cruise performance and systems checks.

2/4/75 – 200th flight: a 1 hr 28 min subsonic cruise performance test flight.

19/4/75-20/4/75 - Two day trip to Casablanca to confirm engine surge margins and take other performance measurements.

9/5/75 - Demonstration flight in and out of Fairford for Members of Parliament and various trade union leaders. The Bishop of Bristol was also on board.

14/5/75 – Ahead of the start of the route proving programme, headed out to Singapore via Toulouse and Bahrain, to make preparations before the route proving would start. NB: G-BBDG did not take part in the actual route proving flights, which were concentrated on G-BOAC and F-BTSC.

20/5/75 – Returned to Fairford via Bombay, Dubai, Bahrain and Toulouse.

19/6/75 – 250th flight - coincided with the start of flight crew training by British Airways. Eight Captains and eight Flight Engineers took part in a series of subsonic and supersonic sectors. Training circuits were carried out at RAF Brize Norton.

11/8/75 – 300th flight: a 1hr 53 minute supersonic flight to carry out strain gauging of the No. 3 engine.

20/9/75 – Visited Prestwick for a demonstration flight the following day.

22/9/75 – Bird impact tests for the CAA at Fairford.

23/9/75 – Visited British Airways Engineering at Heathrow for a ground run in their newly constructed engine silencers.

October 1975 - Miscellaneous testing continued - including intake ramp strain-gauging, and noise measurements. Further British Airways training also undertaken.

November 1975 – Modifications, including the autopilot systems.

[9/10/75 – Concorde receives its French C of A]

[5/12/75 – Concorde receives its British C of A]

December 1975 – Verification of modifications and further BA training/refresher training.

1976

January 1976 - Further development work, crew training and testing of systems before the start of commercial services.

[21/1/76 – Concorde entered commercial airline service with i) BA Concorde G-BOAA (c/n 206) flying London-Bahrain and ii) Air France Concorde F-BFVA (c/n 205) flying Paris-Rio via Dakar]

March 1976 - New production engines fitted - along with an AFCS upgrade – prior to a programme of hot and high performance and autoland trials at high altitude airfields.

25/3/76 – Transit flight to Cape Town, via Robertsfield made in 6hr 34mins (5hr 20mins supersonic).

26/3/76– 28/3/76 - After transiting to Cape Town, eight flights were carried out to research high altitude airport and autoland performance.

1/4/76–14/4/76– Engine contingency rating tests at Johannesburg and Cape Town.

15/4/75 - Returned to Fairford, again via Robertsfield.

April – May 1975 – Further contingency mode testing at Fairford and later Casablanca.

20/5/75 – 400th Flight: ferry flight to Fairford from Casablanca.

May 1976 – ‘DG’s 400 flights now logged (including 198 supersonic trips) amounted to 873hrs 46min total block time (& 247hrs 7min supersonic time). Ref. Trubshaw (2000), p113 / ‘Flight News’.

[24/5/76 – Concorde entered Transatlantic service flying from London (G-BOAC) and Paris (F-BVFA) to Washington DC]

30/11/76 – Closure of the Fairford Concorde test base. ‘DG returned to Filton from where further post ‘entry into service’ test flying would be made. These flights were irregular and most of these sessions were carried out from Casablanca.

1977

July 77– Positioned to Casablanca for intake tests. After entering service, several modifications were made to ‘DG, such as thinning the lower lip of the intakes, extending the control surfaces and fitting a sharper fin leading edge; these all offered improved performance.

1977 – To Nairobi for reheat trials to cure a flame propagation problem.

[22/11/77 –Transatlantic services flying from London (G-BOAA) and Paris (F-BVFA) to New York finally started]

1978

25/4/78 - 8/5/78 - Further tests carried out at Casablanca improved the aircraft’s performance and allowed an increased in payload of 1500 – 2000lbs.

c 1979 - British Airways livery removed: ‘DG now wore an all-white colour scheme with British Aerospace-Aerospatiale titles and the original dark blue cheatline.

1980 onwards

c1980 – Flew in formation with the RAF Red Arrows and photographed by Arthur Gibson.

24/12/1981 – Final flight in and out of Filton made by Peter Baker & Roy Radford (with a total of 633 flights and 1282hrs 9mins flown), although initially kept serviceable for possible further development work or test flights.

April 1982 – Stored in Filton’s Brabazon Hangar in a semi-state of readiness and able to be made serviceable for flight in two weeks if required (although this never happened).

Mid 1982 – ‘Stood down’.

Late 1982– Sealed up and moved outside the Brabazon Hangar for storage. Eventually relocated to the North side of the airfield and used to support other in-service Concordes. Initial parts removed included leading edges and avionics.

1/4/84 – Acquired by British Airways and now used as a major source of spare parts.

Summer 1985 – Feasibility study on ‘DG’s future; the possibility of dismantling it for transport to Heathrow for static display was considered.

June 1987 – Displayed outdoors on the North side of airfield for Filton’s Families’ Day.

May 1988 – With tail fin removed, ‘DG was moved into a British Airways funded, purpose-built hangar at Filton on the North side of airfield.

1995 – Donated its ‘droop nose’ for use on G-BOAF after the latter’s was damaged in service.

Feb 2001 – Removed from ‘202 Hangar’ for the first time since May 1988, to allow portakabin offices to be moved in.

November/December 2002 – Moved temporarily into the West bay of the Brabazon Hangar to allow trial fitting and testing of new prototype strengthened cockpit door required for the AF & BA Concorde fleets in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the USA. Further work carried out on escape slide certification.

[10/4/03 – Air France and British Airways announce that they will retire Concorde by the end of October 2003]

Sept 2003 – First inspected by Brooklands Museum – at this stage for reference only.

[24/10/03 – Final British Airways Concorde passenger flights]

30/10/03 – BA announced the future homes for its Concorde fleet – and confirmed that ‘DG was being offered to Brooklands Museum.

[26/11/03 – Final ever Concorde Flight as G-BOAF (c/n 216) is flown to Filton via a circuit of the Bay of Biscay]

March 2004– Dismantling by Air Salvage International began at Filton

5/5/04 – Transported by Queens Motors, the forward and aft fuselage sections arrived at Brooklands.

27/5/04 – Dismantled wing sections delivered to Brooklands by KWS Cook Transport

5/6/04 – Final major component, fuselage central section arrived at Brooklands.

4/3/05 – Structural re-building begun by Air Salvage International

17/9/05 – Restored droop nose re-fitted by volunteers

31/10/05 – Rebuilding nears completion with the aircraft sitting on its landing gear

22/12/06 – Completion of Air Salvage International contract leaving volunteers to complete 'DG

6/3/06 – Tail Cone fitted by volunteers and Finches of Bookham

6/6/06 – Tail fin refitted

26/7/06 – Officially Opening by HRH Prince Michael of Kent


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Peter Baker, Dick Colliss, Alan Holliday, Alan Smith, Nik Read & Gordon Roxburgh.

SOURCES

Orlebar, Christopher (2002) (5th Edition) ‘The Concorde Story’ (Osprey Publishing) – see photo of ‘DG in the Brabazon hangar on p.43

Owen, Kenneth (1982) ‘Concorde – New Shape in the Sky’ (Jane’s Publishing Co Ltd in co-operation with the Science Museum). Special edition for British Aerospace, ISBN 0 7106 0268 5.

Trubshaw, Brian (2000) ‘Concorde – The Inside Story’ (Sutton Publishing, Stroud, Glos.) ISBN 0-7509-2393-8

BAC/Aerospatiale (1972-1976) ‘Flight News Vol 3 and 4’ (Brooklands Museum archives)

WEBSITES

www.concordesst.com

 

Compiled by:

Julian C Temple, Curator of Aviation, Brooklands Museum
& Gordon Roxburgh - Editor, www.concordesst.com


© 2004 Brooklands Museum Trust Ltd, all rights reserved, Registered charity no. 296661.