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ORIGINAL CONCORDE SIMULATOR IS RE-COMMISSIONED - 9/4/2009

Sim OpeningONE of the most sophisticated aircraft simulators ever created has been officially re-commissioned at Brooklands Museum, Weybridge, Surrey, four decades to the day after the first British Concorde made its maiden flight.

After a near-five-year project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), led by a team from the University of Surrey, and involving simulation experts XPI Simulation and dozens of Museum volunteers, the revitalised simulator will be open to the public from late May onwards., At no extra cost, Museum visitors will get a pilot’s-eye view of Concorde flight, including the dramatic take-off procedures from New York as well as the thrill of breaking the sound-barrier. And, by mid-summer, the simulator will be available outside Museum hours for private hire, when ex-Concorde aircrew and trainers will teach small numbers of people how to fly the iconic supersonic aircraft.

As one of the EPSRC’s Public Engagement Projects, the simulator and its associated displays will help explain to visitors the roles played by advanced technologies (and especially airframe and engine aerodynamics) in making Concorde the world’s only successful supersonic passenger transport.

The simulator, which first entered service in 1975 as one of two in the World, cost around £3million at 1975 prices (around £20 million today). It was originally installed at Filton, where its realistic performance was used to train Concorde aircrew and from where it was rescued in 2004. It is now housed in a specially refurbished building next to the Museum’s Concorde G-BBDG, providing an exciting addition to the popular Brooklands Concorde Experience.

The official opening ceremony for the simulator in its new home was led by Richard Noble OBE, the record-breaking driver and project director of the supersonic Thrust SSC and planned Bloodhound World Land Speed record attempts.

Former Chief Concorde Pilot Mike Bannister made the inaugural flight in the refurbished simulator.
Declaring the Concorde simulator open, Richard Noble said: “The simulator is amazing. I have been flying it with Mike Bannister and I am convinced it will be the making of Brooklands Museum as an extraordinary attraction.”

When Concorde operations ceased at the end of 2003, British Airways decommissioned the Filton-based simulator. It was dismantled and transported to Brooklands Museum in 2004, since when work has been underway to restore and transform it into a usable and dynamic addition to the Museum’s extensive aviation displays.
Brooklands has a long aviation history. dating back to 1908, when AV Roe created his first powered bi-plane in a shed alongside the historic Finishing Straight of the first purpose built motor racing circuit in the World. In the following 80 years some 18,600 aircraft of 260 different types (including the Vickers Vimy and Wellington, and the Hawker Hurricane) had their first flights from Brooklands. More than one-third of every Concorde airframe was built on the giant site for final assembly elsewhere.

Allan Winn, Director of Brooklands Museum, said: “This important simulator, the only one in the UK, is a wonderful addition to our displays as an operational example of the best of Brooklands. It greatly enhances our Concorde Experience and adds to the package of a great family day out at an economic price. It also demonstrates the superb technology that went into the Concorde design and enables the public to get up-close to its operating systems.”


World Famous Concorde Model Comes to Brooklands Museum - March 2007

Probably the most famous “gate guardian” of any commercial airport in the world is moving to Brooklands Museum and will eventually be used to signpost the way to this top attraction in Surrey.

A 40 percent scale model of the iconic Concorde supersonic airliner that has been a landmark of the roundabout on the main approach to London Heathrow Airport for nearly two decades has been donated by British Airways to Brooklands Museum – the birthplace of British motorsport and aviation.

It will be the second Concorde displayed by the museum, whose “proper” full size Concorde, G-BBDG, has been attracting visitors to the venue between Byfleet and Weybridge for some nine months, since it was fully restored and became the heart of the Brooklands Concorde Experience.

At peak times such as the Easter and summer holiday periods, the Brooklands Concorde is “virtually flying” as many passengers and the complete BA fleet of seven Concordes did in the heyday of supersonic commercial travel.

The model will come to Brooklands overnight from Heathrow and be unloaded at the museum of the morning of Friday March 30th.

After restoration and preparation work by museum volunteers, sponsors and specialist contractors it will be positioned in a prime position, yet to be confirmed, as a giant promotional feature for the museum.

Allan Winn, Director of Brooklands Museum said “ Concorde is an international icon that has close associations with Weybridge, Byfleet and the surrounding area. Prominently displaying it in a public location near to the museum will mean a great deal to the generations whose family members worked in the giant aircraft factory at Brooklands, as powerfully drawing attention to what we have here.”

The Concorde model itself is a dramatic interpretation of the World’s most beautiful aircraft with a 10 meter wingspan and 25m length.


Concorde set for official opening - 16/7/06

The Brooklands Concorde, Delta-Golf, is moving closer and closer to her official opening, with her unmistakable British Airways livery being re-applied.

An official opening ceremony will be held on July 26th, with the Brooklands Concorde Experience opening to the public in early August.

Delta-Golf has been closed to the public since early June, to allow the forward cabin to be refurbished and a specially commissioned exhibition telling the Concorde story, to be fitted in the aft cabin.

TT signs of Addlestone, Surrey, recently manufactured and fitted a replica Concorde sign on the galley unit at the aircraft forward passenger door, the location of many a picture in Concorde's flying career.

When the aircraft opens to the public, visitors to the museum will be able to purchase a special Concorde boarding pass. At their allocated flight time, they will be invited up into the aft cabin, entering through Concorde’s cargo hold and be given the chance to view the exhibition, which, as well as telling the Concorde story, contains some unique artefacts such as a piece of tank liner, a test pilot’s pressure helmet and a remarkable collection of Concorde models in the liveries of the original option holding airlines.

Audio-visual displays will chart Concorde’s progress from drawing board to retirement, before playing a short video that tells the history of G-BBDG.

At the end of the short video, visitors will be invited to walk through a small area that recreates how Delta-Golf looked when she was part of the test flight programme in the 1970s. Set out in this area is some of rare test flight equipment carried on board the aircraft and a set of seats from each era of Concorde flying career with British Airways, together with the special leather bulkheads used to crease a 'VVIP' cabin onboard Concorde for occasions such as Royal flights.

Once in the forward cabin, visitors will see a BA Concorde cabin installed from Concorde’s heyday of the 1990s, is now intalled in the Brooklands Concorde. Visitors will be invited to sit on the luxury leather seats and enjoy a short ‘flight’ on Concorde with Captain Mike Bannister. A special audio and video programme had been produced, in conjunction with EDS, that will be presented on specially fitted screens and speakers in the cabin, to give people a taste of what flying on Concorde was really like.

After their ‘flight’ visitors will be able to see the Concorde flight deck and get their picture taken at the famous Concorde sign.

Restoration work on the aircraft will continue for many years - major tasks still to be undertaken included painting the underside of the wings, fitting the elevons and the fitting of the reverse buckets to the rear of the engines nacelles.


Concorde Restoration update - 12/2/06

With the aircraft handed back to the museum, the volunteer effort has stepped up a gear, with no less that 5 separate teams working on the aircraft.

The main volunteer team has been working alongside some ex Concorde engineers from BA to rebuilt the engine nacelles. The 2 one and half ton air intakes were refitted on January 24th, with the aid of special forklift truck that could operate under the aircrafts wings, the team then progressed to fitting the centre walls to the engine bay; a job that only involved fixing 5 special bolts, but one that takes around 4 hours for each engine bay!

On the 3rd of February the first twin Secondary nozzle assembly was re-fitted to the port wing. Work is now progressing to fit the engine bay doors on that side. The process will soon be repeated on the starboard side.

The students from the University of Surrey are progressing with their task of restoring the underside of the now re-fitted intakes and will soon begin work to fit the air intake ramps, that when functioning in flight slowed the ingested air from Mach2 to around 500 miles per hour, in a little over 6ft. They are also assisting with rubbing down and painting the four forward engine bay doors.

Another team have been working to resorte Delta-Golf's Cockpit to its former glory; work is well advance in replacing the components on the front flying panel, as well as the centre and overhead console areas. After re-fitting many of the trim panels the team will be moving on to restore the flight engineers panel

Before

After

A new team have just got underway restoring the aft cabin and cargo hold of Concorde. This area will form an intergral part of the Brooklands Concorde experience and exhibition when it opens in the summer.

The team, which last summer restored the giant tail fin, are currently working inside to prepare a special exhibition area in the aft cabin that is set out to show a little of how Concorde 202's interior looked when she was flying in the 1970s. Once this is complete and the weather improves, finishing touches will be made to the fin before it is refitted around May.

Restoration work on the forward cabin continues apace. Part of this cabin forms the area that is currently open for the public to see when they go on board the Brooklands Concorde. The restoration in the No1 toilet is nearing completion. eventually this will be displayed with a Perspex door to let people see how small it was!

Concorde is open daily at Brooklands Museum. Entry on board is free, but we ask that every adult donate £2 each to help us complete the restoration.


CONCORDE OPENS ITS DOORS TO THE PUBLIC- 21/1/06

The only Concorde on display in the South East of England that can be visited by the general public has opened its supersonic door for the first time to welcome visitors and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first commercial flight that occurs this Saturday, January 21st.

G-BBDG, renowned as the fastest Production Concorde ever to fly and used for certification flights before the beautiful birds entered service, has been carefully pieced back together at Brooklands .

Although restoration of the interior has only just started, visitors are at last allowed to take a look inside and preview how the rich and famous of the world used to travel.

Like all Concordes, more than 35 per cent of G-BBDG was built at Brooklands before being transported to Filton near Bristol and Toulouse in France for final assembly.

The Brooklands Concorde made its maiden flight in February 1974.

The first visitors up the Concorde steps last Sunday (January 15th) were a family from neighbouring Weybridge who are members of the Association of Friends of Brooklands Museum. Peter Worth took his children - Dominic (9), Katja (5) and Alexander (3) on board the faster than the speed of sound machine. Peter said: “I took my camera along to record such a notable event.”

Concorde will now be open to the public at Brooklands Museum on most week days and on every weekend. The Museum opens at 10 am with last admission during the winter months at 3pm.

Work is now progressing to rebuild the engine bays under the giant wings. The volunteer effort is currently progressing on the restoration of the cockpit and landing gear bays with the help of Concorde Collectables, who have generously donated some spare parts from their on-line store.


Delta Golf takes shape- 4/11/05

In recent weeks the Brooklands Concorde has taken on the form of her old self when the famous nose cone was fitted ahead of a special visit by HRH the Duke of Kent, in his capacity as Chancellor of the University of Surrey.

Over the coming months work will get underway to start re-building the engine nacelles. Shortly the giant air intakes will be removed from the building where they have been restored and fitted to the aircraft, after which the secondary nozzle structure and engine bay doors can be fitted. We hope to put one of Concorde's Olympus engines on display under the aircraft.

Our contractors have completed 95% of the rebuilding work on the aircraft and are on site completing their final tasks.

The next key milestone will be for the aircraft to be open to the public, where we hope to offer a unique insight to the work going on inside to restore the interior. Entry will be free, but we would like a donation from everyone coming on-board to allow us to complete the restoration. Watch this site for details!

A team of volunteers and former BA Concorde engineers recently fitted the outer wing tips to Concorde. Weighing nearly 2 Tonnes each they were lifted into position by our good friends at Queens Motors, who helped move Concorde all the way from Filton in 2004. With the wings held in position the volunteers started on the task of fitting the 340 bolts to each wing. Fortunately, after the 75 main bolts were in the crane was able to be released allowing the remaining bolts to be fitted at leisure in the coming days.

The Brooklands Concorde experience is targeted to be open in the summer of 2006, where we will invite you on board the aircraft to learn not just about the our Concorde and the part the site played in building Concorde, but also to take your seat and experience a little bit of what flying on Concorde was like.


Concorde 202 heads towards completion - 16/10/05

Work on the Structural rebuilding of Concorde G-BBDG at Brooklands is beginning to come to a close.

Contractors working for Air Salvage International have recently raised-up the aircraft, which has now been jacked, to allow fitment of the Concorde specification landing gear.

Before the airframe was lifted up a museum volunteer team fitted the structural parts of the famous droop nose. The main nose cone, known as the radome, has yet to be fitted. Before work can commence to add the distinctive trademark at the front of the aircraft, Concorde needs to be lowered onto its undercarriage so it can be pushed back around 10 ft.

Museum volunteers have completed the vast majority of painting on the aircraft and are now moving on to work on the livery details, such at the cheat-line and British Airways titles.

The contractors have around 3 weeks of work left to complete the aft fuselage re-join and fit the tail cone. This will see the aircraft back to its full length of over 200ft - once the nose cone is also fitted.

The museum team are at the detailed planning stages that will see them fit the outer wings, intakes, wing leading edges and finally the famous union-jack liveried tail fin.

It is hoped that the aircraft will be open inside soon for people to be given a sneak-peak inside, as work gets underway re-fitting the interiors and eventual exhibition space in the aft cabin.

The Brooklands Concorde experience is expected to be open daily to the public in the summer of 2006.


Concorde revealed - 23/8/05

With the majority of the detailed structural rebuild and painting complete, the tent which was housing G-BBDG was removed on schedule over the past 2 days to leave Concorde shining in the summer sunshine.

Air Salvage International will next fit the aft fuselage and forward wings before lifting the aircraft to fit its undercarriage. After this they will wrap up their part of the rebuilding process by re-fitting the twin tailcone sections.

Work by museum volunteers is at an advanced stage on other items such as the air intakes, tail fin and famous droop nose, which will all shortly be refitted.

Work will soon get underway to paint the aft fuselage, tailcone and outer wings ahead of the 1970s British Airways livery being re-applied.

The exhibition display area will be moved to a temporary outdoor location for the next few months and the Concorde simulator cockpit is being re-positioned into the Wellington hangar to sit next to the Vickers Viking.


"Delta Golf" Flies out of tent...almost - 17/8/05

Another major milestone was reached on Wednesday August 17th 2005 when Air Salvage International (ASI) completed the structural elements of the forward fuselage re-join to leave it self-supporting once again.

The next stage will see volunteers re-paint this section, while ASI will move resources onto re-joining the aft fuselage.


ASI prepare to remove the cradle


The supports are now off the fuselage

PUSH!!


She Files!

Concorde gets painted! - 14/8/05

The sterling efforts of museum volunteers is starting to pay dividends with Concorde looking resplendent after being painted in “Concorde white”


Starboard side


Roof :check out the reflections of the tent roof!

Port side

Underbelly looking aft towards landing gear bays


Underbelly looking aft from cargo hold door

First side of tail fin completed

Over the past 5 months the team have rubbed down the 30 year old paint, which was applied when G-BBDG was originally painted in 1973. Several areas of surface corrosion were also treated, as well as blending in the areas where the Filton engineering teams had treated areas of corrosion in the 90s.

The surfaces were primed and then painted using the correct Concorde specification paint supplied to the project by PPG Aerospace, who supplied the paint for the BA Concorde fleet for many years.

The team have completed painting the under belly, both wings and main fuselage area. The forward section has been prepared and will be painted once the forward join is complete. Once the forward fuselage area is complete, work will move to the smaller rear fuselage section and tail cones

When these areas are complete work will get underway to re-apply the famous blue cheatline and “British Airways” titles

Another team of volunteers have been working tirelessly to restore and repaint the fin into its correct livery.

In the longer term the underside of the wings require to be prepared and fully re-painted, but this will possibly be a task for 2006!

The unmistakable shape of Concorde will soon be revealed to all, when the tent that has been covering the aircraft is removed to allow the fitment of the final sections and also to allow the aircraft to be raised and its landing gear fitted in September.

With the hectic schedule taking precedence, the Concorde lecture series is temporarily on hold, but fear not we’ve got some great speakers lined up for the coming months.


Structural rebuild forging ahead - 20/7/05

Work is stepping up on the structural rebuild of the Brooklands Concorde. The contractors(ASI) are completing the final work on the attachment of the port (left) wing.

In preparation for re-joining the fuselage sections the forward section has been repositioned back to the centre fuselage. In the coming weeks this will be bolted back into place with custom made aluminium doublers fitted on the inside between each structural stringer section.

With the work complete on the intricate wing repair, the tent that has covered the aircraft is due to be removed in late August, revealing the now rebuilt Concorde “Delta Golf”. The volunteer effort is now concentrating on a target of painting the fuselage and upper surface of the wings before the aircraft is once again in the open.

Once the fuselage section are both rejoined, the contractors will raise the aircraft and place it on its landing gear. This is expected to be completed in early September.

Other restoration work will then get underway such as re-fitting the leading wing leading edges and air intakes. When the weather starts to turn the project work will then begin on fitting out the aircraft’s interior.


First wing Complete, Second in position- 1/7/05

ASI have wrapped up work fixing Concorde’s right wing into position. Over six weeks more than 200 aluminium channel sections were bolted into place to re-secure the wing to the fuselage, as well as rebuilding the rear aircraft structural spar and landing gear torsion box.

With the right wing in position the scaffolding has been removed. Although the wing is now self supporting, two props have been put in place to ensure the aircraft does not fall of its jacks as its now right side heavy!

The 2nd wing was positioned - again using the custom built jig - and work is now underway to structurally attach the wing, which should be complete by late July.

ASI will soon move on to preparing the forward and rear fuselage sections ahead of them being repositioned and re-joined to aircraft.

The volunteer effort on the aircraft is in full swing, with work progressing well to ensure the aircraft is painted before the tent is removed in late summer. The under belly and both sides of the central fuselage have been prepared ahead of the top coat of white and the trade mark cheatline being applied. Another team are making excellent progress with the tail find which will be re-painted before being fixed on later in the year.

Surrey University are continuing their excellent work on the intakes, which have now been fully repainted, while former BA Concorde engineers are working on the famous droop nose, elevons, engine bays doors and landing gear. A team at Farnborough College of Technology are restoring one of G-BBDG's secondary engine nozzle assemblies

The dedicated viewing area at Brooklands Museum, where visitors can witness the rebuilding of Concorde inside the temporary marquee, has proved an fantastic success. The displays telling the story of "Delta Golf" are being constantly updated to ensure the latest information on the rebuild is available.


Delta Golf's first wing lifted back into position - 5/5/05

The first major milestone in the rebuilding of Concorde G-BBDG has been reached with the right wing being hoisted back into place and aligned with the fuselage.

Over the past 4 weeks the contractors have been internally preparing the wing and fuselage so that the aluminium spice plates which will securely hold the wing in position can be bolted into place.

The wing was positioned using a custom built jig whith 4 jacks that allowed the wing to be manoeuvred exactly to the correct spot. Once aligned the rearmost structural spar and the removed landing gear spars were used to exactly position the wing in place.

With the wing safely in place, a special scaffolding structure was put in place and the jig removed to allow it to be used on the left wing

Air Salvage International will now work to complete the repairs on this wing as well as progressing the preparations on the left wing, before moving onto re-join the forward and rear fuselage sections to aircraft.

Brooklands Museum has a dedicated viewing area to witness the rebuilding of Concorde inside the temporary marquee which has been erected over the aircraft sections. A display telling the story of "Delta Golf" along with the forward section of the Concorde simulator are on display inside the marquee.


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