G-BOAB (208) British Production
Current Registration Date - 17/09/1980
Registration Status & Reason - De-registered 04/05/2004 (Permanently withdrawn from use)
Known as - Alpha Bravo
Manufacturer’s Serial Number – 100-008
Aircraft Number - 208
Production Type – Concorde Type 1 Variant 102
Manufacturer - BRITISH AIRCRAFT CORPORATION
Assembled at - BAC Filton Bristol, UK
Year Built - 1976
Aircraft Class - Fixed-Wing Landplane
Engines - 4 x Rolls-Royce Olympus 593 MK 610-14-28
Max Take-off Weight - 185070kg
Registered Owners - BRITISH AIRWAYS PLC, WATERSIDE (HBA3), PO BOX 365, HARMONDSWORTH, WEST DRAYTON, UB7 0GB
First Registered as G-BOAB on 3rd April 1974 to the British Aircraft Corporation Ltd
12th January 1979 aircraft re-registered as G-N94AB / N94AB by British Airways / Braniff Airways
17th September – 1980 aircraft re-registered G-BOAB by British Airways
CofA / Permit – (Transport/Passenger) Suspended 19/09/2001
THIS AIRCRAFT IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC AND IS STORED AT HEATHROW AIRPORT LONDON.
Concorde 206’s first flight on 18th May 1976 was under the command of BAC test pilot Capt. Eddie McNamara and took 3hrs 32mins, from Filton to Fairford via the Bay of Biscay. It reached a top speed of Mach 2.05 at a height of 63,500ft. 12 other BAC test/development flights took place before the aircraft was ready for delivery to British Airways
G-BOAB was the third Concorde to be delivered to British Airways on Jan 14th 1976 with a 1hr 30min flight from RAF Fairford. Touch and Go landings were made at both London Gatwick and Heathrow during the flight by the BA crew of Capt. Tony Meadows and Capt. Brian Walpole.
11th September 1984: Sets a distance record for an airliner with a 4,565 flight from Washington to Nice.
16th November 1984: Flies the inaugural charter service from London to Seattle via New York.
1st July 1988; David Beckham and other football stars fly from Nantes, France as G-BOAB brings home the 1998 England World Cup squad.
18th August 2000: Final flight – JFK to LHR (BA002P) – this aircraft was not given the post Paris crash modifications in time and never returned to service. The aircraft’s final flight was a positioning flight back to Heathrow, on the evening before the fleet’s Certificates of air-worthiness were to be officially removed, under the Command of Capt. Les Brodie.
The aircraft was next in line for inter-check and would have been the 6th BA aircraft back in service.
As it was BA only required 5 aircraft, therefore G-BOAB was never modified and never flew again.
Maiden Flight First Flight - 18th May 1976: Filton, UK
Final Flight - August 15th 2000 – BA002P JFK-LHR
Hours Flown - 22,296 Hrs 55mins
Landings - 7,810
Supersonic Flights - 6,688
Current Location - Retired from service, in storage at Heathrow airport
G-BOAB (218) Condition
Concorde airframe 208 which as the registration G-BOAB, and has become known as Alpha Bravo made her last flight from New York JFK airport on August 18th 2000, with the flight No. BA002P. This flight carried no passengers and was just a re-positioning flight back to Heathrow, on the evening before the Concorde fleet’s Certificates of air-worthiness was to be officially removed, and was flown under the Command of Capt. Les Brodie. G-BOAB remains at Heathrow Airport as the last Concorde there and can be seen by departing passengers in her current location as seen in the two pictures below and other pictures further down the page.
G-BOAB Being moved to her current location in 2013
G-BOAB At her current location
Since this 2000, the story of this Concorde has been a rather sad one. It was due to get the return to flight modifications following the Paris crash in 2000. BA had plans for a full cabin upgrade to their Concorde fleet known as ‘Project Rocket’. This interior upgrade was brought forward while the fleet was grounded and awaiting a return to flight status, it was only partly carried out and partly fitted to five of the aircraft in the fleet, and therefore essentially only consisted of the new passenger seating and carpets. The aircraft that received this first stage of the upgrade were G-BOAC, G-BOAD, G-BOAE, G-BOAF, G-BOAG. The full upgrade was planned for the fleet as each airframe became ready for their big major “D” check and would have consisted of new vacuum toilets and washrooms, new galleys, new lighting, new cabin wall fittings and new cabin info displays, so essentially a full cabin refit, that would last to the end of Concorde’s service life and the first since the 1990’s.
The new Poject Rocket washrooms that were test fitted to G-BOAB
But while the five airframes received their partial upgrades, G-BOAB had her old interior stripped out at BA Engineering, Heathrow and was then used to test fit the new toilets and washrooms, although the plan was to restore G-BOAB back to full flight status at some stage. One interesting fact is that the new toilets were fitted and tested aboard G-BOAB with dog food.
However, during the late summer/autumn of 2002, this test re-fit proved to be a tough task, new galleys were overweight, new toilet installations, which was always a little tricky with such a limited space, were even more problematic than was thought and in the end, the manpower assigned to Concorde G-BOAB for the test re-fits, was required for the day to day operations of the Concorde fleet. So it seemed that the manufacturers clearly had a lot more work to carry out before any insulations to the aircraft could be carried out, therefore in late 2002, further work on “Project Rocket” was suspended. This happened at a time while Alpha Bravo’s interior was putting it mildly in a “real mess”, due mainly to the interior removal which would allow the refit. So G-BOAB remained sealed up at BA Engineering awaiting her refit, a repair to the cracked wing spar and of course her CCA post Paris crash modifications requirements.
G-BOAB in storage at BA Engineering, Heathrow
The new 'Project Rocket' washrooms that were test fitted on G-BOAB
The new 'Project Rocket'seating and carpets fitted to five airframes
Then with the rapid chain of events that came about during 2003 following the decision by Airbus SAS to no longer support the Concorde operations for Air France and British Airways forcing the retirement of the whole fleet, G-BOAB was left stranded at Heathrow while her five flight status sisters were relocated to museums around the world and her other non-flight status sister G-BOAA was taken apart and transported by road and sea to Scotland.
BA came up with various plans for G-BOAB, they all centred around the New Heathrow BA passenger hub, terminal “T5”, One plan was to suspend her from the ceiling, but this would have proved costly and the terminal construction would have been able to take the weight, the other plan was to station her next to the terminal in some way as a gateway guardian for British Airways, where she would act as a true ambassador for the company and the heritage of Concorde.
But none of these plans were released for various reasons, and in the end BA gifted Concorde G-BOAB, along with its log to BAA, the owner of Heathrow on 21st January 2004, which was the 28th anniversary of Concorde’s entry into service on condition that it remained at Heathrow as symbol that this was once the British home of supersonic travel, were people once flew from and crossed the Atlantic in just over three hours.
So G-BOAB was placed on display at the airport near to Runway 23, as a mark of pride for this great aircraft, airport workers nick-named this area “Point Rocket”, the Rocket being the nick name given to Concorde by BA staff over the 27 years of passenger services. It was a beautiful sight, and many passengers enjoyed seeing Concorde while leaving and arriving at Heathrow. But then things took a turn for the worse once again for this Concorde, on 10th May 2006, she was removed from “Point Rocket”, and since then has not been properly displayed.
Her sister Concorde G-BOAA being taken apart at Heathrow
There have been many reasons stated for this, but the main one seems to focus on the fact that the Spanish company Ferrovial took over BAA, and Heathrow’s new owner appeared to have no interest in Concorde or the heritage of the airport and requested £3million per year from BA to keep her in this location.
Another claim was that she would been in the way of the new massive Airbus A380 when it landed at Heathrow, there were further claims made, including one that she needed to be moved due to on going maintenance and building extension work at Heathrow. But the fact is that neither BA nor BAA has made any statements themselves concerning her move. But Heritage Concorde did received some information from an employee of BAA, that they will not allow this Concorde anywhere on BAA land, therefore backing up the first claim, if true, what a disgrace. So therefore BA moved her back onto their own land at BA engineering, land which BA has leased since the 1950s.
BA Concorde G-BOAB on display at Point Rocket
Since her removal from “Point Rocket”, she has spent most of her time behind the British Airways Engineering buildings, sometimes within sight near the Jurys Inn and then near the Hatton Cross roundabout, and other times sort of hidden away in an old Concorde engine test area, until this was removed.
G-BOAB: Out of sight of public view April 2011
G-BOAB: Stored in Engine test Bay 2009
G-BOAB: Back at the engineering base
G-BOAB: Stored in Engine test Bay 2010
G-BOAB: Seen from the road near the Jurys Inn During 2010
G-BOAB: Moved out of sight
During the later end of 2010, G-BOAB was cleaned and put on show for the BA family day, this again happen during the 2011 family day, and she looked amazing and seemed to remain in that location for awhile. Then she was moved further into the engineering base and out of sight, although the then head of Heritage Concorde in 2011, Steve de Sausmarez was taken airside by a Director of the company and was even given permission to take pictures of her. But since this time she has been moved twice, once in public view at Hatton Cross, and now to her current location well out of sight. There had been some claims prior to this occasion that BA wanted to hide her from the public, a so called “out of sight, out of mind” game. But again cleaning her off and placing her on show shows the untruth behind this story.
G-BOAB: Seen from Hatton Cross
Concorde Alpha Bravo looks very good from a distance, Externally she still looks cosmetically positive. The interior is almost a bare shell… A lot of the interior, which had already been removed by BA was donated to Brooklands Museum in Surrey for the restoration of Concorde G-BBDG. Most of the cockpit instruments have also been removed, and a lot of conjecture exists as to what exactly is inside G-BOAB. But Heritage Concorde has seen pictures taken during 2010 showing her to be in a poor state from magazines being used as ballast. Her seats, carpets and overhead lockers have all gone; she is just showing bare metal inside and filled with rubbish. In reality, only the forward cabin interior was fitted into G-BBDG, so maybe one day the aft cabin of
G-BOAB maybe restored, but the biggest challenge would be to actually find enough seats. BA auctioned off a lot of their Concorde parts, what wasn’t sold went to landfill, as is normal when an airline stops operating an aircraft.
G-BOAB: Condition of interior 2010
The pictures below show G-BOAB during early 2014 at Heathrow Airport
In November 2015 she was moved to the paint shop at Heathrow for some TLC off BA, her front landing gear was repainted and the Magazine ballast was removed. She was completely dried out and all doors opened which should have sorted out some of the condensation problems this airframe is suffering from.
She was then moved back outside and sits in view of passengers arriving and departing on aircraft at Heathrow.
To our knowledge there are Interested parties who would like to display this Concorde for the public to enjoy, one is a museum location outside London where 300,00 visitors currently visit a year, the other proposal is for a semi permanent display at Heathrow which was submitted by Save Concorde Group in 2010.
British Airways are currently using the aircraft to train aircraft apprentices, she is cleaned at least once but usually twice a year and is rolled out for BA employees family day. A more permanent home is required for this historic airframe so her future is secure.
G-BOAB (218) Since Retirement
Picture : G-BOAB taken by Ben Lord - Save Concorde group.