Concorde returns to life in Paris…
Both the British and French Concorde fleets were grounded and fully decommissioned during 2003, with the exception of one of the French Concordes F-BTSD, which is known as “Sierra Delta”. Following the joint retirement announcement by British Airways and Air France, a group of French Concorde Engineers headed by the incredible Alex Jolivet put forward an idea of keeping “Sierra Delta” alive after its delivery to the museum at Le Bourget. Air France handed over ownership of this Concorde to the museum at Le Bourget on the 14th June 2003, unlike British Airways who have retained ownership of all their Concordes.
So this Concorde has been maintained since 2003 by this small team of engineers working for free, at the Air and Space Museum at Le Bourget, Paris. She’s not airworthy, far from it in fact. But once a week ground power is restored and “Sierra Delta” comes alive once again, her flight deck lights up and her nose and visor can be seen working. Lights flash on the underside of her fuselage and you could be forgiven for believing that she is about to take off for New York.
Was this the end of the story….?
No, since retirement in 2003 the Concorde engineers, under the leadership of Alex Jolivet, have been allowed by the museum at Le Bourget, to carry out engineering works on “Sierra Delta”, and therefore maintain some of the aircrafts systems, other system have also been restored to working order by the team, and there are plans pipeline for further restoration works on the aircraft.
Alex Jolivet is one of the Concorde engineers involved in the various discussions at the Heritage Concorde Facebook group, why not join the group!
This aircraft for obvious reasons seems to be the number one target aircraft for Concorde return to flight (RTF) efforts and dreams throughout the aviation world. With this in mind, during May 2010 the French Concorde campaign group “Olympus 593” persuaded the former management of the museum to allow their engineer to start works on the engines of “Sierra Delta”. They stated that this was in an attempt to get the aircraft to taxi around the airfield at Le Bourget.
The team have not been allowed to carry out any further works to this Concorde since May 2010, a decision which is support by Alex Jolivet and her team who are currently carrying out serious works to “Sierra Delta”, to keep her alive and working. Heritage Concorde will keep you fully informed of any further developments regarding this amazing team at Le Bourget.
Watch these films below and see this Concorde return to life!!
You can read the Air France press release regarding the handover to the museum below….
Air France Official Press Release
Air France hands Concorde Sierra Delta over to the Air and Space Museum at Le Bourget. On Saturday 14 June 2003 at 10 am, Air France Concorde F-BTSD will take off from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport for the very last time, heading for Le Bourget. Before setting down at Le Bourget Airport at noon, it will make a loop over the Atlantic. Following this, General Marc Alban, Director of the Air and Space Museum will greet Jean-Cyril Spinetta, Chairman of Air France, who will officially present the museum with the pioneering aircraft.
Concorde F-BTSD (serial number 13), which entered the company’s fleet on 9 May 1980, holds the highest number of records: the speed record for a commercial airliner flying westward around the world, in October 1992, and the round-the-world speed record in the eastward direction in August 1995, three years later. The aircraft has made 11 round-the-world flights and totalled 12,974 hours in the course of its 5,136 flights.
This Concorde, better known as “Sierra Delta”, weighs 930 kg less than the heaviest Concorde, and therefore consumes less fuel, explaining its outstanding performance.
“It is an honour for Air France to officially hand over F-BTSD, the multi-record supersonic aircraft, to the Air and Space Museum,” declared Chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta. “This particularly emblematic jet deserved a home in one of the world’s greatest aeronautics museums. Concorde is a part of the history of aeronautics and because of this, Air France had to offer it a worthy second life; one way to do this was to exhibit it at the Le Bourget Air and Space Museum.”
VISIT THIS CONCORDE AT THE LE BOURGET AIR & SPACE MUSEUM
Sierra Delta F-BTSD
AIR FRANCE PRODUCTION CONCORDE
Compared to the development prototype Concordes, the final Production airframe version that we all know so well have a higher gross weight slightly extended main landing gear legs and improved aircraft systems. They were fitted with the Olympus 593 Mk 602 or 610 production engines. One of the interesting facts about the production Concordes, is that none of them are the same, they differed in weight, this is due them being hand-built and further development as the production of the aircraft continued. 216 G-BOAF was the most up to date and lightest Concorde being last to be built, and benefiting from new materials and improvements to the design.
Manufacturer’s No. – 213
Present location – Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace or The Museum of Air and Space, La Bourget, Paris, France. (Open to the Public)
Owned by The Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace
VISITING DETAILS –
Aeroport de Paris-La Bourget, BP 173 93352 La Bourget Cedex France. Tel information line 33 (0) 149927000 Museum 33 (0) 149927062. WEBSITE – http://www.mae.org/index.php?id=8&L=0 Entry Costs 6€ to see Concorde
This Concorde is well looked after and in super condition. She is lovingly cared for by former Air France Concorde engineer Alexandra Jolivet, who maintains part of Sierra Delta’s hydraulics systems and electrics, this Concorde is the only Concorde in the world to still have a working nose and visor
she is parked next to prototype Concorde 001, the very first Concorde to fly This means that you get to see two Concorde’s at once. This is a must for any Concorde fan to visit, and a super museum.