Concorde F-WTSA

Concorde F-WTSS

Current registration - F-WTSA

Aircraft Number - 102 (02) 

Production Variant - French Pre-Production model

Maiden Flight - 10th Jan 1973: Toulouse, France
(1st flight of French pre-production Concorde)
 

Registration history-

21st April 1971: First registered as F-WTSA to Aerospatiale  

Final Flight – 20th May 1976: Delivery flight to Orly from Toulouse

Hours Flown - 657

Total Flights - 314

Landings – 314

Supersonic Flights – 189

Total Supersonic hours - 280 hrs 49mins

Current Location - Preserved and on display at Musee Delta, Athis-Mons near Orly Airport, Paris, France. It is open for public viewing.

Comments –

F-WTSA was fourth Concorde aircraft to be manufactured, and the second pre-production aircraft, to be built and to fly.

Sierra-Alpha was the first to have dimensions and the shape of the future production aircraft: it had the extended tail cone fitted unlike 01, as well as the production specification secondary engine nozzles, with the thrust reverse buckets.

She was the first Concorde to visit the United States when she visited Dallas, Texas on September 20, 1973. It returned to Europe by carrying out the first crossing of the North Atlantic, between Washington and Orly, under the conditions of a passenger flight, with 32 passengers invited onboard, on the September 26, 1973. The flight time was in 3 hours and 33 minutes of effective flight, with a block time of 3 hours and 47 minutes.

For several years during testing the aircraft was painted in British Airways colours on one side and Air France’s 1970’s livery on the other, although she was still registered as a French aircraft. Today it has an Air France colour scheme and is open to the public.

The aircraft completed its 313th and final test flight on January 29, 1976. Its work took in such areas as the development of new engines, and a considerable number (134) rolling runway tests for amongst other things the certification of the new carbon brakes, the water deflectors and thrust reversers.

F-WTSA’s final flight was between Toulouse and Paris Orly was on May 20th1976. Takeoff was at 15:19 and she arrived into at Orly 16:26, where an ADP team would take over responsibility for the aircraft. It was gifted to ADP, the operator of Orly and other Paris airports in 1976 to replace a full size wooden replica that was originally on show at the airport, which was destroyed by fire a few years earlier.

The aircraft was decommissioned with the engines and of many parts being recovered to be used as spares for the Air France fleet. As the aircraft was going on public display its test equipment installations were removed, and its cabin was reconfigured to give her the interior of an in-service aircraft.

In 1988, ADP, the Orly airport operator decided that Concorde 02 was no longer a priority and condemned it to be scraped and to be cut into pieces. Athis-Paray-Aviation saved Sierra Alpha from this tragedy, and since April 12th 1988, it has been on display at the Museum Delta in Athis-Mons, just outside the airport.

Aircraft History –

1973 – Feb 23rd

A non stop return flight from Toulouse to Iceland of 3,728 miles is achieved in 3 hours 27 minutes.

1973 – Mar 3rd

A return flight from Toulouse to West Africa of 3,900 miles is achieved in 3 hours 38 minutes.

1973 – Sep 20th

Arrival for the opening ceremony of Dallas Fort Worth Airport, Washington marks the first to the USA by a Concorde.

1973 – Sep 26th

Returns from Washington to Paris in 3 hours and 33 minutes, a new record for a commercial aircraft.

1974 – Feb 7th

Flies to Fairbanks, Alaska for cold temperature trials.

1974 – Jun 5th

A return trip to Rio de Janeiro of 12,000 miles takes 12 hours 47 minutes.

1974 – Jun 17th

As a sales promotion exercise, F-WTSA took of from Boston’s Logan Airport at the same time as an Air France 747 took off from Paris. The Concorde flew to Paris, spent over an hour on the ground and got back to Boston before the 747 arrived.

1974 – Oct 20th

Starts a sales tour of the American Pacific coast that includes Mexico City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Palmas.

1975 – May 30th

Appears at the Paris Air Show.

1975 – Oct 4th

Visits Montreal as part of the opening celebration for the new Mirabel International Airport.

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