Concorde G-AXDN

Concorde G-AXDN

Current registration - G-AXDN

Serial Number- 13522

Aircraft Number - 101 (01)

Production Variant - British Pre-Production model (Not covered by the Type Certificate, as it did not conform to that standard)

Assembly Location - BAC – British Aircraft Corporation Ltd (Filton, Bristol, UK – later British Aerospace) 

Maiden Flight - 17th December 1971: Filton, Bristol , England
( This was the 1st flight of the Pre Production prototypes)

Registration history-

16th April1969 First Registered as G-AXDN to UK Ministry of Technology

Re-registered as G-AXDN to Ministry of Aviation Supply on 19th Feb 1971

Re-registered as G-AXDN on delivery to Duxford Aviation Society on 20th August 1977

De-registered on 10th November 1986 by the CAA

Final Flight – 20th August, 1977: Delivery flight from Filton to Duxford with Brain Trubshaw as Pilot and John Cochrane as Co-Pilot.

Hours Flown - 574 Hours 49 minutes

Total Flights - 273 Flights

Landings – 273

Maxiumum Height Reached - 63700Ft (over 12 miles high)

Supersonic Hours – 387 (217 Hrs @ Mach1+ / 170 Hrs @ Mach2+)

Top Speed Reached - Mach 2.23 (1450Mph, 2333Kph)

Current Location - G-AXDN is kept on display at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford. It is open for public viewing, she is now under the ownership of the Duxford Aviation Society.

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Comments –

Although this aircraft is known to many as 01, her correct designation  is 101. She was initially designated 01 the serial number was then changed to be a 3 digit number as the 2 digit number was not easily handled by computer systems of that time.
The fact that the Model number for the production aircraft were to be 100 (basic model),101 (French production) and 102 (UK production) were also possibly a factor why many though and still think of the aircraft simply as 01

The gestation period of the aircraft was so long that almost inevitably its design and  its specification changed after the Prototype design had become frozen. Hence the Pre-Production aircraft had a different wing plan form, more fuel, a higher engine standard, a “glass” visor rather than metal one as on the prototypes, and a different air intake system.

In fact the intake system on the British Pre-Production aircraft was even different again coming out very close to the final standard. It would not be true to say that the Pre-Production aircraft where superfluous but they were in a sense a luxury although probably necessary to keep the momentum of the project going.

Aircraft History –

20th September 1971

101 (01) was rolled out at Filton, Bristol, for the start of ground testing

17TH December 1971

Maiden flight from Filton, Bristol to nearby RAF Fairford. The pilot was BAC’s chief test pilot Brian Trubshaw with co-Pilot John Cochrane. The pre-production aircraft were used to refine Concorde’s design and bring it closer to the configuration needed for commercial service. Tasks included engine development, wet runway taxi trials, hot and cold altitude trials and the testing of many new systems and components such as thrust reversers, carbon brakes and a redesigned nose section with better pilot visibility.

12th January 1972

First supersonic flight.

This supersonic flight was limited to just Mach 1.5, as only fixed engine air intakes had been fitted at the time, due to the late decision being made to upgrade the control equipment to a digital system from the prototype’s analogue type.

10th August 1972

She returned to Filton for the modification programme; this included the fitting of the new digitally controlled variable-geometry engine air intakes in place of the fixed one’s which had been used up till this time. Also new Olympus 593 Mk 602 production standard engines were added along with new wing leading edges that improved the aerodynamic performance of the aircraft.

15th March 1973

She flew back to RAF Fairford to re-commence the Concorde flight test programme

8th January 1974

She flew to Tangier for engine intake performance trails, and returned to RAF Fairford 5 days later.

26TH March 1974

Further intake trials at Tangier following modification to intake control systems. During these tests the aircraft reached the highest speed ever reached by a Concorde of Mach2.23 (1,480MPH) at a then record height of 63,700ft. This record was surpassed when another Concorde flew to 68,000ft.

June  1974

She flies to the French Concorde test centre at Toulouse to take part in taxi trials in special water troughs. These tests were to try or various types of water deflectors that would be fitted to the production aircraft to prevent water from a wet runway surface being thrown up into the engine air intakes.

September 1974

She participated in the 1974 SBAC Farnborough Air Show, flying there each day from Fairford to open the flying display.

7th November 1974

Flew from Fairford to Bangor, Maine, USA, in a record time of 2hrs 56 mins, this was the fastest ever East-west crossing of the North Atlantic, by a commercial airliner. 101 was on-route to Moses Lake in Washington State, for trails to proves the efficiency of Concorde’s de-icing system. The aircraft had been fitted with a miniature closed circuit TV system which included camera that was fitted to the outside of the fuselage and a monitoring station in the rear cabin. The flight from Bangor to Moses took 4hrs 43mins, which was another record, this time for the fastest East-West crossing of the USA

11th December 1974

Returned from Moses to Bangor in another record time of 3hrs 50 minutes

13th December 1974

The aircraft arrived back at RAFFairford from Bangor in the exact same time that it took to fly the outward leg.

26TH February 1975

G-AXDN visits Nairobi, via Cairo, for tropical icing trials.

12th March 1975

Returned to RAF Fairford from the tropical tests

15TH May 1975

Test and development flying completed on 101, aircraft stored at RAF Fairford.

21ST January 1977

101 was flown back to Filton for storage due to the closure of the RAF Fairford test centre

August 1977

The aircraft was readied for final flights to facilitate delivery to Duxford. An engine had to be borrowed to make the aircraft airworthy.

18th August 1977

Tests were carried out at Filton, which itself had a short runway, these were to check that the aircraft could safely be landed and brought to a halt on the 6,000ft runway at Duxford.

20th August 1977

The delivery flight from Filton to Duxford with Brain Trubshaw as Pilot and John Cochrane as Co-Pilot.

March 1978

Aircraft put on open public display at Duxford where the public were given the opportunity to walkthrough the aircraft.

Pictures of G-AXDN

G-AXDN on public display at Duxford: Picture courtesy of Gaute Lund.

G-AXDN at Moses Lake, Washington State, Nov 1974.

Picture courtesy of BA Concorde Engineer John Dunlevy

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