G-BOAC Condition Today

Flagship of the British Airways Concorde fleet,

now safely inside her new hangar at Manchester!

Concorde G-BOAC last flight was her retirement flight from Heathrow to Manchester Airport on 31st October 2003, the flight number for this flight was BA9020C. Flight number BA9020C, left Heathrow for Manchester on her final journey. On the flightdeck that day were Captain Paul Douglas, Captain Mike Bannister, Engineering Flight Officer Robert Woodcock and Engineering Flight Officer Trevor Norcutt. After 27 years in service, Alpha Charlie had flown for 22,260 hours and made 7,730 landings.
She is known as Alpha Charlie, and British Airways considers her to be the Flagship of BA and their Concorde Fleet as it carries the letters ‘BOAC’ which were also the initials of the British Overseas Airways Corporation, the forerunner, along with British European Airlines, to British Airways. G-BOAC was the aircraft chosen to launch the Washington service on the 26th of May 1976. It is the oldest Concorde in the BA fleet, although not the oldest officially owned by BA (that honour falls to G-BOAA), it is also the heaviest; mainly due to the fact that it was one of the first built and the other aircraft all benefited from the design being tweaked and the weight being reduced as production went along.

31 October 2003, my Concorde heads to Manchester. On a cold October morning, Concorde G-BOAC departed Heathrow for her last ever flight. She leapt into the air off runway 27R and roared into the distance, before finally passing into the clouds. G-BOAC. She was heading off to Manchester, for her final resting place...

This Airframe has now been placed on view undercover within a wonderful purpose built hanger, The new building has biomass heating fuelled by willow grown on the airport site, rain water harvesting system and solar panels. The new visitor centre also includes a corporate hospitality suite, an education centre for local schools and a glass-walled visitor restaurant alongside Concorde, with views of the runways. The new Hanger which should last 25 years was opened by Willie Walsh, British Airways, the then chief executive.

This Concorde is the only British production Concorde that was in service during 2003, remains open for public tours.

The airframe shows some signs of the years on display outside as should be expected. But Ross Williamson at the museum has worked very hard to restore the paint finish to the exterior of the fuselage since it was moved inside the new hangar.

Manchester carries out some super tours where you are allowed to sit in the pilot’s seat and touch the flight deck controls, this remains the only Concorde within the UK where you are able to do this during your visit to the aircraft. A past employee at the museum caused an incredible amount of damage to the aircraft, which included broken re-heat switches, broken captains DV window, shattered co-pilots windscreen and visor panel, damage rear baggage compartment door and various other minor damage. The member of the staff at Manchester tried to remove the side glass panel on the visor with a screwdriver and a drill and slipped, he has since left Manchester. Seatbelts have had to be removed, due to some visitors cutting them off during their visit to the aircraft.

I noticed some of this damage during my visit in 2009, I was informed that plans where in place to have these repairs carried out to the aircraft, but during my visit in January 2010, I was informed that these repair plans had come to nothing due to the  high costs.

I offered to get a team of engineers in place for free and to at last restore the aircraft back to a good condition, the museum excepted and Heritage Concorde formed ‘Project Flagship’. During the project tasks, myself and engineers have had a chance to inspect most of the aircraft and a part from some minor internal corrosion around the nose section, we have been pleased with the condition of the aircraft, this must in some part be down to the fact that she is inside a new hangar, well done Manchester for getting her undercover.

Project Flagship operated between January 2011 and September 2011, Heritage Concorde formed Project Flagship, the purpose of which as already stated was to undertake repairs to the aircraft. During Project Flagship, ground power was restored to the aircraft for the first time since 2003, and all the accumulators were also recharged with nitrogen, green hydraulic system reservoir was filled using a different type of hydraulic fluid, this was due to the lack of M2V fluid, and various repairs to the aircraft took place. We replace the damaged visor panel but the project was cancelled by the airport before we had a chance to fit the new windscreen, so to date the old shattered one remains in place.

For further details of Heritage Concorde Project Flagship, click on the link below…

Heritage Concorde Project Flagship

Pictures of Concorde G-BOAC at Manchester since 2003

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