Air International 2006-07
D.Willis - Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde /Aircraft profile/
Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde F-WTSS, c/n 001, was the first of the type and performed the maiden flight on March 2, 1969. This aircraft undertook 397 flights of which 249 were supersonic. The original nose section/visor had two small forward facing 'peep hole' windows which, when the visor was raised, severely hindered the forward view of the pilots. The cabin windows of F-WTSS and G-BSST, the 'British' prototype Concorde, were larger on than pre-production and production aircraft.
Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde G-BOAA, c/n, 206, operated British Airways' first Concorde service between London Heathrow and Bahrain on January 21, 1976. It is shown in the Dick Negus-designed 'red-topped tail' livery, derived from the pre-nationalised BEA logo and with the BOAC 'Speedbird' logo on the nose.
Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde G-BOAC, c/n 204, was the second production aircraft and is illustrated in the 1980 'British' variation of the red-topped tail livery, in which the Airways' was dropped from the title. The tail logo was also modified, with a longer red stripe and blue triangle This version of the livery lasted barely four years.
Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde G-BOAG, c/n 214, was the first Concorde to fly in the 1984 Landor British Airways scheme, which marked the airline's privatisation. A new BA crest was adopted within the upper tail, while the rest of the livery had to be amended because of Concorde's need to be predominantly white. The aircraft's skin had to be painted in a specially-developed white paint to accommodate the changes of fuselage length caused by supersonic flight and to dissipate the heat generated by travelling at high speed.
Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde G-BOAD, c/n 210, was the only example to wear an airline livery which was not that of Air France or British Airways. It sported the red-topped tail BA livery on the starboard side and the Singapore Airlines livery on the port side. It also wore the registration G-N94AD in this livery whilst it was operated by Braniff International Airways - making it the only Concorde to operate for three different airlines and all virtually at the same time!
Aerospatiale/BAe Concorde F-BTSO, c/n 213, was painted in this unique livery for a Pepsi Cola re-branding campaign in April 1996. Special certification had to be acquired for the non-white scheme. The wings had to remain white (because of fuel temperature concerns) and it was limited to 20 minutes of flight at Mach 2.02. During the fortnight it wore these colours 'SO flew 16 flights on a ten-city tour of Europe and the Middle East. This aircraft also holds the world records for fastest flight around the world in both directions.
Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde F-BVFB, c/n 207, of Air France in the airline's revised Elegante livery, adopted from 1999. It included slightly revised Air France titling plus the 12 stars of the European Union on the tail, replacing the traditional two-letter registration code. The 'Groupe Air France' branding was applied on the forward fuselage.
Concorde 002, G-BSST, was the first of the type to be built in Britain and made its maiden flight on April 9, 1969. The first Concorde (001/F-WTSS) had flown earlier, on March 2.
A Concorde in the final colour scheme worn by the type in British Airways service. This view clearly shows the aircraft’s majestic ogive wing, part of the innovative design which helped Concorde achieve its impressive performance.
Other than British Airways, Concorde's only other customer was Air France. Pre-production aircraft 02 (F-WTSA) is pictured in the colours of the French flag carrier at Paris Orly Airport.