Aérospatiale-BAe Concorde Sierra Delta 213 F-BTSD Air France

The Concorde program

Although an overall technical success, Concorde, being far too expensive to operate, was not commercially viable. No airline converted its options into firm orders. To save the whole program, the British and French governments imposed the sixteen production aircraft on their respective national airlines, in return for substantial financial support.

The first commercial flights

The first commercial model, the F-WTSB, flew on 6 December 1973. More than 5,500 flight hours accumulated by the first eightConcorde, including 2,000 in supersonic flight, led to certification on 9 October 1975 in France and 5 December in the UK. Service began on 21 January 1976 on the Paris-Dakar-Rio and London-Bahrain routes, later extended to Singapore. But only transatlantic flights could warrant the operation of the first supersonic transport aircraft. Flights to Washington began on 24 May 1976, and those to New York on 22 November 1977.

A record-breaking aircraft

Concorde was also used for special flights, such as Mach 2 first flights and long-distance trips, a lucrative activity that accounted for a significant proportion of flight hours. In this field, the F-BTSD Sierra Delta, currently on display at the museum, distinguished itself by successively setting the west-to-east circumterrestrial commercial speed record on 12 and 13 October 1992 in 25 h 15 (18 h 18 supersonic), then on 15 and 16 August 1995 in the opposite direction in 22 h 46 (18 h 46 supersonic).

End of operations and discontinuation of flights

After the disaster on 25 July 2000, which resulted in the loss of the F-BTSC, the third production aircraft, and the death of 113 people, including 4 on the ground, the Sierra Delta was used to test new NZG tires, then on 7 November 2001, it completed the reopening flight on the Paris-New York route. On 31 May 2003, it was again the Sierra Delta that completed the line’s supersonic operation by landing at Roissy. It was handed over to the museum on 14 June 2003 having accumulated 12,976 flight hours since June 26, 1978, spread over 4,282 flights.

The British, who had twice the load factor of the French, continued to operate until 26 October 2003.

Flying into the museum

Here’s an exclusive look at the landing of flight AF380Y CDG – LBG on 14 June 2003, the last flight of Concorde Sierra Delta.

Tilt of the Concorde nose

Concorde in pictures

Qualification of Concorde crews at Vatry and Châteauroux

May 2003: one of the last takeoffs of the Concorde F-BTSD

Testimony of Béatrice Vialle, airline pilot officer on Concorde

360° view of the Concorde Sierra Delta cockpit

360° view of Concorde Sierra Delta powered cockpit

Dans la même période :

Boeing 747-128 F-BPVJ

Exposé dans le même hall :

BAC-Sud Aviation Concorde prototype 001 F-WTSS