202 - G-BBDG

Concorde G-BBDG in its new home at the Brooklands Museum on July 13, 2006.

G-BBDG (manufacturers serial number 202, known as Delta Golf) was the first British pre production Concorde built for evaluation testing. It was stored at Filton airfield from the mid-80s till 2003, when it was transported by road to the Brooklands museum in Weybridge, Surrey.

History

G-BBDG first flew on 13 February 1974. Its main uses were finalising the Concorde design before the other aircraft entered passenger service and certification prior to Concorde entering passenger service.

There were some differences between this aircraft and the final production aircraft, such as a thinner fuselage skin. The aircraft was painted in British Airways livery throughout its testing period. The aircraft flew a total of 1282 hrs 9 mins. Its final flight was on 24 December 1981.

After the final flight, it was stored at Filton in a state of semi-airworthiness, where it could be returned to flight in two weeks if required. However this was never required and the aircraft was eventually bought by British Airways as part of a Concorde support buy-out.

The aircraft never entered service with British Airways, instead it was used as a major source of spare parts. A hangar was constructed on the Filton Airport to house the aircraft. Its tail was removed prior to being put in the hangar.

In 1995, another Concorde had its nose damaged in a handling accident at Heathrow airport. British Airways swapped this nose with the nose of the Concorde stored at Filton. As well as losing its nose and tail, other parts were taken, including its engines, landing gear and rear loading door.

Many times the aircraft has been considered for scrapping, but it has always been found to be useful. In 2001, it was used to test reinforced cockpit doors required for all aircraft after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

When British Airways and Air France retired their fleets, Brooklands Museum at Weybridge in Surrey was offered the aircraft and decided to accept it as a museum exhibit. The aircraft was dismantled as fully as possible and the rest was cut up into 5 major sections and transported by road to the Brooklands Museum site. The task of disassembling and reassembling the aircraft was carried out by Air Salvage International (ASI). It was then restored by volunteers from the museum and students at the University of Surrey, and has been open for visitor tours since August 2006.

G-BBDG - aircraft number 202
Current RegistrationG-BBDG
Manufacturer's Serial Number100 -002
Production Variant Number100
Maiden Flight13th February 1974 : Filton - Fairford
Final Flight24th December 1981 : Filton - Filton
British Airways OwnershipApril 1st 1984 (as part of £16.5M Concorde support buy-out)
Registration HistoryFirst registered as G-BBDG on 7th August 1973 to the British Aircraft Corporation Ltd
De-Registered - TBC
Number Of Flights633
Supersonic Flights374
Subsonic Flights259
Total Block Hours1435 hrs 3 mins
Total Flying Hours1282 hrs 09 mins
Total Supersonic Hours Flown514 hrs 09mins
Current UseageOpen to visitors at Brooklands Museum, Weybridge, Surrey, UK - www.brooklandsconcorde.com

Notes

The two production test aircraft (201 and 202) were different in many ways from their four predecessors, necessitating repeating certain work to obtain certification. It was really these two aircraft that did the bulk of the flying that allowed the final certification of Concorde for airline service. However, even though called production aircraft, they never went into service because the final version, as specified by the airlines, was different yet again, although not in a way that affected handling or performance certification.

Like the prototype aircraft, Delta Golf was fitted with a flight observers' station and test equipment in the forward cabin but the aft cabin was fitted with seats. Delta Golf was called a production aircraft, but never went into commercial service because the final version specified by the airlines was different yet again, although not in a way that affected handling or performance certification.

202 carried on flying after the 14 production aircraft had been delivered to the airlines. Work included further performance enhancements, such as the certification of the re-designed air intake profile. This modification, coupled to an uprated engine, allowed an increase in payload of 1,500-2,000 lbs.

Another change was an extention of the control surface trailing edges (by around two inches)- a modification that many now feel was part of the reason for the rudder de-laminations seen on the fleet over the years.

Delta Golf was the fastest production Concorde and in 1974 she became the first aircraft ever to carry 100 people at twice the speed of sound.

After her final landing at Filton in December 1981. The aircraft was kept serviceable at Filton throughout early 1982 for any further development work or test flights that might be required. British Airways acquired the aircraft in 1984 and started using her as a major source of spare parts. To protect its investment and to keep her out of public view, British Airways constructed a special hangar at Filton for Delta Golf in 1988.

In 1995, Concorde G-BOAF's droop nose was damaged in a ground handling accident at Heathrow and BA decided to replace it with the droop nose on Delta Golf. The nose from 'Alpha Foxtrot' was then stored (but was later repaired at Brooklands Museum and fitted to Delta Golf in 2005).

In 2002, long after Delta Golf's flying days were over, the airframe was used to test fit and certify new strengthened cockpit doors required by the authorities after September 11th 2001.

In October 2003, Delta Golf was offered to Brooklands Museum for restoration and public display. Dismantled (and later reassembled) by a specialist contractor, her major sections arrived here by road in May and June 2004. With a comprehensive new Concorde exhibition in the rear passenger cabin and a representative British Airways Concorde interior installed in the front cabin, Delta Golf opened to visitors in Summer 2006.