Development aircraft

The production aircraft were different in many ways to the original aircraft necessitating re-examining certain areas to obtain certification. In all there were six "development" aircraft. The two prototypes (001/002), the two pre-production (101/102) and two production aircraft (201/202).

  • F-WTSB (201) first flew on 6 December 1973 from Toulouse. Its last flight was on 19 April 1985 from Chateauroux to Toulouse flying a total of 909 hours. It is currently outside the Airbus factory at Toulouse (France).
  • G-BBDG (202) first flew on 13th December 1974 from Filton to RAF Fairford. It last flew on 24 December 1981 after a total of 1282 hours. Subsequently it was stored in a hangar on the Filton Airfield and was used as a spare parts source by BA for their Concorde fleet. It was sectioned & moved by road in May/June 2004 to the Brooklands museum site in Weybridge, Surrey, where after restoration was opened to the public in the summer of 2006

There is an unverified story amongst British Aerospace staff that the last flight of the Filton airplane was on a contract to the UK Ministry of Defence, to see if a supersonic jet of that size would be radar visible heading over Iceland and down towards the UK from the West; a test of the country's radar defences against the then-new Tupolev Tu-160 'Blackjack' bomber. However, the flight test logs show the final flights of G-BBDG as being test flights being related to Primary Nozzle Control (PNC) development work, which was a planned post entry into service development area.