The last Concorde ever to fly has safely completed her journey to Aerospace Bristol, a new £19 million museum in Filton, to the north of Bristol, UK. The new museum has been supported with a £180 000 donation from global engineering technologies company Renishaw, which was created by two former Rolls-Royce employees to commercialise an innovation that solved a measurement problem faced in the manufacture of the Olympus engine that powered Concorde.
The complex move was conducted with the greatest care by engineers from British Airways and Airbus, who managed every facet of Concorde’s final journey. The iconic aircraft was towed across Filton runway and up a ramp into the new purpose-built hangar at Aerospace Bristol. The hangar, constructed by Kier, had a wall removed to allow the aircraft to enter the building and, with less than a metre between each wing tip and the building, Concorde was slowly and carefully winched into her exhibition position.
British Airways’ Concorde Alpha Foxtrot – also known as 216 – was the last Concorde to be built and the last to fly. She made her maiden flight on 20 April 1979 and touched down on her last flight to Filton on 26 November 2003. Since that landing, Alpha Foxtrot has stood alongside the Filton runway, cared for continuously by Airbus UK and remaining in remarkable condition. Now inside, she starts a new chapter as the centrepiece of the new Aerospace Bristol museum.
Fundraising for the new museum is not yet complete with a further £2 million required to finalise the project. The development of Aerospace Bristol to date, and the construction of the new Concorde hangar, has been made possible by the support of Founding Partners BAE Systems, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, South Gloucestershire Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund. In addition, the project has attracted support from Renishaw, Bristol City Council, West of England LEP, the Libor Fines Fund as well as GKN and the John James Foundation.