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Last Updated: Monday, 19 April, 2004, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
Concorde makes road trip 'home'
Concorde's final journey saw it crawl slowly through farmland
Scotland's Concorde has arrived at its final destination, the Museum of Flight in East Lothian.

The aircraft was slowly moved onto the airfield after completing a sea trip from London on a state-of-the art barge at the weekend.

About 2,000 people turned out to see the 110-tonne plane, minus its wings, tail and undercarriage, complete the hour-long trundle.

It will go on public display later this year after being restored to its glory.

The barge had been due to arrive at the British Energy jetty at Torness, East Lothian, on Sunday but it made better than expected progress thanks to good weather and tidal conditions and reached the port the day before.

It's not every day you see Concorde arriving, and you'll certainly never ever see it again
Dr Gordon Rintoul
National Museums of Scotland

Tourism Minister Frank McAveety said: "Concorde is an important part of our past and a symbol of the best in British design and engineering."

Conservative MSP Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, who asked for a Concorde to be sited in Scotland, said: "The placing of Concorde at the Museum of Flight will be a very welcome boost to tourism, employment and education."

Transport secretary and Scottish Secretary Alistair Darling visited the British Energy site at Torness on Sunday and welcomed the aircraft to Scotland.

He said: "It will be a valuable addition to the Museum of Flight and will attract many visitors when it goes on display."

Worldwide competition

National Museums of Scotland, which runs the museum at East Fortune, near Edinburgh, beat 60 bidders from around the world to secure one of the seven decommissioned supersonic aircraft.

Director of the National Museums of Scotland, Dr Gordon Rintoul, said: "We are very proud that Concorde has now arrived on site at the Museum of Flight.

"It's been a historic day for the museum and for Scotland. It's not every day you see Concorde arriving, and you'll certainly never ever see it again.

From a distance... the aircraft fuselage moves across the field
From a distance... the aircraft fuselage moves across the field
"I think one of the planes came to Scotland because of the campaign that was mounted by National Museums, with the support of the Scottish Executive.

"It seems to me that Concorde is one of those things that touches the hearts of people, both across Scotland and across the UK."

The Scottish Executive gave a grant of 2m to the NMS towards the costs of the transfer and exhibition of the aircraft in the museum.

The aircraft is still owned by British Airways but the museum will be responsible for its care and maintenance.

Complex task

G-BOAA, which has notched up 22,769 flight hours and 6,842 supersonic cycles, last flew on 12 August four-years ago, from New York's JFK Airport to Heathrow.

Concorde's journey north has been a gigantic task and is thought to have been one of the most complex of any transport ventures undertaken in recent years.

The plane made its journey from Isleworth up the River Thames, on the Terra Marique, an 8.5m multi-purpose pontoon funded by the Department of Transport.

Visitors will be able to learn all about the legendary aircraft when The Concorde Experience exhibition opens at the museum later this summer.

The BBC's Louise Batchelor
"The supersonic plane was transported along the A1, after travelling from London by sea"

Concorde sets sail for Scots home
12 Apr 04  |  Scotland
In pictures: Concorde takes to the water
04 Apr 04  |  In Pictures
A flight to remember
18 Dec 03  |  UK


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