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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 October, 2003, 15:39 GMT
Concorde's retirement sealed
Concorde takes off from New York
Concorde will no longer fly, but will be visible in museums

British Airways' fleet of seven Concordes will be sent to museums in the UK and worldwide, the airline has confirmed.

The plane made its final commercial flight last Friday, ending three decades of supersonic travel.

The airline had hoped it would be able to keep one Concorde flying for airshows and special events.

But after carrying out feasibility studies, it said this would not be possible, as the cost would be "absolutely prohibitive".

The British locations are:

  • Airbus UK in Filton near Bristol - where Concorde was built
  • Manchester airport
  • the Museum of Flight near Edinburgh
  • Heathrow airport.

Elsewhere, the locations are:

  • Museum of Flight in Seattle, US
  • Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York, US
  • Grantley Adams Airport in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Avid planespotters still have a few last chances to see Concorde in action, as they fly to their new locations.

The first Concorde to leave Heathrow for its retirement home will fly to Manchester airport on Friday 31 October.

Charity auction

Chief executive Rod Eddington said the retirement homes would all provide good access for the public to continue viewing Concorde.

"We have chosen the final homes based a number of criteria: their ability to properly exhibit and preserve the aircraft, their geographical location and accessibility to the public," he said.

CONCORDE'S FINAL JOURNEY
One Concorde will be flying from Heathrow to Manchester on 31 October
British Airways says most of the others will also be flown to their new locations, although dates have not yet been set
"We are working closely with each of the new homes to make sure they show off each Concorde at her best."

BA also said it would be holding a charity auction of Concorde memorabilia on 1 December.

The auction will be conducted by Bonhams and held at the Olympia exhibition centre in Kensington, west London.

Items on offer include a machmeter, a nose cone, and pilot and passenger seats.

Air France, the only other airline with Concorde, retired its fleet of five in May.

Three are going on display in French museums in Le Bourget, Toulouse and Paris.

One has gone to a museum in Sinsheim, in Germany, and the fifth is being sent to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, US.




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