Air France is set to ground the Concorde next week with British Airways following suit in October.
Since it began commercial operation with its maiden flight to Bahrain, I have unfortunately never flown on the Silver Bird. I have however walked around and touched it on the ramp at Bahrain Airport some years ago while I was still an Avionix engineer with Gulf Air. That was a good feeling only surpassed by actually flying in that tube.
That chance will probably never come again, and with no one that I know of developing a replacement, it’s such a shame that this feat of engineering now passing on to museums.
Richard Branson is bidding to take over the British Airways fleet. This guy has my utmost respect, but with all that I cannot see Virgin – even if they are successful in getting the Concorde from the clutches of BA – ever making money out of it. Let’s face it, it’s old, costs too much to run and service and the environmental people are up in arms about its noise polution.
While it was still flying to and over Bahrain, everyone on the island knew that it has arrived or left because of the noise that it makes – music to me, just plain loud noise to others.
I heard a story a long time ago when the Concorde stopped coming to Bahrain that the reason given was that a Saudi beduin complained to the governmer that his pregnant goats lost their kids because of the sonic boom, so the governer just banned Concorde overflying Saudi! Kids would believe anything!
Thank you Concorde and I hope that even in museums you will continue to inspire engineers for a long time to come.