Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2022 by Seb
Album Concorde Tourism Le Bourget

Paris-Le-Bourget is a French airport located near Paris. This airport is not used in regular flight trafic but only for private or limited public usage. It is also an Exposition center that hosts every two years the Paris Air Show (in French, le Salon International de l’aéronautique et de l’espace de Paris-Le-Bourget, more commonly le Salon du Bourget) and a permanent museum called le Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace.

There is one thing I love in this museum : you can visit two Concorde. Concorde is a Franco-British turbojet-powered supersonic airliner used for civilian transport from 1976 until 2003. I’ve always loved this airplane : it’s a wonderful machine, an amazing engineering work, and also a very beautiful plane.

Sadly, Concorde was also an over expensive plane to maintain, run, feed, and afford. Twenty Concordes were built, six for development and fourteen for commercial use. The only major accident was the Air France Flight 4590 that crashed in Gonesse, France, killing all of its passengers and the flight personal on 24 July 2000. This tragic accident accelerated the plane retirement, grounding the other Concordes for safety modifications. The Concordes were also maintained grounded because of the World Trade Center attacks in the Unites States. The commercial operation resumed in 2001 but the fate of Concorde was already decided because its profitability was no longer possible.

In the permanent exposition, you can visit two models : The F-WTSS Prototype, the first Concorde to fly ; and the Sierra Delta 213 F-BSTD Air France, a plane that holds some world records.

The Sierra Delta had a brillant career. This plane was used for special flights and maiden flights like the first Mach 2 speed usage. It also established the record for the highest commercial worldwide run from West to East between 12 and 13 October in 1992, with a 25h15 hours of flight including 18h18 supersonic speed. On the 15 and 16 August 1995, it’s the reverse way from East to West that was made with a 22h46 flight duration, including 18h46 at supersonic speed.

The Sierra Delta stopped its career on the 31 May 2003, with the last Concorde flight when it landed at Roissy. Its complete exploitation is 12 976 hours on 4 282 flights since the 26 June 1978.

Because it’s a test model, the Prototype does not have any commodities installed, only flight recording and computing systems to validate the plane.
Concorde 001 above the Golfe de Gascogne. For the first time, on 1st October 1979 at 11 000 meters high, Mach 1 is passed.
Side view of the Prototype, the next step of the visit is walking to the Sierra Delta by a catwalk, entering through the normal door.
The passengers seats. Concorde was a very tight plane, you don’t have a lot of space. Half of them were removed for the visit.
The Prototype face is different from the commercial models.
One last before leaving the place.