UK Project to Reassemble Concorde

14 January 2005

Surrey University and Brooklands Museum are taking part in the reassembling of key composite parts of Concorde 202 on campus over the next few months.

The work coincides with project work being undertaken at Brooklands Museum, in Surrey, UK where contractors are ready to commence the joining of the wings and fuselage back together of “Delta Golf”, as the craft was more commonly known. The parts being refurbished by University of Surrey (UniS) volunteers will then be attached to the aircraft.

Most of the British parts of Concorde were built just 12 miles from the University, at the Weybridge site of the British Aircraft Corporation (as it then was), and transported to Filton and Toulouse for assembly.

Following the announcement of the allocation of British Airway’s Concorde’s to museums worldwide in following the retirement of Concorde from service in October 2003, Curators at the museum have been negotiating with British Airways to bring concorde “back” to Weybridge in Surrey.

Brooklands made a vital contribution to Concorde since design work began in the late 1950s through the work by the late Sir George Edwards (now UniS’ first Pro Chancellor) and the site's unique historical association with the type was the prime reason for the Museum's ambition to acquire an example for its aviation collection.

"A greater proportion of the Concorde airframe was manufactured by the British Aircraft Corporation at Brooklands than at any other factory in Britain or France. In particular all the forward and rear fuselages, the massive tail fins and rudders as well as many more smaller components were made here. Thousands were employed here on Concorde in the sixties and seventies and many local people still have proud memories of their association with this outstanding supersonic airliner", he says. (Brooklands-built assemblies, like those from other British and French factories, were shipped to either Toulouse or Filton, near Bristol, for final assembly and test flying, “ said Brooklands Museum's Aviation Curator, Julian Temple.

Moving Concorde to Brooklands has been a year long ordeal with the Museum’s staff appealing for road haulage assistance from local companies. Many of the team involved had previous experience of moving aircraft with key people having already moved some 15 aircraft (or major components) to the Brooklands Museum site.

Christopher Orlebar, a concorde pilot and author of "The Concorde Story" now in its sixth edition, will be giving a lecture at UniS later this month on the story that led this fabulous aircraft to become a national icon.

Concorde retired from service in October 2003 after nearly 35 years of flight and more that 25 years of passenger service, bringing to an end the era of supersonic passenger transportation.

The Brooklands museum fundraising campaign is progressing with over £100,000 being raised so far. To ensure the full restoration, another £150,000 needs to be raised over the coming 12 months. Any donations will be greatly appreciated by the Museum.

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