I’ve seen a few Concorde.
Filton outside Bristol, on the way to our final stop, was one of those if we can manage it. I am so pleased we managed it. This was, hands down, the best aviation museum I have ever seen. It is only a year old. We asked for a guide book but it still being written. So the exhibition is recent and uses much modern techniques.
The story of flight and Filton made us aware of many things that had confused us for a while. The second world war crops up often on tours in Bristol. Now we know why. Bristol was bombed about every 3 days during the war. Filton was often the target. Filton is the home of much British aviation.
In the 1960s, Filton and Toulouse built Concorde. This Concorde exhibition is outstanding. I have walked through two other Concorde and they all look spectacular. But this displayed so much better. You can get further back from the plane and appreciate the size of it. It is not really all that big next to an A380 or a B777.
Concorde is so hard to photograph when you are too close. But it needs to be indoors or it will decay quickly. Enthusiasts worry about the decay of Concorde at Heathrow because it is outside.
This was the final Concorde to fly. Its last trip was here to Filton. Back to where it was made. It flew over the Clifton Suspension Bridge on its way here from Heathrow.
The links between Concorde and the SS Great Britain are quite astounding. Both rest in the place they were built. Both were the best example in their field at their time. Both were a source of pride for the British people.
There is a short film of the workers marching to talk to Tony Ben. He was the minister in the early 70’s who was talking about closing the project down. The workers did not talk about losing their jobs and their work. They talked about the importance of Concorde to the British people.
One of the short films projected on the fuselage has a Concorde flight attendant talking. She says,
“they called Concorde the Flagship of the Fleet. Actually, she was the Flagship of the Nation.”
Yes they project video onto the fuselage of the plane. It is sensational.
If you stand long enough in an aviation museum, another plane nut will start talking to you. It happened twice today. One guy directed us to another free aviation museum a few miles north of Filton. We did visit it. It is dedicated to the development of the jet engine. It is the home of the Gloucester Aircraft works.
The other man to speak to us worked on the design and building of the engine for Concorde. What a wonderful thing to chat with such a man. He was quick to point out that the engine was not really a Rolls Royce Engine. It was a Bristol Engine eventually sold to RR. The pride in his voice as he chatted, standing next to G BOAF
I have seen a few Concorde. Now I have seen the best Concorde exhibition.
From Filton we head to Llangollen, North Wales for our last stop before home. Here we have terrible internet. Posting this tale could be tedious.