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Tuesday
Dec092008

Mach 1 Ride On Concorde At Oshkosh 88!

 

 

 If you tossed all the airplanes ever made into a really big bucket like popcorn and shook 'em up, there's only gonna be so many that work their way to the the top.  Concorde is definitely one of them.

 Few other aircraft have been able to stir such a wide range of people, and do so with such unanimous adoration. And while some might see Concorde's legacy tarnished by the crash in 2000, the truth is that this is an amazing aircraft that stands as a fabulous tribute to those who made her a reality.

 For Americans, possibly our greatest opportunities with Concorde came at Oshkosh in 85, 88, 90, 94, and 98. Not only did Concorde's presence there give us by far the closest look at this exotic beauty, but for a few people it was a relatively affordable chance to actually get to go for a ride.

 I was one of those fortunate few.  I recently found an old VHS tape I'd made in the corner of the basement in a grocery bag, almost forgotten. Check out the vid for a unique look at one of the world's greatest aircraft. 


A total of 20 Concordes were built, with 6 used for development and 14 put
into airline service... 7 for Air France and 7 like this one, for British Airways. 

 
Bristish Airways G-BOAF showing many of the curves that make Concorde so beautiful.

 
Air France F-BVFA on display at the National Air & Space Museum campanion
facilty, the Uvdar-Hazy Center located near Washington Dulles in Virgina.
http://www.nasm.si.edu/UdvarHazy/
 

 The video above is really just a home movie I made to have a record of the day I got to ride in a real SST.  But it means even more to me now that I'm 20 years older, and especially because Concorde is now retired.

 My experience tells me that no airplane electrified the air at Oshkosh like this one.  No other airplane has offered the world so much capability while also being so full of grace and beauty.  I suspect that no airplane will ever surpass the stunning collection of attributes that are found only in this intriguing collaboration between the British and the French.

 If you're young or maybe just new to aviation, I hope you'll take some time to learn about the history of this earth-shrinking machine.  There are so many stories that take you a lot deeper than 'that thing sure looks hot'.

 And while many will argue that Concorde wasn't a financial success... all I can say is that I've yet to see real success ever be defined by dollar bills (or Pounds, Francs or Euros).

 To learn more, a lot more, check out the links below.  Go experience Concorde!


http://www.aviation-news.co.uk/concordeChronology.html
Straight forward chronological history of Concorde 

http://www.concordesst.com/home.html
All things Concorde - great site! 

http://www.wingweb.co.uk/aircraft/SST_rise_and_fall.html 
Nice overview of the SST concepts including Concorde 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/concorde/
PBS Nova explores Concorde + innovative aircraft 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_uW5sLug_0
Fabulous video tribute to the amazing Concorde 

 

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Reader Comments (4)

Really great Mart!!

I could "Feel" that landing right along with you. :-)

Chris

May 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Bryan

Great video, perhaps you could add the save Concorde group
To you links

http://www.saveconcordegroup.co.uk/

January 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJefferson lord

I was there - may have been the same flight too! But I do not recognize anyone in your pics or video. The fare was a gift from my wife - but I recall it was around $700 for the hour (and that's 1988 dollars to boot). I would do it again in a heartbeat. I'll bet a BUNCH more would have done so as well had they known that the whole SST program would go away completely a decade later. G-BOAA was beautiful both on the ground and in flight. Not as opulent on the interior as I had expected for an all First-Class cabin. Comfortable, but nothing like today's First-Class cabins. But that COCKPIT... The rams-horns yoke, the steam gauges, the Flight Engineer (remember the 3rd crew member?). WOW! It was a pilot's dream.

Great job recapturing those old memories. Thanks for the trip down my own memory lane!

September 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTwoMikeRomeo

I was on the Concorde July 31 1988 flight, up Lake Michigan and back. It was thrill then and still one of my fondest memories. I recall that the touch and go was the last one done on that flight, stopped by the FAA after that, although the crews blogs seem to indicate that the last Oshkosh touch and go with passengers was in 1985. I didn't have a video camera back then, but one can never have regrets in life since you can't change the past, so thank you for posting this.

September 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRuss Mueller

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