20 SEP 2017
For over two decades, Concorde was the final word in supersonic travel on its regular route from London to New York. Passengers who could afford the tickets could cross the Atlantic at twice the speed of sound. But its final journey was rather different, more complicated and a lot slower; Concorde travelled from Heathrow to the Museum of Flight at East Fortune (near Edinburgh), not by air but via land, river and sea.
G-BOAA first flew in 1975 and was in service for over 22,000 hours in the air, before its last commercial flight from New York to London in August 2000.
Following the decommissioning of the Concorde fleet in 2003, chartered surveying firm Aston Rose was appointed by National Museums of Scotland to ensure that G-BOAA had a clear and safe passage on its journey from Heathrow airport down to the River Thames and beyond.
The aircraft left Heathrow Airport in April 2004 and was transported along the A30 and A4 to the tiny port of Isleworth on the River Thames, where it was loaded onto a specialist 2,000 tonne barge.
Ken Morgan of Aston Rose led the project to ensure the plane’s smooth passage. This involved a wide range of skills and expertise, from detailed planning and negotiation with local residents and businesses to clearing trees on the final stretch of its land journey down to the river.
The aircraft then continued its journey up Britain’s East Coast and, after restoration, went on display at the Museum of Flight at East Fortune where visitors still enjoy ‘The Concorde Experience’ today.
This small but complex project demonstrates the diverse skill set of chartered surveyors and the wide ranging contribution that RICS professionals make to culture and wider society.