G-BOAF - Last flight of Concorde
Ready for take off
As with G-BOAC, G-BOAF was lighter than usual and didn’t leave the ground at 09L side of the north runway, she left the ground halfway down the runway at a point roughly opposite Heathrow Police station…….She used full afterburners and climbed more steeply than usual, she had steam coming off her wings and I thought
Wow those guys in her must be having the time of their lives.
At the time I used one 36 exposure ASA/800 Fuji film, I set the shutter speed to 1/640th of a second and made sure my camera was set to take 6 pictures per second mode.
Above are videos and ATC of G-BOAF’s last take off
After she disappeared in to the distance, The crowds quickly melted away, all was quiet and empty………
It suddenly stopped raining and the sky slowly turned blue its as if God knew it was G-BOAF and Concorde’s last flight and he wanted to make her flight extra special by allowing to soar in to a clear blue sky for the last time in her life.
While she was doing this I was left on ground with a shattered heart, standing on my blue stool with my friend Declan standing next to me, I felt like a part of me had left forever (as Concorde had been part of me for 27 years)…… At that moment my face turned from a small smile of excitement and thrill of seeing Concorde into great sadness and unhappiness.
I had a few tears slowly going down my face as it was an extremely emotional and unhappy moment because I knew this was the last time I’d ever see Concorde fly and the last time I’d ever see Concorde fly from Heathrow...... It was an end of era, the end of a 27 year love affair and dream between me and Concorde….…and god did it hurt, it hurt like hell……….
Declan came up to me and gently asked me what was wrong, when he saw the look on my face he understood what she (Concorde) meant to me and we both chatted, then we slowly walked down the grass foot path next to the north runway and past the endless places I’d stood countless times to take different photos of Concorde…… As I walked past each place in my mind’s eye I saw what I did at those places and how I felt, it was like watching live tv in my head it was that vivid………………
On our way to Green Man pub, after seeing G-BOAF leave Heathrow one group of our friends got in their cars and raced down to Filton to try to see her land.
But we where in no rush to go any where as we knew there where no more Concorde flights, we knew the last of the flyable Concorde’s had left Heathrow for ever so we didn’t have to rush around fast.... We slowly made our way to the Green Man pub to see the rest of my Concorde friends (who had also come to Heathrow to see her).
Flight to Filton
After G-BOAF disappeared in to the cloudy blue sky, she flew south west towards the Bristol channel and coast line of Wales before turning left at the tip of Cornwall and heading south east towards the bay of Biscay.
On her way to Bay of Biscay her ATC frequency changed to 129.425 this covered the areas of south west England over Southampton, English channel and part of Northern France.
As soon as G-BOAF went past the north west coast of France she entered the Bay of Biscay and started her last and final supersonic run. She flashed by the west coast of France and northern coast of Spain at twice the speed of sound before she headed north to her new home in Bristol Filton.
While she was doing this supersonic run it was a mellon collie moment as her passengers and pilots where very happy flying at mach 2 and 60,000 ft, but at the same time it was also very sad to think no other Concorde in history would ever do this again, it was also very sad to think G-BOAF would never ever fly supersonic in the future.
But G-BOAF and her crew put this to the back of their minds, G-BOAF was now having the time of her life as she knew she was the fastest and highest passenger plane in the sky and nothing not even the “new” over weight but SLOW porky Airbus A380 could ever touch her.
Now was G-BOAF’s time, she was enjoying every last moment of freedom and of flying at mach 2 close to the edge of space and she didn’t let any thing or any one spoil this for her.
As she flew around the Bay of Biscay her ATC frequency changed from 129.425 to 132.765 where French ATC took over her last moments of mach 2 flight.
Rough map of G-BOAF’s flight over the Bay of Biscay
and her landing at Bristal Filton for the last tine.
(Press F5 or CTRL and F5 to see again)
During her last flight friends on Concordesst.com listened to ATC and tracked her progress from Heathrow to Filton.
Below are the actual real time transcriptions which friends posted on the forum showing her speed, position and altitude
Above photos taken by me and a few others at Heathrow showing
G-BOAF and Concorde’s as a whole’s last take off run.