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Brooklands Concorde Experience

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOR ALL Concorde enthusiasts, the Brooklands Concorde Experience which opens to the public in early August, is an absolute must.

The supersonic aircraft with its distinctive delta-wings and nose cone (but minus its powerful Rolls-Royce engines) will be on show at Brooklands Aviation and Motor Museum in Weybridge, Surrey – a relatively short distance from southwest London.

This particular Concorde first flew in 1974 and although it was never flown commercially, it was used both for test flights and promotional work. Now almost fully restored, it will offer visitors a unique opportunity to experience life aboard the world’s most glamorous aircraft.

As well as a short ‘flight’ with Captain Mike Bannister, the Concorde Experience includes an audio-visual display charting the aircraft’s progress from drawing board to retirement; plus a number of artefacts – such as a piece of tank liner and a test pilot’s pressure helmet – and some rare test flight equipment.

Visitors can also view the flight deck and have their photograph taken at the famous Concorde sign – definitely one for the family album.

Concorde was one of the greatest technological feats of the 20th century and for 27 years carried wealthy and glamorous passengers across the Atlantic at speeds of up to 1,350 miles per hour.

Sadly, the Air France crash outside Paris in July 2000, which killed all 113 people on board, was instrumental in Concorde’s eventual retirement in 2003.

The Concorde Experience will be officially opened by Prince Michael of Kent on Wednesday, July 26, 2006.