The Concorde Experience – Brooklands Museum
The Concorde Experience – Brooklands Museum
Concorde, the Supersonic passenger airliner which flew on the outskirts of space at twice the speed of sound, what is it like to see and feel in person the world’s fastest passenger aircraft?
Back in 2003, Concorde made its last ever flight and shortly after was retired from service. Nowadays, the only way to experience Concorde in all its glory as if you were sitting on its very last flight would be to visit one of the very few Concorde’s still in existence in the UK.
Concorde Speedbird One, Cleared for Take-Off…
Concorde had a maximum speed of Mach 2 or 1,354 mph at twice the speed of sound, faster than a bullet. The aircraft held seats for 92 to 128 passengers and this legendary plane first flew in 1969 but only entered into commercial passenger transportation in 1976, then continued flying for the next 27 years until retirement in October 2003.
Mostly only the elite got to fly Concorde due to its high fare prices averaging around $8000 per person, return to New york. Travelling on Concorde, you could be seated next to the latest celebrity but every passenger was treated as a V.I.P on board.
Including an a la carte dining menu and an extensive list of the very best wines in the world at the time, this was flying at its finest…
Sadly, there are no commercial aircraft in operation which fly Supersonic like Concorde did back then but you can still experience the Speedbird today in all its glory in the U.K.
How to Experience Concorde Today
There are only six real life examples of Concorde still in existence in the U.K today and one of them can be found at the Brooklands Museum in Surrey (G-BBDG).
Other locations within the UK you can see other examples of Concorde include Yeovilton, Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Museum in Somerset, Duxford, Cambridge, at the Imperial War Museum, Manchester Airport, Runway Visitor park, East Fortune, Scotland Museum of flight, Filton, Bristol at the Bristol aerospace Centre.
How to Find Brooklands Museuem
Brooklands Museum is based in Surrey on the outskirts of London. Take junction 10 off the M25 and follow signs towards Weybridge between Byfleet. You can also take the A3 London Portsmouth road.
Prices of admission
Adults – £5.00 each
Children – £3.00
Children under 5 – Free
Tickets can be purchased online or directly from the Concorde booking office in building No.1 at the Museum.
Opening / Closing Times
The Brooklands Museum is open everyday except 24th & 24th December.
Summer – 10am – 5pm
Winter – 10am – 4pm
The Concorde Experience Tour
As we arrived at the Concorde tour entrance we were greeted by a fellow museum volunteer member who explained all the facilities and other attractions we may be interested in which we will cover later on.
A complimentary Concorde boarding ticket was provided to both of us which in itself is something to cherish, a great brag to friends and family.
How many people do you know have a Concorde boarding ticket…
This in itself is worth more than the admission price in our opinion.
We were given a few more details and then directed how to follow the official route to the Concorde.
When you see the Speedbird in all its glory, it truly is an awe-inspiring experience.
The Concorde sitting there in real life with us just looking up at its wingspan and under carriage is breathtaking. It’s kept impeccably clean and the old British airways livery brings back memories for me remembering the Speedbird soaring overhead at 11.30am when i used to live near Heathrow airport many years ago.
We were given a Pre-Flight briefing by a staff Member under Concorde which explained a few facts about the aircraft and what the 35 minute tour comprises of.
Then we made our way to the British airways branded staircase or otherwise known as airstairs as if we were about to board Concorde on a real life flight.
When at the bottom of the airstairs looking up you see off to your right the Concorde cockpit and the magnificent nose of the plane slightly angled downwards.
As we travelled up the airstairs towards the small door to the cabin you can almost think your about to board a real Concorde for a memorable journey of a lifetime. They certainly do details in the Concorde experience at Brooklands Museum extremely well.
Then with great anticipation we entered the cabin but unfortunately not greeted by British airways cabin crew staff, you can’t have everything!
For once recently, we had to turn right and not left to find our seat..
Once inside the cabin we quickly realised how small Concorde’s cabin actually was in real life. It felt inside about the same width of a standard short-haul aircraft like and a320. There were only two seats each side of a fairly narrow galleyway.
Concorde did not have different cabins like First or Business class so everyone on board sat in the same style seat and received the same treatment as everyone else aboard.
We also noticed that the ceiling of the aircraft was lower than normal commercial aircraft today.
We quickly sat down and took it all in, we were finally sitting in a real Concorde seat. There are also real Concorde seats still in existence today in the British airways Concorde room lounge at Heathrow airport accessible if you fly First Class from Heathrow or if you are a BA Gold Member.
Whilst seated you are shown a video on Concorde’s history displayed at the front of the cabin and later on they switched on the speed display boards located both sides of the cabin entrance, we were finally at Mach 2, twice the speed of sound.
To be fair, Concorde seats were comfy but felt smaller than a modern commercial aircraft seat today and the aisle looked narrower in width. The aircraft was designed to maximise space during production.
It must have been interesting if someone wanted to use the toilets whilst the cabin crew service was underway.
We sat in Seats located just above the enormous wings, what a view..
After the video presentation you are allowed to explore the entire aircraft at your leisure.
We sat in our seats for a short while looking at everything a passenger would have experienced in a real flight, then we decided to take a look up the front.
The toilets were small but compact and looked well designed with a small decorative flower in a vase. We believe the flower in British airways toilets used to be standard on Concorde and other Business / First Class flights on British Airways.
Then onto the Cockpit which also was very compact but impressive. The pilot’s door is left open and you can literally touch the controls and look out of the cockpits Windows as if you were the pilot’s in flight. To be in control of such an amazing aircraft must of been out of this world.
Before we knew it, it was time to leave the magnificent bird of the sky. It made us feel that its such a shame that Concorde had to be retired from service and made me wonder how many Avios Points would have it taken to fly in the cabin just once in my lifetime. I have read that some people managed to fly Concorde using the old air miles scheme.
Extra Experiences on offer
The Brookland Museum also offer extra experiences connected with the Concorde on site such as a flight simulator experience, Concorde champagne days on board, Mach 2 afternoon tea, weddings and private hosting.
For more information in these extras, please click the link below.
Opinion / Verdict
If you are interested in aviation, you will love the Concorde Experience at Brooklands Museum. Its been a long distance dream to experience Concorde in real life so to find one still in existence almost thirty years on since retirement and for only £5.00 each was almost a dream come true.
The tour guides are great and the presentation video including the Mach 2 displays on board do make it feel like your on a real Concorde flight.
To be provided a boarding ticket to Concorde now sits with our other flight memory tickets and is a definite keeper for life & all for a fiver.
We would recommend atleast taking a look inside the flight simulator system based on site even if you do not book the full experience.
All in all, its a great day out and comes highly recommended to anyone even if you’re not an AV Geek.
Next on our list of Concorde experiences, we plan to visit Concorde at Yeovilton, Somerset, future review to follow.