About half a second later we made it through. Phew! Left wingtip a bit close. Worried about the fin, too.
I was on board the world’s only active Concorde simulator when I took this picture. The visual display is much better than this snapshot - taken by me on my stoneage digital camera – suggests.
It’s at Brooklands museum. Yes, you can buy time on it, and I recommend you do.
I didn’t do Tower Bridge. I asked Mike just for a take-off from Heathrow 28L, a left hand visual circuit (2,500ft), and line up to land back on 28L.
Mike did all the checklist stuff, set up the speed bugs, told me about attitudes for the key moments, and off we went. Not having done Concorde before, I wanted to feel everything, so I didn’t use autothrottle either. Mike’s guidance was brilliant. A little hint now and then when he could see the speed would soon decay if I didn’t nudge the throttles forward a bit now, etc.
I was surprised at how stable the aeroplane was, and the flare and touchdown very natural. The weird bit is having to force the nosewheel down immediately she’s firmly on the ground.
Brilliant! Another of those moments of incredulity when I think again: “I get paid for this!”
That’s me, at Brooklands, just after the sim ride, propping up G-BBDG’s nose gear. She’s beautifully painted in the BA livery she wore when she first entered service. Oh yes, and that IS a VC-10 in the background (A40-AB, type 1103, formerly G-ASIX).
Want to find out what it was like being a Concorde passenger? Go to Brooklands and do the entire “Concorde experience”.
I got a bit carried away with the ride, but see my next blog for what else I did at Brooklands today.