USS Intrepid museum exhibit leaves by barge for refurbishment
Ex-British Airways BAC/Aérospatiale Concorde G-BOAD left its home of nearly 20 years at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City on 9 August, bound for refurbishment at the GMD Shipyard Corporation facility at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The supersonic airliner was lifted from the museum’s site at Pier 86 on the West Side of Manhattan and placed on a barge, which took some two hours to complete the journey down the Hudson River and up the East River.
At the shipyard, G-BOAD will be stripped of its paint and subjected to an in-depth airframe corrosion inspection inside and out. The process is expected to take about three months, during which the Concorde will not be available for public view. This is the first time it has undergone significant restoration work since arriving at the Intrepid museum in late 2003, since when the machine has largely been exhibited outside. Once the aircraft returns there, the museum’s Concorde experience and exhibit are set to reopen during the spring of 2024.
‘Alpha Delta’ was built in 1976 with constructor’s number 210, making its maiden flight from Filton on 25 August that year. It is unique among BA’s Concordes in having once worn a Singapore Airlines livery on the port side, for the duration of the joint Concorde service between the two carriers during 1977 and again from 1979-81. Later, on 7 February 1996 it completed the type’s fastest ever Atlantic crossing, taking just two hours 52 minutes 59 seconds for a flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to London Heathrow. In the course of BA’s Concorde farewell tours, 8 October 2003 saw G-BOAD setting a new trans-Atlantic record in the other direction, of three hours five minutes 34 seconds, with Capt Mike Bannister at the controls. Its final flight was from Heathrow to JFK on 10 November 2003, at the conclusion of which ‘Alpha Delta’ had amassed 23,397 flying hours, more than any other Concorde.
The move on 9 August was not the first time G-BOAD has been transported by barge. Such a method was used when the aeroplane was first taken from JFK to the Intrepid museum, where initially it was kept on a barge alongside the former USS Intrepid. In December 2006 the Concorde was moved again to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. Taken back to the museum in October 2008, Pier 86 itself provided a more suitable resting place for the aircraft.