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Famous Concorde Delta Golf “droops snoot” to celebrate 50th anniversary

28th February 2024

Famous Concorde Delta Golf “droops snoot” to celebrate 50th anniversary of iconic first flight at Brooklands Museum

  •  Brooklands Museum celebrated the 50th anniversary of Concorde Delta Golf’s first flight on the 13th of February 1974.
  • Aviation artist Simon W Atack AGAVA brought “Speedbird Delta Golf over Brooklands” to life in all-new original work, unveiled on the day.
  • Event was attended by HRH Prince Michael of Kent; Dr Ben Spencer MP; The Mayor of Elmbridge, Cllr Richard Williams; Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux; and Mike Bannister, Vice Chair of Brooklands Museum (Chief Concorde Pilot).
  • Lucky member of the public had the opportunity to drop the nose, or “droop snoot”, as part of the celebration.

Brooklands Museum was delighted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Delta Golf’s first official flight with a special event on the 13th of February 2024. Delta Golf was one of six developmental Concordes used to validate the design ahead of commercial aircraft production and is an icon of British aerospace. The event was attended by HRH Prince Michael of Kent (Royal Patron of Brooklands Museum); Dr Ben Spencer MP (Runnymede and Weybridge); The Mayor of Elmbridge, Cllr Richard Williams; Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux; Concorde pilots and engineers; Brooklands Museum members; and the public.

The day commenced with the unveiling of a new original painting by renowned aviation artist Simon W Atack AGAVA, titled “Speedbird Delta Golf over Brooklands”. The painting now hangs proudly in the Members’ Bar while a limited run of prints – signed by the artist alongside Concorde pilots and engineers – were made available for purchase from the Brooklands Museum shop. It was the first time Brooklands Museum had commissioned a limited-edition print to help support the future of its collections.

In a wonderful spectacle, guests took part in a celebratory cake-cutting ceremony beneath Delta Golf before a fortunate member of the public was tasked with lowering the nose. This was accompanied by music from the British Airways Brass Band. After the ceremony, members of the public were invited to place model Concordes beneath Delta Golf, likely setting a new world record for “Most model Concordes under a Concorde” with 84 models.

The day concluded with a panel discussion in the Napier room, discussing Delta Golf’s remarkable journey from rigorous test flights to its final arrival in Brooklands and – more importantly – what it was like to fly her.

BAC Concorde G-BBDG (production designation 202) was the sixth and final development Concorde. It was used as an evaluation aircraft from 1974 until 1981, accumulating more than 1282 hours of testing. The efforts of these aircraft, pilots, technicians, and engineers allowed the Concorde fleet to receive certification and achieve something remarkable, supersonic commercial travel, while also demonstrating the aerospace prowess of Britain and France.

Delta Golf last flew on 24 December 1981 before being stored in a hangar at Filton Airfield, where it was used by British Airways as a source of spare parts to keep the fleet operational. Eventually, it was broken up and moved to Brooklands Museum in 2004 for comprehensive restoration, which was followed by a public unveiling in 2006. This 50th-anniversary celebration was a wonderful reunion for HRH Prince Michael of Kent, who originally received “the keys” to Delta Golf when it was officially unveiled and “handed over” to the Museum from Geoffrey Want, former Senior Manager (Director) at British Airways and now Trustee of Brooklands Museum.

Alex Patterson, Director and CEO, Brooklands Museum, said: “As we mark the 50th anniversary of Concorde Delta Golf’s monumental first flight, we celebrate not just a marvel of British aerospace engineering, but a symbol of human ingenuity and ambition. The legacy of Delta Golf – and the entire Concorde programme – is the embodiment of collaboration, innovation, and a leap into the unknown.

“Brooklands itself played a crucial role in Concorde’s construction. Around one-third of each airframe was built at Brooklands before final assembly in Filton and Toulouse. This was in addition to the extensive design and testing work that also took place here, adding to the site’s rich history of engineering and aerospace projects.

“We are immensely proud to be Delta Golf’s final home and were thrilled to share this anniversary with esteemed dignitaries, our members, and the enthusiastic public – all of whom enable Brooklands Museum to care for these immense pieces of our national story. Let us all take inspiration from Delta Golf’s historic journey and the incredible people behind this iconic aircraft, the Concorde.”