Concorde British Airways Model
Fly in the classic Concorde British Airways Model in this hand crafted recreation. Each model is carved from wood and hand crafted to provide a piece you’ll love.
Length – 22 inches
The Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde (/ˈkɒŋkɔːrd/) is a British–French turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner that was operated until 2003. It had a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound, at Mach 2.04 (1,354 mph or 2,180 km/h at cruise altitude), with seating for 92 to 128 passengers. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued flying for the next 27 years. It is one of only two supersonic transports to have been operated commercially; the other is the Soviet-built Tupolev Tu-144, which operated in the late 1970s.
Concorde was jointly developed and manufactured by Sud Aviation (later Aérospatiale) and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) under an Anglo-French treaty. Twenty aircraft were built, including six prototypes and development aircraft. Air France (AF) and British Airways (BA) were the only airlines to purchase and fly Concorde. The aircraft was used mainly by wealthy passengers who could afford to pay a high price in exchange for the aircraft’s speed and luxury service. For example, in 1997, the round-trip ticket price from New York to London was $7,995 ($12.7 thousand in 2019 dollars), more than 30 times the cost of the cheapest option to fly this route.
The original programme cost estimate of £70 million met huge overruns and delays, with the program eventually costing £1.3 billion. It was this extreme cost that became the main factor in the production run being much smaller than anticipated. Later, another factor, which affected the viability of all supersonic transport programmes, was that supersonic flight could only be used on ocean-crossing routes, to prevent sonic boom disturbance over populated areas. With only seven airframes each being operated by the British and French, the per-unit cost was impossible to recoup, so the French and British governments absorbed the development costs. British Airways and Air France were able to operate Concorde at a profit, in spite of very high maintenance costs, because the aircraft was able to sustain a high ticket price.
Among other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights from London’s Heathrow Airport and Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia and Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados; it flew these routes in less than half the time of other airliners.
Concorde won the 2006 Great British Design Quest, organised by the BBC and the Design Museum of London, beating other well-known designs such as the BMC Mini, the miniskirt, the Jaguar E-Type, the London Tube map and the Supermarine Spitfire. The type was retired in 2003, three years after the crash of Air France Flight 4590, in which all passengers and crew were killed. The general downturn in the commercial aviation industry after the September 11 attacks in 2001 and the end of maintenance support for Concorde by Airbus (the successor company of both Aérospatiale and BAC) also contributed to the retirement.
British Airways (BA) is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, headquartered in London, England, near its main hub at Heathrow Airport. It is the second largest airline in the United Kingdom, based on fleet size and passengers carried, behind easyJet. In January 2011 BA merged with Iberia, creating the International Airlines Group (IAG), a holding company registered in Madrid, Spain. IAG is the world’s third-largest airline group in terms of annual revenue and the second-largest in Europe. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the FTSE 100 Index. British Airways is the first passenger airline to have generated more than $1 billion on a single air route in a year (from 1 April 2017, to 31 March 2018, on the New York-JFK – London-Heathrow route).
BA was created in 1974 after a British Airways Board was established by the British government to manage the two nationalised airline corporations, British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways, and two regional airlines, Cambrian Airways and Northeast Airlines. On 31 March 1974, all four companies were merged to form British Airways. However, it marked 2019 as its centenary based on predecessor companies. After almost 13 years as a state company, BA was privatised in February 1987 as part of a wider privatisation plan by the Conservative government. The carrier expanded with the acquisition of British Caledonian in 1987, Dan-Air in 1992, and British Midland International in 2012. Its pre-eminence highlights the reach of the country’s influence as many of its destinations in several regions were historically part of the British Empire.
It is a founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance, along with American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, and the now-defunct Canadian Airlines. The alliance has since grown to become the third-largest, after SkyTeam and Star Alliance.
History of British Airways
British Airways (BA), the United Kingdom’s national airline, was formed in 1974 with the merger of the two largest UK airlines, British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and British European Airways (BEA), and including also two smaller regional airlines, Cambrian Airways and Northeast Airlines. The merger was the completion of a consolidation process started in 1971 with the establishment of the British Airways Board, a body created by the British government to control the operations and finances of BOAC and BEA, which initially continued to exist as separate entities.
British Airways acquired the supersonic Concorde in 1976, operating it on transatlantic services. The same year it assumed sole operation of international flights to North America and Southeast Asia from rival British Caledonian. The formation of Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984 began a tense rivalry, which led to “one of the most bitter and protracted libel actions in aviation history”.
Under the leadership of Chairman Sir John King and CEO Colin Marshall, British Airways was privatised in February 1987, and in July of the same year it launched the controversial takeover of British Caledonian. Following privatisation, British Airways entered a period of rapid growth, leading to the use of the slogan “The World’s Favourite Airline”, and dominated its domestic rivals during the early 1990s. Faced with increased competition and higher costs in the mid-1990s, CEO Bob Ayling led a restructuring effort, leading to trade union clashes; the carrier also invested in regional European airlines, courted international airline partnerships, and attempted a controversial ethnic livery rebranding campaign.
In the early 2000s, CEO Rod Eddington implemented further cost cuts, the retirement of Concorde, and the removal of ethnic liveries. Under Willie Walsh, who became CEO in 2005, British Airways faced a price-fixing scandal, moved its primary hub to Heathrow Terminal 5, and experienced threats of industrial action, leading to a strike in March 2010. On 8 April 2010, it was confirmed that British Airways and Iberia Airlines had agreed to a merger, forming the International Airlines Group, although BA continues to operate under its own brand. The combined airline became the world’s third-largest carrier (after Delta Air Lines and American Airlines) in terms of annual revenue.