A supersonic ride at Mach 2.02 with my Road King Classic

Yes, again, the title is misleading, but not completely untrue.

These Sundays in October all seem sunny, and again Hogsback Chapter organised a ride, this time to the Brooklands Museum, where a old Concorde can be seen and a virtual flight at Mach 2.02 taken.

Also as on most sunny Sundays in October, it all started at Rykas, a tad too early.

The Empress is waiting for a quick dash to Brooklands – its about time I remove the ugly Swiss road tax vignette

checking out details – boys and their toys

Andy, the ride leader on this Sunday morning

Hope we do not fall asleep when we drive

Concorde Trivia: The aircraft was initially referred to in the UK as “Concorde”, with the French spelling, but was officially changed to “Concord” by Harold Macmillan in response to a perceived slight by Charles de Gaulle. In 1967, at the French roll-out in Toulouse, the British Government Minister for Technology, Tony Benn announced that he would change the spelling back to “Concorde”. This created a nationalist uproar that died down when Benn stated that the suffixed “e” represented “Excellence, England, Europe and Entente (Cordiale).” In his memoirs, he recounts a tale of a letter from an irate Scotsman claiming: “You talk about ‘E’ for England, but part of it is made in Scotland.” Given Scotland’s contribution of providing the nose cone for the aircraft, Benn replied, “It was also ‘E’ for ‘Écosse’ (the French name for Scotland) — and I might have added ‘e’ for extravagance and ‘e’ for escalation as well!”

no, this airplane did not crash in the woods

a rare picture of me – with Jayne

The Brooklands Concorde G-BBDG was the second production Concorde and the first British production Concorde. Construction began in early 1970 at Brooklands and Toulouse.

Concorde G-BBDG, Delta Golf’s first flight was piloted by Brian Trubshaw (29 January 1924 – 25 March 2001) on 13th February 1974 and its first flight at Mach 2 on 10th April 1974 during its 15th test flight. Following a series of proving flights, she became the first production Concorde to land at Heathrow on 6th July 1974.

Used for engineering tests, route proving, CAA certification, public relations and promotional work and even flying in formation with the Red Arrows, “Delta Golf” was also the first aircraft ever to carry 100 passengers in supersonic flight in 1974.

Delta Golf’s final flight was made from Filton on Christmas Eve in 1981 piloted by Peter Baker and Roy Radford.  She had flown for 1,282 hours over 633 flights, and the aircraft was stored at Filton before being sold to British Airways in 1984, who used it as a source of spare parts for its Concorde fleet.

Richard playing with the nose of the Concorde, which can become 127 degrees hot. This temperature on the nose was also the natural speed limiter for the Concorde (Mach 2.02) , as this was the highest temperature that aluminium could sustain over the life of the aircraft.

the old Rolls Royce engine

After Concorde’s retirement was announced in early 2003, British Airways offered “DG” to the Brooklands Museum. Dismantled and transported by Air Salvage International (ASI), the Brooklands-built front and rear fuselage sections arrived on 5th May 2004 and the rest of the airframe followed on 5th June.

A ‘Brooklands Concorde’ restoration appeal was then launched and an ASI team reassembled the main structure from March to December 2005. With considerable help from sponsors and many Museum volunteers, this aircraft was further restored and complete with a unique on-board exhibition, before officially opening to visitors on 26th July 2006.

interior pictures by Richard

‘Delta Golf’ carried out a large part of the certification work that saw Concorde flying in commercial service between 1976 and 2003.

cockpit picture by Richard

Delta Golf was the fastest production Concorde and in 1974 she became the first aircraft ever to carry 100 people at twice the speed of sound – 1,350mph.

Impressive view along the fuselage

Our Road King’s waiting to take us home. The easiest way for me to recognise my Empress are the rear comfort protection bars, sightly angled downwards.

On 29 May 2010, it was reported that a group comprising the British Save Concorde Group and the French Olympus 593 had begun work on inspecting the engines of a Concorde at Le Bourget Air and Space Museum, with the intent to restore the plane to be able to fly again in demonstrations and air shows.

Flying in the opening ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics is also a goal.

The closest I ever saw the Concorde flying was during the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II on the 4 June 2002 in London. Here is a picture I could take with the same camera I am using today (Nikon D1) and my long lens (here at 370mm at 1/400 and f8) during the flypast

Strangely this was a quite emotional moment…

View all 77 pictures in high resolution here:

Art Bleiglass - View my 'Brooklands' set on Flickriver


4 Responses to “A supersonic ride at Mach 2.02 with my Road King Classic”

  1. This brings back memories. Laying on a haystack right on the end of the runway at Duxford with an old flame watching the airshow, only to have concord pass overhead at tall tree height doing a slow pass on afterburners climbing above us. We felt the heat, were drenched in the smell of kerosene, were deafend, and almost fell off the haystack as it was shaking so much. The smell of jet fuel in the morning!

    ps love the blog. I test rode a 2010 RK classic over summer and came this close to taking out the HD finance to realise my dream. Lovely bikes, especially in black. When my Ducati is paid off I may have another attempt.

  2. I love my visits here!
    Thanks for those awesome pictures of bikes and the leather-people!

    Kind regards from Homberg, Germany


  3. I used to love watching Concorde fly and I saw it a number of times. Living in and around London I became used to its unique sound and would always look skyward to see it. I can recall when I was about 24 I saw it for the first time flying over London with its afterburners on, a very rare event indeed – what a sight and what a noise! I stood there with my Mum suddenly feeling very proud to be British (we chose to ignore the fact that it was jointly developed with the French). My only regret was never actually flying in Concorde. What a plane!

  4. Awesome!!!!!!!! Those are the best days.

    That Harrier gives me a chubb, to be honest.

    How are you getting along with your pipes – any upgrades in the works?

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