Barbados Concorde Experience
In 2003 the Barbados Postal Service issued this commemorative stamp on the 100th anniversary of powered flight.
The following statement was found on their website: "On October 24th, 2003 an era will end when the last British Airways Concorde will fly a commercial journey with civilian passengers aboard. Gone will be the time when you could arrive in New York two (2) hours before you set off according to the clock. The only Supersonic transport ever to go into regular commercial service, Concorde, with its 1960's technology, was the most beautiful aircraft of this era. On August 30th, 2003 Barbadians turned expectant faces to the air, to bid a sad farewell to this sleek and sultry supersonic jet after 21 years of service to their island."
Little did they know that Barbados would not have to say farewell to the Concorde, they can visit the Concorde whenever they wish, as the home of the Concorde
is Barbados, with the opening of the tourist attraction called, "Barbados Concorde Experience."
The star of the show is the Concorde supersonic airliner, which travelled at twice the sound of speed, took its maiden flight in 1969 and then began scheduled flights on January 21, 1976.
Mike Bannister, a retired Concorde captain, described the new attraction as being "the most impressive in the world." Mr. Bannister recalled that "the most memorable experiences of piloting Concorde was flying over Buckingham Palace to salute the queen; flying to Barbados for the very first time; and flying the aircraft back 'home' to Barbados for the final time in 2003."
Visit http://records.fai.org/pilot.asp?from=general_aviation&id=4104 for information about Mr. Bannister's flying records.
The aircraft was initially referred to in Britain as "Concorde," with the French spelling, but was officially changed to "Concord" by Harold Macmillan. 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)."
On July 25, 2000, the Concorde crashed in Paris killing all 100 passengers and nine crew on board the flight, as well as four people on the ground. It was the first and only fatal incident in which it was involved.
The last flight of the Concorde was on November 26, 2003.
The Barbados Concorde Experience, located at Sir Grantley Adams International Airport, Christ Church, includes a virtual flight school and a gift centre and is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The cost of admission is about $18 for adults and $13.00 for children 12 and under. Special group rates are available.
Government of Barbados
- Concorde photographed by Ian Mackenzie
- April 20, 2007
- Map of Barbados
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