Brooklands Museum celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Concorde’s first official flight with a special event that included the unveiling of a painting of the aircraft by a renowned aviation artist.

The plane, Delta Golf, was one of six developmental Concordes used to validate the design ahead of commercial aircraft production. 

The painting by Simon Atack, Speedbird Delta Golf Over Brooklands, now hangs in the members’ bar while a limited run of prints, signed by the artist alongside Concorde pilots and engineers, were on sale from the museum shop. 

It was the first time Brooklands Museum had commissioned a limited-edition print to help support the future of its collections.

Guests took part in a celebratory cake-cutting ceremony beneath Delta Golf before a fortunate member of the public was given the task of 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, possibly setting a 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 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 1,282 hours of testing. 

The efforts of these aircraft, pilots, technicians, and engineers allowed the Concorde fleet to receive certification and achieve supersonic commercial travel, while also demonstrating the aerospace prowess of Britain and France.

Delta Golf last flew on December 24, 1981 before being stored in a hangar at Filton Airfield, near Bristol, where it was used by British Airways as a source of spare parts. Eventually, it was broken up and moved to Brooklands in 2004 for restoration, which was followed by a public unveiling in 2006. 

The guest of honour at the 50th-anniversary celebration was Prince Michael of Kent, the museum’s royal patron, who had received “the keys” to Delta Golf when it was unveiled and handed over to the museum by Geoffrey Want, then British Airways’ senior manager (director) and now a museum trustee.

Alex Patterson, the museum director and CEO, said: “We celebrate not just a marvel of British aerospace engineering, but a symbol of human ingenuity and ambition. 

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

“We are immensely proud to be Delta Golf’s final home.’’