[Click here for The First Concorde Prototype]
[Click here for British Airways' Official Concorde Site]
[Click here for Concorde Wallpaper and Free Screensaver]
[BBC Bristol Concorde Page]
[BBC Concorde Filton Documentary]
[Braniff/British Airways Concorde Seat Wallpaper]
[Braniff/British Airways Retirement Flight 2003]
[LAST CONCORDE FLIGHT VIDEO]
Lady Braniff protecting Concorde in flight.
From a 1972 Stock Certificate
Proposed Schemes for Boeing's SST and Braniff's Concorde from the late 1960s.
Braniff had placed orders for both transports by 1968
Braniff Airways and SST Development
In 1961, an International Meeting on SST development was held in Montreal, Canada. Then President, Charles Beard, sent well-respected Braniff Vice President R.V. Carleton to the committee where he nobly served as Chairman. Braniff wanted, like many other airlines, a Supersonic future for its customers.
This article appeared in a 1970 issue of Braniff's "B-Liner" Company Newsletter.
Click on pic for a larger image
Click on pic for larger image
Concorde opens D/FW Airport
The first visit of the Concorde to the United States was to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in September 1973 to dedicate the new airport.
This is Concorde 002, the sister ship to 001. Braniff hosted the event.
A plaque was presented to Braniff with the following inscription, "THE FIRST LANDING OF A SUPERSONIC TRANSPORT IN THE UNITED STATES WAS MADE AT DALLAS-FORT WORTH AIRPORT BY CONCORDE 02 WHICH TOOK PART IN THE DEDICATION CEREMONIES OF THE AIRPORT OVER THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 20TH TO 23RD ,1973. THIS COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE WAS PRESENTED TO BRANIFF INTERNATIONAL BY THE MANUFACTURERS OF CONCORDE: AEROSPATIALE (FRANCE) AND BRITISH AIRCRAFT CORPORATION."
Menu from the very FIRST Concorde flight to the United States hosted by Braniff International.
Very Exclusive fare with Champagne Dom Ruinart 1966 and French Cheese among the selections.
Menu reads: "Ce menu a ete realise par
le Chef de "Braniff International"
First SST US Cover
Dr. James M. Watts (Our Director's father) in a Braniff VIP lounge in 1979 (on left)
Photo Copyright © 1979, 2001 Brooke D. Watts, all rights reserved.
Air France and Braniff International first Training flight cover (on right)
Training was done in and over Ireland.
Proposed Braniff Concorde Paint Scheme (due to be applied in 1980)
First Braniff opertional Concorde flight from D/FW to Washington D.C.
(In Washington, British Airways or Air France crews would take over for the
transatlantic portion of the flight) Concorde is shown in "proposed" BI scheme.
British Airways and Braniff International first Interchange flight cover
from 1979. Braniff operated both British and French Concordes to
Washington D.C. and New York from D/FW under Braniff control and Braniff pilots.
British Airways and Air France pilots would fly the transatlantic portion of the flight to London and Paris, or from London and Paris to New York or Washington D.C. where Braniff pilots would again gain control for the flight to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.
This is a special and RARE cover because both Braniff pilots and British Airways
pilots hand signed this cover.
Also signed by the legendary "Jock" Lowe of British Airways. Captain Lowe joined BOAC (British Airways’ predecessor) in 1970 as a First Officer on the airline’s Vickers VC-10 fleet. Captain Lowe transferred to the Concorde fleet in 1976, the first year of commercial supersonic service, and continued to fly the aircraft until 1999. In 1982 he was appointed Concorde Division Resource Manager responsible for Concorde revenue, costs and product. In 1986 he became General Manager Operations Control with total responsibility for the department which oversees the day to day operations of the airline’s entire fleet of 350 aircraft. Following the merger of British Airways and British Caledonian, he took on the additional responsibility of Operations Co-ordinator for London Gatwick Airport. Captain Lowe became Director of Flight Operations and Chief Pilot for British Airways. In 1996, he was appointed Concorde Commercial Manager and in 1999 was seconded to Olympic Airways as Group Operations Director. Jock was Chairman of Airways Aero Organisation, a subsidiary of British Airways, which runs Wycombe Air Park and was a member of the National Air Traffic Advisory Services Research Advisory Committee. Since retirement Jock Lowe continues to be an aviation consultant, President of AAA Ltd a Trustee of the UK Confidential Human Factors reporting programme, a GAPAN warden, Chairman of the RaeS Environment Committee and Director, Regional Airports Ltd.
This was flown by Concorde 212, G-BOAE. In 1979, Braniff leased both British Airways and Air France Concordes from those two airlines. Technically, Braniff owned the Concorde for 1 1/2 years, but the planes were still insured by BA and AF, so a British or French flight crew member would have to supervise the domestic leg to make the insurance companies happy. It was re-registered in 1979 to N94AE for US service. (The FAA requires an "N" number on all U.S. planes flying DOMESTIC revenue flights.) When this plane traveled to London, England from New York JFK, a sticker was removed revealing the "G-" designation. So it flew to England as G-N94AE. It was re-registered back to G-BOAE in England after cancellation of Braniff service in June 1980.
Mr. Watts, Captain Dean Smith (who piloted this plane for Braniff) and Concorde Ground Handler
Joe Mitchell flew on this exact plane on August 23, 2003 in commeration of BA-BI service.
("The Braniff Pages" - Brooke Watts private collection)
(Left) British Airways' G-BOAA re-registered N94AA for Braniff (Right) Captain Dean Smith, on far right, training to fly Concorde in France 1978-79.
Braniff Concorde Interchange cover
Brooke Watts collection
Braniff Pilots, Co-Pilots and Flight Engineers were picked by Braniff's Flight Operations. It was decided by Braniff, British Airways and Air France to send nine Braniff flight crew to "Aeroformation" (owned by Airbus and U.S. Flight Safety International) in Toulouse, France to learn Concorde. Five other BI crew would train with BA crews in Bristol at British Aerospace.
"On the first day (in Toulouse) we showed up in coat and tie to our first training class. We asked, ' What is the dress code?' The French replied, 'What dress code?' After that, we could wear whatever we wanted. The guys up in Bristol had to wear a coat and tie every day. They (BAC) were much more adament about neatness in England," Captain Dean Smith
More on Braniff training to be posted...
"Inauguration of Braniff's Concorde service was originally set to begin on Nov. 1, 1978, but by this time, had been in definitely delayed," Captain Ken Larson "There were still many details to work out, one being that of airplane ownership while the U.S. crews were flying it. We were obligated to "buy" (or lease from a leasing company) it from the foreign carrier each trip and sell it back to them the next day when they (British Airways or Air France) flew it."
Also in 1978 the Concorde supersonic airliner made its first landing at Amarillo (Texas) during a Braniff Airways demonstration flight.
On December 9th 1978 British Airways (BA) took a Concorde from IAD (Washington Dullas Airport) and flew to DFW to partake in the US FAA check rides for the Braniff crew and training. Cabin crew were also checked out during these flights to 16 cities that took place from Dec 10 to the 14th inclusively. We had onboard 2 FAA Inspectors who monitored the flights which were under the training of BA Capt Tony Meadows and BA Capt Brian Walpole, Senior BA Flight Engineer George Floyd, and Senior BA Engineer Terry Quarry.
"I was Flight Operations Manager USA for BA based at JFK NY. I am also an Airline Transport Pilot and Flight Instructor. I did the performance calculations for takeoff and arrival for the noise abatement compliance for each airport," - Campbell B. Pritchett
Onboard for BN was Capt Dale Sates, Capt Griffin, Flt Engineers Alan Palmer, Dave Saunders, and Charlie Woods. The FAA approval for Braniff to fly Concorde came on Jan 9, 1979.
Capt Paul Sturbins was the Flt Manager based in the North East at JFK. "We worked very closely together in coordinating much of the planning for the BN crew UK and France trips," - Campbell Pritchett.
Cambell Pritchett was with British Airways/British Overseas Air Corporation/British European Airways (BA) for 40 years and retired in 1999. His last position was North American Safety Manager for BA.
On January 12, 1979, Captain Glenn Shoop at the controls of the British Airways Concorde G-BOAE (N94AE), and Captain Ken Larson at the controls of the Air France Concorde F-BVFC (N94FC) made a stunning parallel landing on the two West runways at D/FW to open Braniff Concorde Service.
"The flight went beautifully, and even the weather cooperated. We were cleared by DFW Approach Control to make visual approaches, so about 40 miles from the airport we began to plan for simultaneous landings, to the south, on parallel runways. The British Airways Concorde (Piloted by Captain Glenn Shoop...I was flying the Air France Concorde) was about five miles to the right and in front of us when they started their left turn to final approach. We turned inside to try and turn to stay abeam of them. Then on a 12 mile final, adjusted our speeds so the touch-downs were accomplished within a second of each other. We met at the south end of the runway and taxied together on parallel taxiways to the Braniff Terminal, parking nose to nose at the gates. our noses, of course, were both at five degrees for taxiing, so together, we lowered them to 12 1/2 degrees, raised them back up and raised the visors, as a salute. Our first flight introducing the Concorde was now history," Captain Ken Larson.
It was good enough to wow the crowd at Dallas/Fort Worth that day!
Later, on the 12th, Braniff began Revenue Concorde service.
British Airways and Air France Concordes at "The Braniff Terminal"
D/FW International Airport on INAUGURATION DAY.
Same event. Photo taken from the roof of "The Braniff Terminal" by Tom Armstrong
(Notice the "Calder Flying Colors of the United States" 727 on the right)
Inaguration of Concorde service to D/FW airport by Braniff International in conjuction with British Airways and Air France on 12 January 1979.
(Picture taken of two Concordes, BA on left and AF or right, "nose to nose" in front of The Braniff Terminal, Terminal 2W, now Terminal B, Gates 12 & 13)
(Left to Right) Dallas Mayor, Bob Folsom...Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Robert G. Gerrard...Deputy Chairman and C.E.O. British Airways, Ross Stainton...Chairman of Braniff, Harding Lawrence...President and C.O.O. Braniff, Russell Thayer...Senior V.P. and Asst. General Manager Air France, Jean Claude Martin...Executive Director Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Ernie Dean...Chairman of D/FW Regional Airport Board, Henry Stuart
Braniff Concorde Schedules and Operations
Service with both British Airways and Air France Concordes began on 13 January 1979
Concorde instrument panel taken by Captain Smith on a flight to Washington. The "Mach" gauge is at .95 (just under the speed of sound), and the altitude is 32,880 feet MSL. You can see the Braniff Concorde is headed almost due East and is in a slight climb.
Braniff would usually take off for Washington D.C. in the mornings (8am for BA, 9am for AF) and attain an altitude of 35,000 to 37,000 feet. Top speed was Mach .95 (just under the speed of sound), but sometimes they went Mach 1 on the trip.
"Occasionally, when we were light and there was a good tailwind...we went over Mach 1, although not for very long. At Mach 1 (the Speed of Sound), there is a lot of resistance due to the airflow and dynamics of Supersonic transition. So, even though we didn't plan Supersonic travel over land, it happened," Capt. Smith.
Braniff trained their flight hostesses at "The Braniff Hostess College." While a total of 14 Braniff pilots (3 Captains, 5 First officers, 4 Flight and engineers and two "check" pilots) were trained in Ireland, France and Great Britain with British Airways, Air France and BAC crews.
On the Braniff leg, One Captain, one First Officer, one Flight Engineer and one BA or AF crew member would occupy the cockpit. Six Hostesses served the 100 passengers. (4 in the two cabins, and one at each galley). The FAA specifies that you MUST have at least one Flight attendant for every 50 passengers. Concorde had 3 times the government requirement. (British Airways and Air France also used the same number)
At Washington, a vinyl sticker (14-15" X 24") was removed revealing the "G-BO" (Great Britain) or "F-WT" (France) letters, allowing the aircraft to travel on to London or Paris. On U.S. domestic flights, the stickers were place over the foreign registration and sported the "N81" or "N94" letters.
At this point, British Airways or Air France crews would take over, and fly the "normal" Concorde routes to London or Paris taking the "white swan" to Mach 2 and 57,000-60,000 feet.
Flight certificates were kept in the forward lav of the airplane, and had to to be switched at Dulles.
"We put all our BA docs into the forward loo, and they used quite separate docs and checklists. On the FAA register they could not use the autloand [sic] in CAt 3 conditions, as their airline president Harding Lawrence had refused to pay for the certification of pilots for this. The FAA required 12 training approaches for each pilot to gain approval. So if the Dulles winter weather produced low visibibility we could get in from LHR, but they could not get in from Dallas. On arrival from Dallas the G would be reapplied during the transit, and the BA crew would climb on board top find that the Braniff crew had left yellow roses on each seat. They never did get to fly Concorde supersonic, and were therefore miserable about this," - Former British airways Concorde Pilot
Why Braniff Retired Concorde
Braniff Pages D/FW "Dean Smith" Concorde Gallery:
Click on images below to pull up FULL PICTURE
Click on images below to pull up FULL PICTURE
Tom Armstrong was a BI emp from 3/75 to 5/82--first in HOU Res and then various airport locations. He was on the roof at DFW the day the two Concordes landed. And, he was the ONLY non-crew member "rank 'n file" employee on the flight to IAD the next day (because he paid full fare in order to be able to ride on that flight).
Here is an interesting picture on "Airliners.net":
British/Singapore Concorde operating for Braniff
Singapore Airlines was also operating an interchange with British Airways at the same time as Braniff. (though not the whole fleet as Braniff did)
BA and AF Concordes at Dulles and BA's 1970s Scheme taking off
(Concorde was to be painted in the "Braniff" Orange "BI" scheme in 1980)
Braniff flew Concorde under BA and AF liveries...no Concorde was ever painted in the "Braniff scheme"
(pictures by Images in Industry and British Aircraft)
Concorde 212, G-BOAE on its delivery flight to British Airways in 1977.
This is the same Concorde, as above, that flew the first Braniff flight from
London to Dallas/Fort Worth in January, 1979. (And the Concorde we flew in August 2003)
The plane was less than two years old when it started service with Braniff.
Even though the cover says this is the last Concorde delivered to BA,
one more was delivered in 1980.
G-BOAE was retired to the Island of Barbados in November 2003.
Cover picture courtesy Jim Watts, Hampshire, United Kingdom
Click on this pic for a larger image
In 1982, Braniff Captain Ken Larson published a 140 page book on Concorde.
Larson flew a "B-17 Flying Fortress" in the 8th Air Force against Nazi Germany in the 1940s. He was hired by Braniff after the war in November 1948.
His License included: Convair 240/340/440, Curtis-Wright C-46, Douglas DC-6/7, Boeing 707/720, Boeing 727, BAC-111, Boeing 747 and Concorde.
Capt. Glenn Shoop and Dean Smith also piloted Concorde, and trained with Capt. Larson.
British Airways Concorde next to "747 Braniff Place" at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in 1979.
Fatal Air France Concorde taking off July 25, 2000 (on left),
and British Airways Kevlar Linings that were installed on BA aircraft to insure saftey when they returned to service in 2001. Sadly, Concorde was retired on October 24, 2003 for good. (on right).
See our "Concorde News" page for Museum allocations.
A British Airways Concorde in the current "Chatham Dockyards"
Union Jack Scheme. This design was introduced in 1997.
Images Courtesy British Airways
For Britain's first Concorde, 101 at Duxford, England Click here
To return to "The Braniff Pages," close the seperate "browser."
Courtesy of "The Imperial War Museum, London"
Braniff Concorde Luggage sticker
Brooke Watts collection
Braniff Concorde model (N81AC) made by Jet-X, California
British Airways Corgi model G-BOAC in background
(c) Picture Brooke Watts
Why Braniff Retired Concorde
In the Spring of 1980, the decision was made to withdrawn SST service from Dallas/Fort Worth. The reason had nothing to do with Braniff's later shut-down in 1982.
Load factors on the D/FW to Washington route on Concorde were very low. In fact, most of the time, only 15 people would be on board. Braniff had first charged a 10% premium over regular First Class fares to fly on the majestic plane. But after initial loads were small, Braniff reduced Concorde fares to the same level as its regular First Class fares.
What puzzled Braniff was that its Boeing 727s were flying full on the same route, but sadly, Concorde was mostly empty.
Braniff's last Concorde flight was an Air France Concorde in June of 1980. About 60 people were on board for the final Braniff flight.
Concorde would sail on for another 13 years for both British Airways and Air France (although only British Airways managed to make it profitable). In 2003, both airlines grounded their fleets and put them in museums.
© 2001-2004 "The Braniff Pages"