Concorde To Be Displayed At Floyd Bennett Field
Concorde, the supersonic jet that continually disrupted life and rattled windows on the peninsula as it flew in and out of John F. Kennedy Airport until two years ago, will once again be in Rockaway's orbit as it will be temporarily relocated to Floyd Bennett Field, perhaps as soon as late November.
Officials of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, where the Concorde has been on display, said this week that they had arranged to have the aircraft displayed outside the Aviator Sports and Recreation complex at the Brooklyn airfield until the restoration on the ship museum is complete and the pier can be rehabbed - at least 18 months.
They say the plan is still viable although tugboats failed last Monday to tow the aircraft carrier to Bayonne, New Jersey, for the first phase of the renovation.
British Airways, the owner of the aircraft, refused to allow it to be towed to Bayonne - and into obscurity - during the time the renovations were being made. The company wanted the jet back if the Intrepid could not find a public place to display it during that period.
Aviator Sports and Recreation, a new sports complex at Floyd Bennett, part of Gateway National Recreation Area, saw displaying the Concorde as a way to improve its visibility.
Aviator will pay an estimated $75,000 to $100,000 to transport the 203-foot long aircraft from the west side of Manhattan to Brooklyn and back.
Wells said that the plan was for the Concorde to be moved on its present barge to the east side of Floyd Bennett, where an unused seaplane ramp sticks out into Jamaica Bay. Then, he said, a crane would be used to lift the aircraft from the barge to the tarmac.
If Concorde's tires can be inflated, he said, it would then be rolled across the field to the Aviator complex. If not, it would be placed on a sled and towed to the complex. Officials at Aviator say that they hope to allow visitors to board and tour the historic aircraft, but they will not make that decision until the aircraft is in place at the field.
The last British Airways Concorde to fly out of John F. Kennedy departed early on the morning of October 24, 2003. At the time, Congressman Anthony Weiner, who sponsored a bill to force the Concorde to stop its flights over New York City, said he was glad it was gone.
Those who gathered to watch the flight depart for the last time raised a glass of champagne to the plane, which was done in by the economics of declining ridership and rising maintenance costs.
This week, Weiner said of the announcement, "So long as they don't want to fly it back into Floyd Bennett Field, it's cool."