2008-10-24 / Community

Concorde Sails Back To Intrepid Museum

The Concorde is barged under the Gil Hodges Marine Parkway Bridge on its way from Aviator Sports in Brooklyn to its home in Mahattan. The Concorde is barged under the Gil Hodges Marine Parkway Bridge on its way from Aviator Sports in Brooklyn to its home in Mahattan. The days when Rockaway residents could view the Concorde at Aviator Sports simply by driving southbound on Flatbush Avenue to the Gil Hodges Marine Parkway Bridge are over.

The British Airways speedbird sailed away on a Weeks Marine barge late last week, heading for its refurbished permanent home at the Intrepid Air, Sea and Space Museum on Manhattan's west side. After an intermediate stop at Jersey City for the weekend, the massive jet airliner, which traveled at the speed of sound when it was in service, was gingerly dropped on Monday by a giant marine crane back on a renovated barge across from the Intrepid on Pier 86.

The Concorde, owned by British Airways, was loaned to the Intrepid when transatlantic service was ended more than five years ago. Its return completes a $120 million restoration of the museum after a year of work on the pier itself.

The Concorde suffered nose damage while it was on loan at Aviator Sports while the Intrepid pier was undergoing renovation.

The nose of the 203-foot-long plane was knocked off by an errant delivery truck, but the damage was repaired before the plane was shipped back to Manhattan.

"There she goes - the Concorde is airborne!" cried Intrepid president Bill White as a huge crane, the largest of its type in the world, lifted the 71-ton plane off the barge onto its new home.

The airliner set a New York to London speed record of two hours and 59 minutes in 1999, a mark that still stands.

The Intrepid Museum, including the Concorde, will open to the public on November 8.

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