Brooklands Concorde

Innovate. Design. Test. Repeat.

We’ve done it again! There are now three Concorde in the world with functioning “droop noses”, two of which are here in the UK, and Hydraulics Online have designed and supplied the hydraulic systems to power both of them…

Concorde G-BBDGThe first UK-based meeting  to discuss Concorde took place at the Brooklands aerodrome, and more than 30% of every Concorde airframe, British and French, was subsequently manufactured there. G-BBDG (known as Delta Golf, pictured) was the British pre-production Concorde built to finalise the Concorde design and to allow the Concorde fleet to receive certification before the other aircraft entered passenger service. She first flew on 13th February 1974, and was the first aircraft to ever carry 100 people at twice the speed of sound – Mach 2 – 1,350mph. Painted in British Airways livery, Delta Golf flew a total of 1282 hours, 9 minutes.

On 24th December 1981, not long after this pictureRed Arrows was taken with the “Red Arrows”, G-BBDG made her final flight and was retired and stored at Filton. She never entered service again and was instead used for spare parts, allowing the airline to operate a fleet of seven aircraft. As well as its nose and tail, other parts were taken including its engines, landing gear and the majority of the components from the hydraulic system. The original nose was later repaired at Brooklands and returned to G-BBDG.

G-BBDG structural partsWhen British Airways and Air France retired their fleets in 2003, Brooklands Museum at Weybridge in Surrey accepted Concorde G-BBDG as a museum exhibit. She was dismantled as far as possible, but still had to be cut up into five major sections to enable transportation to Brooklands Museum; the task of structurally disassembling and reassembling the aircraft was undertaken by Air Salvage International.

Delta Golf was then restored by a team of over 100 volunteers from the museum, assisted by students from the University of Surrey.

Three years, and many thousands of man-hours work later, on 26th July 2006, the Brooklands Concorde was opened to the public with the “Concorde Experience” allowing visitors to enter the aircraft and experience a virtual flight at speeds up to Mach 2.

In 2014, having approached Hydraulics Online for assistance two years earlier, a team of fellow enthusiasts and former Concorde engineers – the Heritage Concorde team – successfully restored power to another Concorde’s nose and visor. On display at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, G-AXDN then became the first UK Concorde to droop her nose since 2003 using a bespoke hydraulic system designed and supplied by Hydraulics Online. (You can read more about this project, Project Salute, here.)

Brooklands ConcordeThe unveiling of Concorde G-AXDN and her droop nose made the headlines and was featured on the BBC News and ITV News as well as being reported on by local and regional press. Restoring the iconic droop nose and visor on G-BBDG was then an obvious further restoration project for the Brooklands Concorde team (pictured) to undertake.

Hydraulics Online designed an external hydraulic system, a bespoke hydraulic power pack, that could be neatly housed within the aircraft and  be connected to G-BBDG’s existing nose hydraulic systems…  allowing the visor and nose to be lowered and raised at any time from within the cockpit.

Jodie KiddModel, racing driver and TV personality, Jodie Kidd was on the final flight of Concorde from New York to London in October 2003, and regularly flew to and from America on the supersonic airliner. It was therefore fitting that she was chosen to unveil the now equally glamorous Brooklands Concorde G-BBDG and her iconic droop nose and visor on 26th July 2016, exactly ten years on from the opening of the Concorde Experience at Brooklands.

So, we’ve done it again; brought an idea to life… made a dream come true. And we couldn’t be prouder. James Cullingham, who led the nose project for the Brooklands Concorde team, thanked Hydraulics Online after the 10th anniversary celebrations saying:

… you supplied exactly what I wanted.

So, whether you have a new idea that you want to prototype, or an existing hydraulic system design that needs improving – we have the knowledge you need. Our hydraulic engineers always relish a challenge, and don’t shy away from fault-finding, diagnostics and solving problems where others may have failed to; it’s all in a day’s work for us. Or as Graham Cahill from the Heritage Concorde team put it:

You reeled off figures and technical data that were way above my understanding, but explained things very well. You don’t just shift boxes; you know your business inside and out. A very big “thank you” from the whole team –  I hope we can continue the great work.

Testimonial: Rayne Precision Engineering

I have passed your cards onto a couple of our maintenance contractors and have given you a high recommendation to them both, so hopefully they too will be using in the future. Thanks for helping to get our repair solved so promptly.

Read More

Testimonial: Engineering Solutions

The valve arrived about 9:00am this morning. The service from you and Steve has been first class, so thank you very much. I shall certainly use your services again and recommend you to others. Thanks again and best regards.

Read More

Testimonial: Philippines

We would like to confirm receipt of your shipment for our initial order: PO# 07623. It was a pleasure having started working with you and we hope this is just the start of a good business relationship between our companies. Again, thank you very much and we look forward for more future business opportunities with you.

Read More

Testimonial: The Netherlands

Thank you for your service with selecting the proper pump. Pumps have arrived this morning and they completely conform with the old pumps.

Read More

Testimonial: Abernethy Trust

Please pass on my thanks to Steven for great customer service and his product knowledge; our gang mowers are back up and working.

Read More

Testimonial: Virginia

Please thank your team very much in helping me solve a pump issue. I needed a pump that was manufactured by a company no longer in business, and Steven was able to locate a duplicate that was manufactured by Parker.

Read More

Testimonial: Gwynedd

Thank you, Joanna. Mark’s quote was from a technical discussion which answered many questions that I have been trying to get without success from other suppliers. Please thank Mark for his time and expertise; it was so refreshing to have a knowledgeable person rather than a sales assistant.

Read More

Testimonial:Missouri

Just wanted to tell you that the pump fits and works perfectly. You were a big help, thank you.

Read More

Testimonial: Lift Company

Hi Mark, Thanks for sorting this out for me so quickly. Absolutely brilliant service… In this day and age it is so rare to come across a company with customer service to this level. Much appreciated.

Read More

Testimonial – Perth

Can you let the boys know that they are providing us with great service, parts and information in all our locations. Your service is prompt and reliable; you’re our “go to” guys when it comes to hydraulics.

Read More
New Monday, new week, new website! Today is the day we are launching our fresh and updated online experience. We’re [...] Read More
We’ve always known that our operations director, Helen is a force of nature, and it has been wonderful this week [...] Read More
Hydraulics Online has come a long way since it was founded in 2004 and, with our fifteenth-year anniversary just around [...] Read More
The decision to leap from a role within a giant tyre manufacturer employing 112,000 people worldwide to a family run [...] Read More

It’s official! We’ve got the vision! Hydraulics Online Co-founder, Helen Tonks has been shortlisted in the 2018 Enterprise Vision Awards […]

Read More

As their North West Business Exporter of the Year, the Federation of Small Businesses asked Hydraulics Online to speak at the 2018 […]

Read More

Hydraulics Online founders Mark and Helen recently had one of their most exciting interviews to date – with the radio […]

Read More

We did it again! Hydraulics Online is delighted to announce that we have been recognised as the North West Business Exporter […]

Read More

Mark’s entry into the fluid power industry was more than a little by chance but he now finds himself leading a […]

Read More

Federation of Small Businesses Award Finalist: North West Business Exporter of the Year We rarely take a step back to […]

Read More