Thirteen years ago, there was a plan to exhibit one of the Concorde planes next to the London Eye, which never happened, and now a nearly identical plan is making a second attempt.

Back in October 2010, lots of newspapers carried a story about a £22 million project that would build a two-storey pier next to the London Eye, with an exhibition space in the lower deck, and sitting on top would be one of the Concorde planes — G-BOAB, which had become known as Alpha Bravo.

The plane is currently in storage at Heathrow Airport, sitting at the eastern end of the southern runway.

The 2010 scheme apparently had a lot of support from local organisations, doubtless eyeing up the additional tourist spending and had planned to instal the plane in time for the Olympics, but after a flurry of publicity, the scheme sunk without a trace.

2010 scheme (c) RHWL Architects

But in 2023, would the scheme be back?

A new project called Concorde on the Thames and backed by the Club Concorde members group is putting forward very much the same scheme, with a double-deck pier structure with the plane on top and an exhibition space below.

However, the previous scheme, which was backed by some deep pocketed investors, failed to raise the funding needed, and this latest plan is based on crowdfunding to raise the money for the planning application alone. If they can raise the estimated £500,000 they need and get planning permission, they still need to raise the vastly larger sum for the pontoon deck itself and to move Concorde from Heathrow to central London.

The proposers say they have spoken to a number of people who would need to support their plans, and that they have backing if they can secure the planning permission first.

2023 scheme (c) Concorde on the Thames

Yes, it would be wonderful to see the Heathrow Concorde moved somewhere that it can more easily be seen, and as a Londoner, I should be supporting the idea of this major tourist attraction popping up in central London.

However, there’s already a Concorde on display in London at Brooklands, and while it’s not central London, it’s pretty easy to get to.

There’s also a Concorde in Bristol at Filton, one near Cambridge at the IWM in Duxford, one at the National Museum of Flight in Scotland, another in Manchester at the Runway Visitor Park and a sixth is at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Somerset

To spread the opportunities to see a Concorde more equitably across the UK, maybe the Heathrow plane should go somewhere in northeast England or Northern Ireland.

That would be a campaign worth getting behind.


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  1. ChrisC says:

    There isn’t a cat in heck’s chance of that getting permission to build something of that size in the river.

    And they don’t even have the plane themselves.

    As I understand it whilst BA donated Concordes to various institutions they either retain ownership or have a veto right on what happens to them.

  2. Martin'O'Mendip says:

    I’m reminded of the time that the Science Museum’s early test-Concorde (loaned to Yeovilton) started having the problem that its wheel-props were forcing themselves up through the wings as, said one consultant, “it had never been engineered to stand on them for that long”.

    • Paul Caswell says:

      First obstacle is getting it there, yes you can cut it and transport it, I’ve already done that with G-BOAA which is in Edinburgh. Once that is done you need to put it back together, which also can be done. However OAB has No engines, No Cabin Interior and most of the flight deck instruments have been removed to furnish DG at Brooklands.

  3. Chris Rogers says:

    Even if it were possible, it’d be better at canary wharf

  4. Andrew says:

    I’ve always thought Heathrow is rather an apt place to keep one of the Concordes and still get excited trying to see it out of the window whilst taxiing around the airport. It’d be a shame to move it.

    • Melanie Domb says:

      BA have left that Concorde to rot on the runway at Heathrow. It’s not maintained and nobody gets to see it except for a fleeting glance if you’re taking off or landing there. It would be much better if it had a permanent home where people could actually see it. Although I’m not sure that The Thames is that place

    • Andrew says:

      I agree it’s somewhat wasted in its current position but Heathrow is still a fitting resting place. It would be amazing if it was linked up to one of the terminals with a permanent jetbridge giving travellers the ability to go on board but parking space is at a premium at Heathrow.

  5. Ron.Brown says:

    As a precision engineer.early 60s produced fuel systems for the few TSR2.then on my own to start my own engineering Company then later with a partner on to employing gradually 10 top guys we then made fuel systems for about 25 Concords.was sent from Filton 3 first class stamps of concord.thanking me.then fuel systems for first Harrier Jump jet .and also photomotiplier plates for the first emi brain and body scanner. I have as a ameture photographer taken 60 10×4 coloured photographs at London airport 2003 being there all day untill dusk for the landing and big red carpet for the last 4 Concords. Also a lot of work under control.of the mod.gun sights for the tanks in the Falklands war.and dashboard screens for the tornado jet.filteration units for submarines and much more .I am 84 years old
    When I was 5 during the war .my father was a warden .one night outside a v 1 German rocket came over.dudel bug.engine said run in to our Morrison shelter.came down top of the road blue up 2 houses killing 9 of our friends.and the blast blue in our french Windows and most of the plaster of the walls covering us in dust.and my dad was in the 14..18 war at 16 years old
    So many stories .wounded twice .won’t bore you any more.thank you been in concord at brooklands for take off procedure.fantastic.

  6. Nick says:

    A Concorde on the Thames would be nice, but not where the access point is at the most overcrowded and narrow point along the embankment.

  7. Andy says:

    Concorde AD is sitting on Pier 86 in New York. So it can be done, however the pier was already there!
    Would love to see it on the Thames as I did fly on Alpha Bravo from Heathrow although only to Paris Le Bourget but did go supersonic over Bay of Biscay.

  8. Paul Chapman says:

    It should remain at Heathrow but be located on the roundabout at the main entrance to the airport at the A4 junction where everyone can view it.

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