Concorde to be training aid for new engineers

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The Independent Online

The first Concorde to be given a new home after its flying retirement last week is to become a training tool for student engineers.

One of the distinctive airliners, which went out of commercial use last Friday, is to fly to Manchester airport. The airport's general manager, Peter Hampson, who led a six-month bidding campaign to bring one of the supersonic jets to the region, said it was a major coup.

Mr Hampson said having the aircraft based in Manchester would "undoubtedly make it one of the best training grounds in the UK for the engineers of tomorrow".

The airport is investing more than £500,000 in housing the great plane at an aviation viewing park. David Evans, general manager of British Airways, said he was "delighted" Concorde was going to a good home in Manchester.

"This is the 205th time Concorde will fly into Manchester," he said yesterday.

He said the aircraft, which "engenders passion like no other machine", would be looked after with tender, loving care at Manchester.

John Spooner, Manchester Airport's managing director, said the arrival of Concorde - which he described as "an old friend to Manchester" - was fantastic news for the region.

He said: "Given Concorde's unique appeal in aviation history and Manchester's status as a centre of science and technology, it is fitting that one of the fleet has a permanent, final home here at the airport."

The seven supersonic jets in the fleet made their final commercial flights last week, which sparked emotional scenes across the UK among its many thousands of fans.

Yesterday, BA ended speculation as to where the iconic planes would spend their retirement, with the announcement that three Concordes would be given permanent homes overseas, with the remaining four being kept in the UK and some of them being turned into museums.