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Welcome home, Concorde

The last model to be built was towed to its new home at an aviation museum in Bristol, England that will open this summer.

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The last Concorde to be built was on the move again yesterday for the first time in 13 years.

It didn't thunder into the sky on a supersonic flight, but instead was towed a quarter mile across its birthplace, Bristol Filton Airport in southwest England, into a purpose-built hangar. There it will be the centerpiece of Aerospace Bristol, a new £16 million aviation museum scheduled to open this summer.

The British Airways plane, named Alpha Foxtrot after its official registration, was the last Concorde to be built and made its first flight from Filton in 1979. It also was the last Concorde to fly, making its final journey from London's Heathrow Airport to Bristol on November 26, 2003.

Alpha Foxtrot has since been parked along the runway at Bristol where Airbus, the successor company to the Anglo-French partnership that designed and built the Concorde, spent £3 million continually maintaining it. In its new museum home, visitors will be able to walk through the aircraft, sit in the passenger seats and see what it would have been like to be a passenger.

British Airways and Air France flew the Concorde between London, Paris and New York from 1977 to 2003, bringing a taste of supersonic flight to the rich and famous. Of the 20 aircraft built, 18 still exist, with all but two on display for public viewing at museums in France, Germany, the UK, the US and Barbados.

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