Making Aviation Dreams Come True! Next stop: Manchester

A Hydraulics Online Case Study

Hydraulics Online made dreams come true again! Concorde G-BOAC, aka “Alpha Charlie”, located at the Manchester Airport Runway Visitor Park, became the third UK Concorde with a restored moving nose and visor, expertly engineered by our Cheshire-based designers and the Heritage Concorde team.

In January 2019, Heritage Concorde, The Aviation Society and the Manchester Runway Visitor Park proudly announced that the nose on Concorde G-BOAC had been successfully restored – using the same proven methods carried out by Hydraulics Online in 2014 on Concorde 101 G-AXDN, on display at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, and in 2016 on Concorde G-BBDG at Brooklands Museum, Surrey.

The droop-nose configuration is a distinctive feature of Concorde. When in service, the pilot would lower the nose cone to improve visibility of the runway and taxiways. When in flight, the nose would be raised to enable supersonic flight speed.

The completion of the restoration couldn’t have come at a better time. Concorde celebrated its golden jubilee on 2nd March 2019, marking 50 years since the first Concorde flight which took off from Toulouse at 13:30 GMT on 2nd March 1969. Click here for further jubilee event details.

We must first start by thanking The Aviation Society, Runway Visitor Park and Hydraulics Online Ltd for their continued support with this exciting project (Heritage Concorde).

The Mighty G-BOAC

Concorde G-BOAC (affectionately known as ‘Alpha Charlie’) became the second aircraft to join the UK’s Concorde fleet when she was delivered to British Airways on 13 February 1976.

She’s considered to be the flagship of the fleet as she carries the registration plate BOAC – the initials of British Overseas Airways Corporation, the airline that merged with BEA (British European Airways) to form British Airways.

On 1 September 1975, Concorde G-BOAC became the first aircraft to make four Atlantic crossings in one day. She was also the first Concorde in commercial service to land on US soil at Washington Dulles airport, on 24 May 1976.

Alpha Charlie truly was a remarkable supersonic aircraft. On 19 December 1985, she travelled at 1,488 mph – the highest recorded ground speed for a commercial airliner and a record that still stands today! Source: Heritage Concorde

Concorde droop nose G-BOAC lifting off

ExxonMobil donated all their remaining stock of M2V oil to Heritage Concorde and its associated groups for the use on any Concorde worldwide. They also picked up the cost of shipping the oil to the UK. Graham Cahill from Heritage Concorde commented: “We cannot thank ExxonMobil enough for this generous donation which has made the restoration of Concorde much easier, and will power the already restored noses for many years to come.”

Graham Cahill, Director of Projects at Heritage Concorde commented:


We would like to thank Hydraulics Online Ltd, who once again, have provided fabulous technical support for the project. We used one of their power packs to power the nose: it’s a proven bespoke design, which has worked flawlessly on two other airframes at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford and Brooklands Museum in Surrey.

Mark Tonks, Managing Director at Hydraulics Online concluded:


We were thrilled when Heritage Concorde got in touch asking if we would support them for a third time; there’s nothing better than a customer so happy that they return time, and time, again. When the customer is Concorde, it’s an honour to be involved. And the fact that G-BOAC is local to us in Manchester makes it even more special!

Return to our Concorde homepage…

More of our work with Heritage Concorde

The Concorde Story

Truly one of the most iconic aircraft in the history of aviation, the world’s first supersonic airliner, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued commercial operations for British Airways and Air France until 2003.

Concorde landed and took-off with a very high angle of attack. A fixed, streamlined nose, whilst necessary to achieve bullet-like supersonic speeds, would have completely obscured the pilot’s view of the runway to about 5 degrees on take-off and landing. And so her “droop nose” was invented…

Learn More

Concorde G-AXDN

Duxford Aviation Society, owners of the British Airliner Collection, were keen to improve their display of Concorde 101 G-AXDN at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.

In response, Heritage Concorde proposed making her the first UK Concorde since 2003 to be able to “droop” her nose. The hydraulic systems on Concorde 101 G-AXDN had not been used since she was retired in 1977 and so the team approached Hydraulics Online asking if we could help on “Project Salute”.

project salute

Concorde G-BBDG

G-BBDG (known as Delta Golf, pictured) was the British pre-production Concorde built to finalise the design and to allow the Concorde fleet to receive certification before the other aircraft entered passenger service.

Now residing at the Brooklands Museum this important piece of aviation history has a fully functioning droop-nose and visor – the second Concorde to receive a  custom-made power pack from Hydraulics Online!

Learn More

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive free technical guides, product insights and resources…