Haggis tribute for Concorde anniversary

Piper David Leckie from Haddington Pipe Band tucks into a haggis in the shadow of Concorde at the Museum of Flight. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Piper David Leckie from Haddington Pipe Band tucks into a haggis in the shadow of Concorde at the Museum of Flight. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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The National Museum of Flight has marked the 40th anniversary of Concorde’s first commercial flight with a 
special Burns-themed tribute.

The G-BOAA plane, housed at the East Fortune attraction in East Lothian, was the first aircraft in the BA Concorde fleet to begin commercial passenger flights, when on 
January 21, 1976 it flew from London to Bahrain.

On board was a haggis bound for the country’s Scots community to help them celebrate Burns Night.

To mark the 40th anniversary of that flight, museum staff arranged for a haggis, made by former BBC Professional MasterChef Derek Johnstone, to be piped on board the iconic aircraft.

A staff member also recited a specially-altered version of Burns’ Address to a Haggis in honour of Concorde, which has been at the East Lothian attraction since 2004.

Steve McLean, general manager of the National Museum of Flight, said: “Concorde was a real superstar of the skies and featured a unique combination of design and engineering excellence, glamour and celebrity appeal.

“While her wheels remain firmly on the ground these days, she is still an amazing sight and we hope that this anniversary, and our version of Burns’ famous poem, will help to remind people how special she was and encourage them to come to our museum to explore and enjoy this exceptional aircraft.”

The museum is undergoing a £3.6 million restoration and redevelopment of two Second Word War hangars, which will open on Good Friday.

That day will also see the unveiling of an £80,000 
investment in the museum’s Concorde exhibition.

G-BOAA – along with the rest of British Airways’ Concorde fleet – was decommissioned in 2003 and made the move to its new home in East Lothian the following year.

She had flown for a total of 22,768 hours and 56 minutes, landing 8064 times and going through 6842 supersonic cycles.

The plane was loaded on to a specialist barge in the Thames and sailed up the east coast of Britain to Torness.

Her week-long journey then ended with an hour-long trundle across muddy fields to East Fortune, guided by members of 39 Engineer Regiment’s 53 Field Squadron (Air Support).

newsen@edinburghnews.com