Manchester Airport – Concorde & Spotting

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A320 LY-VEL – owned by Avion Express and sub leased to Thomas Cook
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ERJ-175STD (ERJ-170-200) G-FBJD of Flybe, I’ve flown on her a few times to Paris and Toulouse
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A320 EI-DVN of Aer Lingus, named Cairnin
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Nearly 20 years old, N155DL, a 767-3P6ER of Delta Airlines starts her roll…
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Qatar A330-302 A7-AED diesnt look 11 years old.

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BAE RJ100 HB-IYU of Swiss in Star Alliance livery. These only have a few months left in service – CS-100’s will be replacing them from October.

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Typical, I was being dragged in to the Concorde tour which was starting as this appeared. Manchester has a great spotting area, but the fences from ground level – and even at the top of the spotters raised platforms, are highly intrusive unless you stand on tables or the wooden ladder fences. Even then I can only just see over and I’m 6ft.
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The old Thomas Cook livery on one of the 767-300’s – yes it’s Manchester and there is a heat haze!
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Air France aircraft always seem dirty and poorly kept these days. A321 F-GTAS
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easyJets’s 200th A320 G-EZUI is in an all orange livery, the first time I’ve ever seen it in the metal
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Owned by Primera Air Scandinavia, wet leased to Jet2 for the summer, 737-8Q8 OY-PSA

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G-DAJC, a 767-31KER belonged to AirTours, then MyTravel, now Thomas Cook (old livery)
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737-377 G-CELG in Jet2’s old livery  – very few of these remain in passenger service in Europe now. She’s just coming up for 28 years old. 

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Owned by Latvian SmartLynx Airlines, wet-leased to Monarch for the summer.
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G-OZBE Monarch A321 – you can just see the Movember moustache on the nose – she highlighted Monarchs support for the annual event each November to raise awareness of testicular cancer, after BA dropped their support in 2014. 
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G-OZBI Monarch A321
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G-OBYF 767-304ER still wearing Thomson tiles.These will be replaced with Tui later this year. Phoenix produced this in 2015 in 1:400
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Close up of 737-8K5 G-TAWD and her split scimitars
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788 G-TUIF – I nearly missed it coming out of the Concorde tour. The little girl in the centre seemed to stand in awe of it as went by.
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Flybe Dash-8 New livery on G-ECOH – I’ve had many a flight to Toulouse on this rancid bag of bolts 
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Another one of Flybe’s Dash-8’s in the old livery this time, G-ECOF, whose interior can only be described as worryingly poor. 
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Jet2 757-236 G-LSAA is in her 29th operational year. Jet2 have one of the oldest fleets in Europe, averaging some 22 years. Thy have committed to replace the fleet with new 737-8 Max in the coming years. 
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At 18 years old, she’s belonged to America West and Garuda Indonesia at one time, as well as Thomson. The winglets were fitted in 2013 when Jet2 bought her. 
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G-LSAN 757-2K2 is 22.5 years old, belonged to Transavia, ATA, Axis, Ocean, Avianca, AeroGal, and joined Jet2 in 2012. Now in the ‘new’ livery.
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At only 15 months old G-EZOI is one of the airlines newer aircraft, just missing out on the new livery.

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A330-203 TC-JNB 
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Etihad’s 2009 777-3FXER A6-ETF

Concorde Museum…

It seems more that it’s been designed as a venue than a museum. The building is so tightly fitted around the aircraft that even the guides tell you it’s near impossible to take a photo of the Concorde. The guided tour was not the best either, rudimentary knowledge and the organisation of the tour wasn’t brilliant, just poor planning. The tour at the Brooklands Museum in south London is the best by far, largely because they’ve had participation from local former crew and been supported by former captains.

BA isn’t making life easy – they still own the aircraft which are basically on permanent loan. The Manchester Concorde, G-BOAC, has had it’s cockpit co-pilot front window smashed during a building maintenance accident, and although they’ve found a replacement, BA refuses to allow them to lower the nose – the only way of fitting it.

Now I have to be honest, I’ve flown on Concorde, four return trips in the glory days, my first ground tour of it was back in 1992 while it was still in service on a Citroen SM Owners Club event. I’ve been on the Edinburgh one (I organised its transport to the site from London), and I’ve been on 6 of the BA ones. G-BOAC was the last one I flew on, and it was very strange being able to sit on an aircraft that’s now in a museum, in the very seat I flew in. It’s even stranger listening to the people on the tour with you as they marvel at the idea, never mind the reality of it. You realise how lucky you’ve been. At the same time, I can’t help feeling slightly guilty at the amount of pollution created so I could save a few hours, because that’s all Concorde really was, a time saver. You can barely see out of the windows, you don’t know how fast you’re going until you look at the readout, and the seats were never that comfortable, though the food was something else!

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The smashed window is clear as the guide demos the controls

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