The iconic Concorde supersonic jetliner was lifted from its long-time home at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum this morning. The Concorde was moved by a massive floating crane barge and placed on another barge at around 11am to travel to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

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Concorde being lifted onto a barge at Intrepid Museum this morning. Photo: Phil O’Brien

The Concorde has been a fixture at the Intrepid Museum on Manhattan’s West Side since 2003. The jet will now undergo a three-month restoration at the Navy Yard’s GMD Shipyard. The vintage aircraft will have its paint completely stripped down to bare metal before being recoated in the classic blue and white livery it wore when operating supersonic transatlantic service with British Airways.

The last time Concorde was moved was when the pier was being rebuilt in 2006. That time, Concorde was taken to a recreation center at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. While there, the 203-foot-long plane had its nose knocked off by a moving truck. The distinctive nose, which always look a bit out of shape when not in flight, was successfully restored after that accident.

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Concorde being lifted onto a barge at Intrepid Museum this morning. Photo: Phil O’Brien

“Last time, we had to tow it all the way across from the seaplane ramp on the water to Floyd Bennett Field. It’s about a mile and a half. We had to go real slow. because Concorde’s struts are all out of service, so this thing has no shock absorbers. So we had to move along at about a mile an hour with a tow truck,” recalled Eric Boehm, the curator of aviation and aircraft restoration at the Intrepid. “We parked it and then put a fence around it. And I used to go out there once every other week just to make sure nothing was wrong.”

He arrived one morning to find the nose cone broken off. “The fence was only about 10 foot, and we went all the way around the airplane. At some point, they moved it under the nose, the precious nose, so that they could get car traffic to pass through there. But in the middle of the night, they had an event, They loaded up a truck and the driver took a shortcut. He was told not to go that way, but he saw his shortcut in the dark in a truck, and he just wiped the nose right out.”

Eric Boehm Concorde Intrepid Crane
Eric Boehm, the curator of aviation and aircraft restoration at the Intrepid on-site this morning. Photo: Phil O’Brien

All ended well when the broken fiberglass was sent off to a contractor for repair, Thomarios in Ohio. The specialty company is doing the restoration work again this time — and their pedigree includes repainting Saturn rockets and Goodyear blimps. Boehm is hoping for no surprises on his visits to Brooklyn this time: “It’s going for strict maintenance, so there’s going to be no public near it. And one of the first things that happens, it’ll be completely tented. Covered with a structure.”

Museum officials said the Concorde’s departure marks the start of pier renovations that will add over 4,000 square feet of parkland to Pier 86, which is part of Hudson River Park and where USS Intrepid is docked.

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Concorde being lifted onto a barge at Intrepid Museum this morning. Photo: Phil O’Brien

The Concorde was a supersonic passenger jet that entered service with British Airways and Air France in 1976. It could fly at twice the speed of sound and traverse the Atlantic in under three hours, less than half the time of conventional jets. Protests over sonic booms limited its routes, and it was retired in 2003 after a fatal crash in 2000. This particular Concorde, on loan from British Airways, first flew in 1976 as part of the pioneering Anglo-French aviation project.

The Concorde is expected to return to Intrepid Museum in Spring 2024, once restoration and pier upgrades are completed. The fastest Atlantic crossing by any Concorde occurred on February 7, 1996 and took only two hours, 52 minutes, and 59 seconds. We will report back on how long it takes the plane to get to Brooklyn from Hell’s Kitchen…

YouTube video
Timelapse of the British Airways Concorde being lifted onto a barge at Intrepid Museum. Video: Paul David
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Intrepid Museum President Susan Marenoff-Zausner takes a Concorde selfie with a group of students on a tour. Photo: Phi O’Brien
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Concorde draws a crowd as it is lifted onto a barge at Intrepid Museum this morning. Photo: Phil O’Brien
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Pulling the lifting straps into place over the nose cone of Concorde in preparation for the lift. Photo: Phil O’Brien
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Preparations to lift Concorde at Intrepid this morning. Photo: Phil O’Brien
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Intrepid staff and visitors watch Concorde being lifted from Pier 86 today. Photo: Phil O’Brien
Making final adjustments to the straps around Concorde’s nose cone. Photo: Phil O’Brien
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Concorde has landed! The straps are removed from the nose cone of Concorde after being lifted onto the barge. Photo: Phil O’Brien
Concorde World Trade Center
Concorde heads along the Hudson River past the Financial District on a barge. Photo: Phil O’Brien
New Jersey Concorde Sign Water's Soul Jaume Plensa
New Jersey seems to be telling Concorde not to make any loud supersonic booms — Water’s Soul by Jaume Plensa in Newport. Photo: Phil O’Brien

Join the Conversation


  1. Why do the helicopters have to hover for so long (still ongoing 4+ hours later). When it returns, will they let us know in advance so we can leave the neighborhood?! #stopthechop

    1. Perhaps Hell’s Kitchen isn’t the best place for you. Helicopters, the world’s most iconic jet, the West Side Highway on one side and 41 Broadway theatres on the other. Honey, try the Catskills.

  2. Great photos, Phil, thank you.
    I rode the Concorde a few times back in the day. An amazing aircraft!!

  3. Thanks for covering Phil, I wouldn’t have known about it otherwise. I’ll miss having the Concorde’s tail jutting out at the end of the pier. Whenever I guide a kayaking/paddleboard trip to the north, seeing it there is a comforting sign that I’m almost home. And your many photos remind me of seeing them unload her from a very similar barge back in 2004.

  4. My nephew, Scott, was the Weeks crane operator. We’re so proud of him! He’s the best!

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