As projects go, this one involving the Bristol Concorde was one we were very excited to be a part of.
The Concorde is undoubtedly an iconic aeroplane, and as volunteers geared up for its museum to be opened, they had a wonderful idea to recreate a ‘slice-through’ of the cockpit so that visitors can experience what it was like.
When we first received the enquiry from Mike at Bristol Aero Collection Trust (BACT), we immediately knew this would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as the Bristol Concorde has been moved into its final home in Filton. We were provided with a detailed request, including a photograph of what the cockpit used to look like in the planes themselves.
Photograph of pilots flying the Concorde
Due to the specificity of the requirements, Andy visited the team on site, to ensure our understanding of the project tallied up with their expectation. Here he was given a piece of vinyl demonstrating the size of the quilted squares, to see if we could replicate something similar to what was in the Concorde cockpit, as can be seen above. One of our upholsterers, Alan, created this by stitching foam between a layer of the vinyl and black base cloth for the underside.
Once the team from BACT were happy with the specification and the vinyl sample, we got to work! Mike & John, volunteers with BACT, supplied paper templates of the areas to be covered, including information such as which parts might need to bend or fold well. Quilting requires a steady hand, careful measuring, and a lot of patience, but the end result is very worth it.
Once the pieces had been made, Mike & John were invited to come in to take a look for themselves and discuss how the pieces might be best fitted to the replicated cockpit. Alan talked them through the specifics over a cuppa, demonstrating how the folds would sit. It was decided to use press studs and Velcro to ensure the parts lay flat and could be removed for cleaning.
Then comes the most exciting part – visiting the Bristol Concorde and fitting the pieces on site, which Alan had the privilege of completing. We have a few sneak-peek before and after photographs so do take a look below.
It was so interesting to be a part of the development of a forever home for the Bristol Concorde, so we can’t wait for the official opening of the museum later this month! Make sure you get along to take a look once it’s launched.
“I would like to thank South West Upholstery and Andy and Alan on behalf of BACT (Bristol Aero Collection Trust) and the FD Team for their excellent work on Thursday installing the AeroBristol Concorde Museum flight deck upholstery. Looks really great and adds all we had hoped for and more. Your excellent help and skills appreciated, from Mike Hall and exhibit team.”