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Google's Geospatial Technologist, Dad, and Emeritus Aviator. Views expressed here are purely my own !

Last Build Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:24:17 +0000


Comment on Concorde 208 G-BOAB, Heathrow, England by Steve

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:24:17 +0000

Hi Chris, it may be worth contacting Heathrow/Birmingham Airport as they are almost certainly going to have that information logged somewhere.

Comment on Concorde 208 G-BOAB, Heathrow, England by Chris

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:04:14 +0000

I flew with David Gladwin Concorde in 1993 anyway I can trace which Concorde I was on? I took photos but none with the registration visable! It was Heathrow to Birmingham September 26th 1993 ... Regards ...

Comment on Every Concorde in a year… by Steve

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 01:40:02 +0000

A remarkable achievement, highly envious! I have such fond memories of Concorde, having grown up with it from early sonic boom test flights, working on parts as an apprentice and then with BA at Heathrow. In between times, living 3 miles South of Heathrow, it used to do a long sweep out over London, so it was one of the few aircraft that didn’t fly directly over the roof of my house in summer, instead just rolling by in the distance. Even moving to Devon I still had a connection. Depending on weather conditions, the sonic boom off Land’s End was audible before London bound Concorde's throttled back.

Comment on Concorde 101 G-AXDN, Duxford, England by Steve

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 01:22:26 +0000

Interesting to see the TSR2 next to Concorde. Two aircraft that deserved better.

Comment on Concorde 208 G-BOAB, Heathrow, England by Ed

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 01:04:39 +0000

What an amazing story thanks for sharing it

Comment on Concorde 208 G-BOAB, Heathrow, England by Steve

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 00:56:39 +0000

Some of these comments bring back fond memories of Heathrow & plane spotting. In my younger days you could actually step across the perimeter ‘fence’, (single bar wooden type) and walk onto the runway. After school, I used to meet up with like-minded souls and just walk into the Pan Am maintenance area, South side, and use the staff canteen for a meal. No security problems at all. Getting back to Concorde, I worked on telemetry modules for the pre-production type whilst an apprentice at one of the many sub-contractor firms and in1992-94 I found myself back with Concorde, working for BA security. I have been in every Concorde numerous times, unfortunately never flown! I met so many famous people while guarding the aircraft, searching passenger bags and in the Concorde lounge. However, the one thing that sticks in my mind is on 25th October 1993 at about 18:00 hours, when I received a call to go to a sector at the Western end of the South runway, where I came across Concorde Alpha Bravo, with fuel pouring out of the port wing. The fire brigade had foamed the entire underside of the aircraft, all the pax were off BUT all of their personal belongings were still in the overheads and in their seat pockets. There was a police officer at the catering door (starboard side front), which is how the pax disembarked and an engineer in the cockpit. I was joined by other security members and our task was to systematically ‘search’ the aircraft for all personal belongings. You may think this was easy, but two things made it very hazardous. On the ground, Concorde can become tail heavy if it isn’t loaded/unloaded correctly, and can tip up! With fuel pouring uncontrolled out of the wing tank, the C of G can change rapidly and with us walking through the cabin, this would add to the problem. The engineer was frantically pumping fuel around various tanks and to a bowser to take fuel off. He gave us his commands to follow if the need arose. They were ‘Stop’, meaning stand exactly where you are; ‘Run to front’, to shift the weight back to the front and ‘Evacuate’ meaning get off by any means. Obviously if the aircraft tipped there was a good chance of a fire. This whole event was caused by a seized brake causing a tyre to burst and breaking the rain deflector, parts of which hit the underside of the wing and ruptured the tank. I don’t think the pax knew how lucky they were that this happened whilst taxiing to the runway and not at ‘Rotate’. This came so very close to being a Paris accident, particularly as it was about to go out over London. What is really annoying is the fact that wing tanks had been ruptured 6 times before the Paris crash, and that was therefore wholly preventable. Someone individually and/or corporate should have been prosecuted for negligence. Once I had completed the Concorde search and repatriated the pax with their belongings, I spent 3 hours in the BA Tel Aviv lounge searching pax and bags whilst reeking of aviation fuel until 23:30 hours. Fond memories!

Comment on Concorde 208 G-BOAB, Heathrow, England by Stefan

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 08:31:56 +0000

Hi Was really supriced when I was onboard taxiing toward runway 27L. Seeing the concorde sitting outside forgotten like that is really a shame. Got a few pictures thru my aircraft window of the concorde and a BA A380 lining up to takeoff in the same frame. I so regrett not taking the special offer to fly concorde oneway NYC for airline staff. This when I worked at Scandinavian Airlines.

Comment on Earth Engine Workshop – London by Earth Engine Workshop in London –

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 20:55:15 +0000

[…] […]

Comment on If you can’t link to it… does it exist ? by Ed

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 11:26:00 +0000

Thanks Mark, I agree using things like UPRNs help make url's more readable. I know this is a point of some contention but I think human readable url's are helpful. I would also say that it's important for urls to be persistent and reliable, your example relies on the dynamic generation of a page which does not exist beyond this session ? Is that right ?

Comment on If you can’t link to it… does it exist ? by Mark Brooks

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 10:49:55 +0000

I'm aiming for this as well. There are a lot of geographical assets that public bodies require to track and process. Many have reference numbers. It would be great to have the reference number as a parameter in the url allowing for navigation direct to a map focused on the individual record. The scottish assessors does this with UPRNs By providing this facility it allows for relations between databases between unrelated organisations and makes their systems an extension of the system of other organisations. If you actually want your data used that's got to be a big win. Clearly they could do with making the UI of the map display better but the linking is fine.

Comment on The Last Concorde by Concorde 216 G-BOAF, Bristol England -

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 16:22:30 +0000

[…] Aerospace Bristol opened last week and Alpha Foxtrot looks wonderful in her new home. […]

Comment on Concorde 216 G-BOAF, Bristol England by The Last Concorde -

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 16:15:25 +0000

[…] in June of last year I visited the now disused Aerodrome at Filton to visit Concorde 216 G-BOAF as part of my quest to visit all the Concordes in a year. Then Alpha Foxtrot was a rather sad sight […]

Comment on If you can’t link to it… does it exist ? by Jasper Roes

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 15:05:01 +0000

I might be able to point to an example of the Dutch Kadaster where you can also find the history: This link points to the Base Registry Addresses and Building and I selected the same building as Ed did (Amsterdam Central station). If you follow the link you will find two 'voorkomens' of the same building, the first one being valid from 2010-09-09 until 2013-03-05, the second one being valid from 2013-03-05 until now. In this case we provide you with a link to the building, but also give you the history. Is this what you are looking for?

Comment on If you can’t link to it… does it exist ? by Rob Atkinson

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 01:54:41 +0000

agree wholeheartedly - the GIS layer paradigm is essentially about data management, not user needs - though of course typically the user needs to know about the data in its context - which includes its "layer" or other collection. so the challenge is two ways - search engines need to be able to handle zillions of individual items - but perhaps report back results aggregated by a higher order collection concept - i.e. if i search for "Amsterdam weather" and there are individual records for every weather observation then i dont want a list of all of them - i want a link to the historical archive service, the last recorded value and forecast service(s). How do you envisage this happening - can you point to an example from the Dutch Kadaster - maybe a search on a suburb name...?

Comment on Concorde 208 G-BOAB, Heathrow, England by Ed

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 16:42:56 +0000

thanks for your comments james I feel very much the same.

Comment on Concorde 208 G-BOAB, Heathrow, England by James Willmott

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 16:23:16 +0000

I have a birds-eye photo of Alpha Bravo from a video I took while departing Heathrow on a Virgin Atlantic flight to LA in December 2015. She looks so unloved surrounded by airport detritus. I flew on Alpha Charlie on 20th June 2003 from Heathrow to New York with my dad. It was a fantastic once-in-a-life-time experience for both of us. We visited her again exactly 10 years later (June 2013) at the Aviation Park in Manchester. At least G-BOAC has a permanent covered home. I have my name in the back of the pre-production aircraft G-BBDG at Brooklands (I donated some money towards her restoration). It wasn't a big donation, so I was really surprised to see my name on display when I visited her. My dad is now 92. He worked in British aviation (jet engines, fixed-wing and helicopters) all of his career. He worked on pioneering aircraft such as the prototype de Havilland Vampire when Britain proudly lead the world. He also performed flight tests on Lancaster Bombers after the end of WWII, which were used to test early jet engines. In the 1950s, he accompanied jet aircraft performing the very first carrier landing tests on the HMS Albion (R07) and worked on flight tests at Boscombe Down. He also worked on the original Comet airliner and the Buccaneer. It makes him very sad to see the sorry state of the British aircraft industry today. Even Filton hasn't survived as an operational airfield. American's celebrate their own aviation heritage (and ours) far more than we do. Regards, James.

Comment on Concorde 102 F-WTSA, Paris ORY Airport, France by Julie Aylward

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 23:57:08 +0000

Comment on Beyond Maps, my presentation from GI_Forum by MAPS: Google, más allá de los mapas – juantxo_cruz

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:38:16 +0000

[…] de Ed Parson, de Google Tecnología Geoespacial.BEYOND MAPS. GI FORUM.Un mundo anotado por y para las […]

Comment on Concorde 208 G-BOAB, Heathrow, England by Ed

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 17:01:39 +0000

Hello Jafffa, thanks so much for you comment. I fully agree with your sentiments but I fear we will never see Concorde flying again, the complexity of the aircraft and cost to bring it back into service would be just too much... especially in a country where aviation is not the national obsession it was for you and I. Alpha Bravo is I'm afraid a lost cause from an airworthiness point of view, I just wish she could be displayed in a location that reflects her historical significance.

Comment on Concorde 208 G-BOAB, Heathrow, England by Jaffa

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 15:35:38 +0000

Hi in my younger years in the 1980's & 90's I used to be able to wonder Anywhere within reason including anywhere on the perimiter road of London Heathrow Airport & the Concorde hanger at Hatton Cross as there was a underground station close by so I would travel up whenever I could & loved to stand at the perimeter fence behind runway 27R & watch Concorde's four Rolls Royce/Bristol Olympus 593 Snecma afterburners light up & shower me with massive thrust & kerosene & watch her belt down the runway & the noise just went right through me, it was so wonderful that I thought one day the next step was to get to fly on one of them, but alas I missed out as I left London in 2003 in October as was in the middle of moving house, so regret very much not to have been able to purchase one of the last tickets Big Sob But I like so many enthusiasts including people who built her & travel the country as volunteers bringing these Marvels of the air back to life to prove that they were built so well that a full refurb will be very expensive, but I believe that it's possible to make the parts again that Concorde needs to get her airworthy & although Alpha Bravo is an older Concorde it's still possible to restore her to Flight Airworthyness as so many people would like to see her flying again like the Battle of Britain Memmorial Flight!!! Because Concorde Represents something more than the sum of her parts & all 2 billion pounds of her was paid for by the British& French Tax Payer & ultimately if British Airways or Air France won't facilitate either Aircraft being restored for historical flight purposes then legal force should be bought about to compel them to release Concorde subject to strict CAA regulations, people are crying out to see Concorde again & I'm sure there's lots of Companies out there who would fall over themselves to see there Logo on her & Flying!!! God Bless England & The Queen & God Save Concorde!!!