18 June 2003

S2M-59 Concorde (Museum of Flight)

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Murray Tosh): The final item of business today is a members' business debate on motion S2M-59, in the name of John Home Robertson, on Concorde and the Museum of Flight. I invite those members who wish to speak in the debate to press their request-to-speak buttons now, and those members who are leaving to take flight at once.
Members: Shame!
The Deputy Presiding Officer: That shows that someone out there is listening.
Motion debated,
That the Parliament notes that British Airways will be withdrawing Concorde aircraft from service and welcomes the approach from the Chairman of the Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland to the Chief Executive of British Airways requesting that one of these aeroplanes is donated to the Museum of Flight at East Fortune; recognises the interests of education and tourism and the important role that museums play in both of these areas; takes into account the associations of Concorde with Scotland, namely that the design of the wings was undertaken by a Scot from Penicuik, Sir James Arnot Hamilton, that the early test flights were carried out at Prestwick in the early 1970s and that it was Concorde that flew over Edinburgh to celebrate the opening of the Scottish Parliament in July 1999; further recognises the wealth of experience of staff at the Museum of Flight in the preservation of aircraft and their years of experience in welcoming visitors to the museum; further notes that staff at the Museum of Flight are confident that the practicalities of landing a Concorde aircraft and of providing enclosed space for display have been investigated and that no difficulties are anticipated following a brief period of minor works; notes that the National Museums of Scotland has recently appointed a new General Manager at the Museum of Flight and that a major programme of development is planned to position the museum as a world class attraction, and recommends strongly that support be given to the National Museums of Scotland in its bid for Concorde for display at the Museum of Flight.
... ... ...
Stewart Stevenson (Banff and Buchan) (SNP): It is a matter of some considerable pride that Concorde was made in these islands. Indeed, it reflects the heady days when co-operation across the channel was still possible. The "e" in Concorde came about as a result of an unusual alliance between Francophone and Anglophone interests—before that point was reached, the aircraft's name was spelt differently on either side of the channel.
BOAC, which was the first airline to put Concorde into service, booked the registration sequence BOAA to BOAG, thus ensuring that one of the Concordes had the registration BOAC—such was the pride that BOAC took in the aircraft.
The Museum of Flight at East Fortune is a cornucopia of aviation history. As a youngster yae high, I got the "Eagle".
Mike Pringle (Edinburgh South) (LD): Mr Stevenson is showing his age.
Stewart Stevenson: Some members are old enough to remember the "Eagle".
Each week, the "Eagle" had aviation break-down diagrams. I remember the Comet being tested to destruction in one of them.
Examples of our space industry are on show at East Fortune—I am thinking of Blue Streak and Black Knight. John Home Robertson referred to the Comet 4C. I am not sure whether I have flown in that aircraft, but I have certainly flown in one of the Comet aircraft.
I have two personal attachments to East Fortune and the first is as a private pilot. I should declare that my entry in the register of interests shows that I am a member of two flying clubs. I have flown into East Fortune on a number of occasions to visit the museum and hope that nothing prevents the runway being accessible for future visits.
It is worth noting that there are 100,000 private pilots in the United States, many of whom would be delighted to come to Scotland and to include a visit to the museum at East Fortune during their time here. They are precisely the kind of wealthy visitors that we could attract to the museum.
My main plea is that Concorde is put into hanger four when it comes to East Fortune, which I am sure it will with the support of the Scottish Parliament. My reason for saying that is that another important aircraft, which was donated by the Scottish airline Loganair, is in hanger four. It is a Beech 18 and it was designed in 1935. It took one particularly important flight, which departed Aberdeen for Stavangar at 14:35 on 4 August 1969. The flight number was LN2501 and the registration of the plane was golf, alpha, sierra, uniform, golf—see how boring flying people can be.
The important thing about the flight was that my wife and I were on the plane, it was the first time we had flown and we were flying off on our honeymoon.
Mr Home Robertson: Was it turbulent?
Stewart Stevenson: No, it was a piston engine—a Pratt and Whitney rotary engine, if John Home Robertson really wants to know.
The Scottish aviation industry is practically at an end. In April, I flew in a Jetstream 31, which is one of the last aircraft to be built at Prestwick. We are down to the last fragments of the Scottish aviation industry with the Montgomery gyrocopter continuing to be built in very small numbers in Ayrshire.
Flying is not only a pleasure thing for me; it has also been a business thing. I had a pal who was in an electronics company. He got up one morning, flew on a 757 to London, got on to Concorde, went to New York, met someone at the airport, showed him a piece of electronic equipment, signed a £12 million order, got back on to the same Concorde, returned to London and was back in Edinburgh for his tea. He was able to do that £12 million-worth of business because of the unique capabilities of Concorde.
We would be proud to have Concorde at East Fortune. For once, I am happy to support colleagues of other political viewpoints in this particular venture and I wish John Home Robertson well in it.

Stewart Stevenson
does not gather, use or
retain any cookie data.

However Google who publish for us, may do.
fios ZS is a name registered in Scotland for Stewart Stevenson

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP