The nose of an iconic Concorde jet is due to go on sale for a staggering £300,000.
After the supersonic airliner celebrated its 50th anniversary earlier this year, US-Iranian aviation executive Farhaz Azima is putting the famous ‘droop’ cone up for auction after keeping it in his private collection for more than 20 years.
The cone was once attached to one of the six Concorde test planes never put into service, racking up 1,600 hours of flight time.
The 25ft nose flew on Concorde more than 1,000 times before the model’s maiden voyage on March 2 1969.
Mr Azima, 78, owner of Dubai-based private cargo airline HeavyLift International, came by the nose in 1995 and has kept it with a huge glass hanger in his back garden in Kansas City, Missouri, ever since.
The nose of an iconic Concorde jet is due to go on sale for a staggering £300,000
Seller Farhrad Azima is pictured with his daughter in New York in 2013 after attending a gala event
A supersonic Concorde jetliner is pictured in all its splendor taking off from an airport
It will be sold with its pilot’s visor windscreen and internal hydraulic rams that lifted and dropped the nose for flight and landing.
The aviator magnate has now decided the time is right to sell it and it is to go under the hammer with Humbert & Ellis Auctioneers of Towcester, Northamptonshire.
Jonathan Humbert, from the auctioneers, said: ‘This is a hugely exciting item that is truly one of the most recognisable design icons of the 20th century – a masterpiece of form and function.
Iranian millionaire Farhaz Azima is putting the famous ‘droop’ cone up for auction after keeping it in his private collection for more than 20 years
‘It had the drop nose cone to aid supersonic flight but because it was so long it had to be lowered for landing otherwise the pilot wouldn’t have been able to see the runway.
‘This nose comes with the hydraulic rams that lowered it as well as the secondary windscreen that aided the pilot.
‘The auction has already generated global interest among aviation enthusiasts and collectors but also art and engineering lovers. It is a rare investment opportunity for a globally recognised item.’
Concorde’s drooping nose saw the visor go down by 12 degrees during landing and taxiing and staying at 0 degrees during supersonic cruise.
The planes were one of the most advanced aircraft ever to fly passengers around the world with just 20 built over a 15-year period.
But in July 2000 an Air France Concorde en route from Paris to New York crashed shortly after take-off due to an engine fire, killing all 109 people on board as well as four people on the ground.
The Concorde fleets of British Airways and Air France were grounded pending an inquiry and although transatlantic flights resumed from London and Paris following a safety upgrade in November 2001 it was not to last.
In April 2003 it was announced that Concorde would be taken out of service due to a sharp dip in passenger numbers amid global economic problems and the aftermath of September 11.
The last Concorde touched down in October 2003 after a special flight from London Heathrow to Airbus UK’s Filton airfield in Bristol.
Now the 17 remaining Concorde jets which once hosted celebrities and royalty are dotted about the world in museums or storage. The sale of the nose takes place on Thursday.
The design of the Concorde is extremely specific and has been designed in this exact way in order to be streamlined for supersonic flight.
The reason it has such a pointed nose is to reduce drag and improve aerodynamic efficiency.
During both take off and landing the planes fly on a high nose angle – which was required due to the way the wings produced lift at low speeds.
The drooping nose came about as at such lows speeds with high attack angles the nose would have previously prevented pilots seeing correctly during take-off and landing operations, so the solution was to produce a drooping nose.
The nose is configured differently for different flight stages. This is while aerodynamic loads and high temperatures at supersonic speeds also need a protective streamlined visor in order for the windscreens to be created properly.
Visors are made out of special heat-resistant glass and is slightly tinted, with the outside panels being hinged for access.
Mr Azima’s plane operator has flown weapons from the US to the Balkans.
Mr Azima, 78, owner of Dubai-based private cargo airline HeavyLift International, came by the nose in 1995 and has kept it with a huge glass hanger in his back garden ever since
He moved to Kansas City as a youngster where he pursued a career in aviation.
However, his career hasn’t always been smooth and in 2011 he was investigated by U.S. and Emirati law enforcement officials about a 2011 hotel deal in the nation of Georgia.
It had previously been reported that Mr Azima had established Global International Airways in the 1970s in order to ship cattle to Iran.
However in 1979, one of his planes was flying humanitarian supplies from Lebanon to the civil war in Nicargua when one of the cargo planes made an unscheduled landing in Tunisia.
When authorities seized the aircraft they found 50 tonnes of weapons which had been added to the cargo.