A retired British Airways Concorde supersonic jetliner was lifted into place Monday on a pier next to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum after a 10-mile barge trip from New Jersey.
Its return nearly completes a $120 million restoration of the museum on the Hudson after a year of work on the World War II aircraft carrier and Hudson River Pier 86.
"There she goes -- the Concorde is airborne!" cried Intrepid president Bill White as a huge barge crane lifted the sleek 71-ton jetliner, cradled in a special harness, 50 feet into the air and deposited it deftly onto the pier. The crane, the largest of its kind in the northeast, can lift 250 tons.
The BA jetliner set a New York-London speed record of 2:59:59 in 1999, a mark that still stands. Loaned to the Intrepid after the British and French Concorde SST fleets were retired in 2003, it spent the last year in storage while the carrier underwent renovation.