Iran Air’s Concorde: What It Wasn’t,What It Never Will Be

If you find yourself walking past 73 Piccadilly in London you’ll likely to see an unexpected site in the window … a large model of the Concorde painted up in full Iran Air livery.

…Now of course we all know that the Concorde was only fully commercially flown by British Airways and Air France (the Singapore Airlines livery was only applied to the left side of British Airways Concorde G-BOAD and was never painted in a Braniff livery, despite Braniff’s imagery of the Concorde).  So … given that Iran Air never flew the Concorde why is there a large Concorde in the Iran Air ticketing office in London?   The answer is not as odd as you may think.

In October of 1972 the Shah of Iran placed an order for two Concordes with an option or purchase a third Concorde at a later date. The Shah of Iran solidified his dedication to placing the Concorde into service with Iran Air by stating “This is something that is finished and done. The actual date and delivery will be discussed later.

The Concorde was to be a powerful economic and political trophy for the nation’s airline and thus Iran Air’s order of two Concordes became a significant source of pride for the airline. Now, more than two decades after Iran Air had cancelled its Concorde orders for a variety of reasons (as did more than 15 other airlines), the last remnants of Iran Air’s dream of operating the Concorde is still visible in the window of 73 Piccadilly.

Not in London? You may also view the Iran Air Concorde model in the airline’s ticket office window at 33 Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Below is a photo I recently shot of the Iran Air Concorde in London.

Happy Flying!
(Click Image Below To Enlarge The Image)

a model airplane on display


  1. Seen this there several times, didn’t realise the simple explanation. Also discussed it at several DOs with people. Thanks for the background info, didn’t realise the Shah had placed orders for 2 Concordes!

  2. Josh,

    Glad I could shed some light on the Iran Air Concorde in London & Paris. I had always been curious about the model as well, so finding out why the model was in the window was some fun research.

    Happy Flying!

    – Fish

  3. You can also find a nice youtube clip showing Shah in the cockpit of Concord and ordering it right after the flight. Search it and you will easily find it on youtube

  4. So true Byron…

    Well guys, I hope someone is reading my message (this article was published on 06-18-2010!!! and Byron replied on 1-29-2012 and today is 3-12-2013!!!!! a bit funny)

    But the Shah of Iran was very good King despite his dictatorial system. He purchased every new technology on the market and introduced it in Iran. Other dictators did not. But the problem in Iran are the ayatolla’s.
    If the Shah was still in power, the Iran Air would be one of the best airlines in the world. That was one of Shah’s goals.

  5. I flew for Iran Air between 1969 and 1978.
    Sud Aviation and BAC (the joint makers of Concorde) flew their demo aircraft to THR in the summer of 1972.
    The Shah who was an accomplished pilot actually flew the aircraft.
    Afterwards, some of us pilots were also invited on a subsequent demo flight and a couple of the Chiefs got to fly her from the pilot seat.
    Immediately after the flight the Shah placed the order.
    I left shortly before the Revolution and never looked back. But l believe the Mullah’s cancelled the order!

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