Concorde is making its final flights on Friday, ending 27 years of supersonic travel.Celebrities will experience the last of three flights on the day, as the plane flies from New York to London.Thousands of people are expected to gather at Heathrow Airport to see the trio touch down at about 1600 BST.
The first of the planes departed from Heathrow at 1035 BST for its return flight to Edinburgh.A second is completing a supersonic loop over the Atlantic before returning to Heathrow. The third, the last leg of a return flight to New York carrying about 100 people, includes a businessman who booked his ticket a year ago before the plane's retirement was announced.
Water cannon will spray it with jets of red, white and blue water to evoke the colours of the British, American and French flags in a symbolic farewell on the runway at John F Kennedy airport.
Heathrow airport operator BAA has built a 1,000-seat grandstand for spectators. But the company, together with police and Highways Agency staff, warned other would-be spectators to stay away from the Heathrow area and watch from other positions, or see the final landings on television.
British Airways chief executive officer Rod Eddington said there was a "mixture of sadness and celebration" about the retirement. "It is a wonderful plane, an icon, but its time has come. It's an old plane - it doesn't look it - but it was designed in the 50s and built in the 60s," he told BBC One's Breakfast.
He said one of the reasons for retiring Concorde was because economic conditions had meant the "vast majority" of Concorde's regular customers had not been flying on the plane over the past two years.