Bralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 672 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 68912 times:
Today, a quite small but interesting story was published in one of Belgian's newspapers regarding the famous Concorde. This weekend aviation experts will conduct tests on the Air France Concorde preserved in Le Bourget. If the tests have good result, the next goal is to get them running again safely. After that taxi tests will be conducted with the plane. The long term plan (which has a price tag of 15 million GBP) is to get the bird flying again just in time for the opening ceremony of the Olympics in London in 2012.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13492 posts, RR: 76
Reply 8, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 67655 times:
The engines may for an inspection, cost only the sum quoted to do this, getting an actual airframe flying, complete with airworthiness certification, somehow getting spare parts (all sold or donated) also deemed fit for use-age on a flying aircraft, inevitably making new parts - not done since early 2003 - top all that up, around £100 million if you are lucky.
I'm afraid any article with a contribution from the 'Save Concorde Group' is tainted.
A bunch who have spent way more time this last 6 years fighting each other, offending anyone with any actual real world Concorde involvement (the few that ever had anything to do with them didn't last long due to in fighting and telling them engineering FACTS they did not want to hear), than actually doing anything practical.
Never involved with them myself, I did meet some of them in 2003/4, not impressed to say the least, all ignorance and conspiracy theories.
When I told them in early 04 that G-BOAF would need major maintenance before it flew again, they just waved it aside, airworthiness regulations on scheduled maintenance not being of interest to them. They were more keen to tell me that they reckoned the said aircraft lost an engine on the last ever Concorde take off on 26th Nov 2003. Funny that, didn't see it myself neither was it mentioned on the tech log for this LHR-FZO flight.
A good rule of life is 'never say never', but to do this (why? It's never going to carry pax), however would require a rather major about face in policy by both UK and French airworthiness authorities.
There is a plan I understand to run engines on an AF Concorde, possible, but a world away from flying one.
BA174 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 796 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 67624 times:
Quoting Bralo20 (Thread starter): Today, a quite small but interesting story was published in one of Belgian's newspapers regarding the famous Concorde. This weekend aviation experts will conduct tests on the Air France Concorde preserved in Le Bourget. If the tests have good result, the next goal is to get them running again safely. After that taxi tests will be conducted with the plane. The long term plan (which has a price tag of 15 million GBP) is to get the bird flying again just in time for the opening ceremony of the Olympics in London in 2012.
I thought all of the RTF 2012 thing was circled around at first BOAC then they moved on to BOAF. Not sure where a French concorde will fit in at our games considering we have our own fleet but never mind.... In fact it's quite embarrising and no doubt if it happened the press would dive on the fact that we had to use a fenchie one because non of ours could be used.
SSTsomeday From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 1283 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 67305 times:
Quoting GDB (Reply 8): A good rule of life is 'never say never', but to do this (why? It's never going to carry pax), however would require a rather major about face in policy by both UK and French airworthiness authorities.
Quoting JBirdAV8r (Reply 9): Don't know how it works overseas, but in the US you don't need a type certificate to fly an airplane. You can fly it with a special airworthiness certificate (experimental).
Right, to fly it for "experimental" or "demonstration" purposes does not require the same, stringent type of certification. Though I think to fly it over thousands of people at The Olympics might raise some regulatory eyebrows. Perhaps a very specific flight path would be indicated; who knows.
I also think there is a huge difference with regard to whether or not "they" hope to fly it supersonically. That could actually be the deal breaker; Flying it supersonically I would suggest (though I have no credibility in this area) is what would be technically and financially prohibitive due to the dissolution of the technical support system when she stopped flying.
Bralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 672 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 67153 times:
Controrary to the other frames left, F-BTSD is the sole frame that was maintained for during the years when it has been retired. I don't know how much exactly but I do remember they kept all electronics functional, tested it repetately, run the hydraulic systems, etc... So it makes sense to use this frame if they want to fly one Concorde again. AFAIK non of the BA Concordes are able to fly again since I thought that BA removed several systems to make them unusable.
If and when no mayor problems are found there is a big chance that she'll be able to fly again, unfortunately none should expect that she will every fly again with passengers on board of the plane, but ferry flights as part of airshows, etc... I can see it happen though...
But flying on the openingceremony of the Olympics in London with this bird seems it bit of a problem, unless they spraypaint the bird one side BA colors and one side AF colors...
zeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 10484 posts, RR: 75
Reply 16, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 67019 times:
Quoting JBirdAV8r (Reply 9):
Don't know how it works overseas, but in the US you don't need a type certificate to fly an airplane. You can fly it with a special airworthiness certificate (experimental).
I agree, though, that it will never haul revenue passengers again.
Quote: Question 22: Finally, THE question - will any of the remaining Concordes ever fly again?
While it can be said that you should never say "never", it is safe to say that, unfortunately, it is extremely unlikely that a Concorde will ever fly again. This is due to many factors:
* Of the flight crews that flew the aircraft, those that didn't retire and are still actually flying no longer have a means to keep their licences current as the facilities required to re-certify them (i.e. - a CAA approved simulator) no longer exist.
* All spare parts were either scrapped or auctioned off when Concorde retired. Those that were auctioned off are no longer deemed to be airworthy since leaving the strict control of British Airways' and Air France's bonded stores and therefore could not be used. In addition, much of the infrastructure needed to make spares has gone and many of the hundreds of OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) that manufactured those parts and have design authority over them no longer exist.
* The facilities and equipment for servicing and repairing all parts of Concorde's airframe, engines and systems no longer exist.
* There are no longer any licensed engineers who would be able to a) return a Concorde to airworthy condition, or b) service/maintain the aircraft to keep it airworthy. This is because all the engineers who worked on Concorde over the years have now either re-trained on other aircraft types, or they have retired. Either way, their licences expired a short time after Concorde's retirement.
* Of the remaining Concordes, none are in flying condition anymore. Some of them were approaching major scheduled servicing prior to being retired and this would have to be carried out before the aircraft would be allowed fly again. However, such work would no longer be possible because of the factors outlined in the previous 3 paragraphs. There is also the fact that it is extremely unlikely that any of the museums who have a Concorde would be willing to give up their prize exhibit.
* It is often asked why many older aircraft types are still flying today but Concorde isn't. However, it must be taken into account that Concorde is an order of magnitude more complex both to maintain and to operate than aircraft such as a Spitfire, Lancaster or even a Vulcan which are all very basic in comparison. Concorde has scores of computer controlled systems and sensors that mean, unlike most heritage aircraft, it would be impossible for it to be maintained, operated and kept airworthy by a handful of enthusiasts with basic facilities.
* Some people may of heard stories of one of the Air France Concordes being kept serviceable. Unfortunately the word "serviceable" can be rather misleading. In this case it simply means that they have maintained the electrical and hydraulic systems to a sufficient extent that allows them to connect ground-power from the museum to the aircraft and do things like illuminate the cockpit instruments and move the droop nose up and down occasionally for museum visitors. Like all other remaining fleet Concordes, this one in France hasn't flown since 2003 and, in reality, is far from being in a position to do so.
* It could be argued that many of the issues listed above could be solved by money. However, how much money? Some people closely involved with Concorde have been quoted saying that £10-£15 million should be sufficient. This may well have been the case in 2003 but a long time has passed since the last flight and now that the Concorde support chain has been disbanded and the spares holding disposed of the amount needed would be astronomical - possibly over £100 million.
There will no doubt be differing opinions on this but my view would be that spending such a vast amount of money would be totally unjustifiable just to get one aircraft airworthy for a handful of air shows a year - even if it is Concorde! It is also necessary to bear in mind that these figures just relate to the money needed to get a Concorde back into airworthy condition. The costs of on-going service/maintenance and flight operations would all be in addition to this.
* Concorde no longer has a Certificate of Airworthiness. This is a document issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and is a legal requirement for all civilian aircraft types before they are allowed to fly. Concorde's was withdrawn by the CAA soon after its final flight in 2003. For there to be any hope of Concorde's certificate being re-instated it would be essential to have the support of the manufacturer. Unfortunately, Concorde does not (see the following paragraph).
* And the real show-stopper - Concorde was originally manufactured by BAC of the UK and Aerospatialé of France who both later became part of the Airbus consortium. Unfortunately, Airbus have repeatedly stated they have no interest in participating in returning Concorde to the skies. Airbus was the key supplier in the Concorde operation. Not only did it build Concorde, it specified and controlled the maintenance programme and was the end supplier of the parts that made it fly. Without their support it doesn't make any difference how much money is made available - the whole idea literally is a non-starter.
All this makes for depressing reading for all Concorde fans and while most people would love to see her flying again (me included!), the sad truth is that you will now almost certainly only ever be able to enjoy Concorde in a museum.
While I love the Concorde, I do not expect to see it ever to fly again for the reasons stated above.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13492 posts, RR: 76
Reply 17, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 66746 times:
zeke, thanks for providing that link which encapsulates what I'm saying but does so rather more comprehensively
Folks, as ex Concorde Engineering myself, it's all true.
I usually cite this in these discussions, but it's important.
BA looked in 2003 as such a 'Heritage Aircraft', in detail and of course with an unrivalled knowledge base.
It was, unfortunately, found that running this one display aircraft would not be much cheaper than running an operational fleet.
That spares and support issue mainly.
Every avenue was considered, including the airworthiness regulatory one, that was not good news for the idea that a more limited cert. was a runner.
And this at time when the support network was still (just) running, when we had the licenced crews and technical people still at hand.
When we could have utilised our spares stock in a way impossible to do now.
The numbers didn't stack up.
I do totally get the interest and desire to see Concorde flying, the fans of all sorts made us involved with her very proud and rather humbled.
We were as much fans of the lovely lady as anyone.
I know the Vulcan will be cited. But look how close to failing that project came to several times, this on a type far less complex than Concorde, with a much wider base of experience from the sheer numbers compared to Concorde that ever existed, stacks of spare parts available too.
It's not a real comparison, though in flying a retired aircraft again probably the closest to Concorde, though between it and the SST it's a huge gap.
The bearded wonder of VS raised, just for PR, knowingly a lot of false hopes in 2003.
I don't want to see that again.
worldliner From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 275 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 65582 times:
Would be nice to see it fly again, but im sceptical about the colourscheme, as i cant imagine it staying in the AF colours, and i doubt the French would allow it to be painted in BA colours. Especially as London beat Paris to the olympics in the first place .
avek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4512 posts, RR: 21
Reply 19, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 64271 times:
Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 12): I also think there is a huge difference with regard to whether or not "they" hope to fly it supersonically. That could actually be the deal breaker; Flying it supersonically I would suggest (though I have no credibility in this area) is what would be technically and financially prohibitive due to the dissolution of the technical support system when she stopped flying.
Flying a restored SSC at supersonic speed is not going to happen. Period. The aviation insurers of the world will see to that.
jeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1373 posts, RR: 10
Reply 20, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 62063 times:
I too think it would be cool to see the old bird flying again in 2012. However, if it is true that all they want to do is have it ready to fly for the opening ceremonies, then that seems like they would be spending a ton of money on a short term goal.
BA174 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 796 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 61402 times:
Quoting worldliner (Reply 18): Would be nice to see it fly again, but im sceptical about the colourscheme, as i cant imagine it staying in the AF colours, and i doubt the French would allow it to be painted in BA colours. Especially as London beat Paris to the olympics in the first place .
I doubt the queen would want the AF concorde colours rolling down the mall in 2012. I personally see a joint BA/AF livery if it was to happen as they would have to recognise the british involvement into concorde and the ex-BA crews engineers.
Quoting Aesma (Reply 4): I don't really see an AF frame painted in BA colors happening.
It should be in the colours of the airline that was most loyal to concorde .........
Its not that I have anything against the French concordes but I would love to see a chatham concorde flying again.
MadameConcorde From Monaco, joined Feb 2007, 11311 posts, RR: 34
Reply 23, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 61253 times:
I trust what GDB is saying on this thread. I was just sent a private message that the thread was opened. I don't have much time to be on the forums due to an accident that's causing me many problems as well as some late work.
Anyway my take on this is that I very much doubt Airbus will agree to let F-BTSD fly again, same as I doubt that SD will be able to fly without any contribution from Airbus.
I am curious to find out what resullts they got from the engines boroscope inspections and if they can be turned on again without damaging them or the frame. Also they will have to move the aircraft out of the building so I think they will have to break one of the walls in order to do this as the two Concordes are so tightly placed one next to the other it must be impossible to move one without breaking one of the walls in the hangar where they are both exhibited.
I would be more than happy to go to Le Bourget whenever the roll-out takes place, if it ever takes place. I doubt we will see her ever taking off again but as they say "never say never". In these times of economic downturn I wonder who is going to get the money in order to make a return to flight possible.
Other than Singapore or another Tiger from Asia with lots of ready cash on hand I don't see France or the UK financing it. There is simply no public money for such an enterprise. I seriously doubt that Airbus would pay for this either.
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
flylku From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 927 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 58450 times:
It is unclear to me where the funding is / would come from. I doubt any of the groups actually have it. So, even if they determine that it can be flown again in whatever capacity, the hardest part might be finding someone to pay for it.
...are we there yet?
: This is the key point since Airbus must, as the surviving manufacturer, must participate in any restoration effort and to spend GBP15M (about USD25M)
: I visited F-BTSD this week and was lucky enough to be given a full tour and be given access to the flight decks of SD and 001 by two of the team that
: And here is the most important point. Concorde will not fly again, this group is simply generated false hope.
: Legitimate question: Assuming the airplane has been sitting all this time, not flying, not having any hours or cycles put on it, *but* being maintaine
: OK, since we are on the subject of Certificate of Airworthiness, there still seems to be some "gray areas" on this. Deviating from Concorde for a minu
: You guys are a great bunch, and I thoroughly enjoy reading and participating in these forums on a variety of topics. What fuels a.net has always been
: Now why cant folks get together and get the Concorde back in the sky but it seems like no problem to get and keep WWII birds in the sky.
32 Max Q
: Whatever it takes, bring this beautiful bird back !