Topic Author
Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2000 3:33 am

Concorde Spare Parts/cancelled Rescue Plan

Mon Nov 17, 2003 5:10 am

As the Concorde topic in general has been discussed quite often I have some questions concerning the spare parts situation and a rescue plan which was cancelled some months ago:

- What would have been the maximum operational life of the Concorde?
- Which spare parts were able to be reproduced without cannibalising other aircraft.
- How was the spare part situation for the Olympus engine in the end. Would it have been possible to reproduce for example the blades of the high pressure combustor?
- According to some sources AIRBUS was not very cooperative in the end to support spare parts and maintenance in general. Why?

As I read in the latest edition of Fligh International, Air France and British Airways were considering a rescue plan for Concorde. It was considered until late October to use a pool of Concorde aircraft to operate four main services. This would have included London-Barbados, New York, Paris-Dubai and an undefined North African destination. Two of the younger, lighter Air France built Concorde's (I guess F-BVFF and another one, which???) would have been used as well.

Do you think that such a plan would have been successful and feasible. At least it would have saved here from the terrible present fate of being shipped to museums!

Thanks very much!

Posts: 4962
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2001 3:13 am

RE: Concorde Spare Parts/cancelled Rescue Plan

Mon Nov 17, 2003 5:34 am

Why Airbus wasn´t so keen on keeping Concorde parts and manufacture new parts? Because it took off resources from the A380.
If you check out you find out that the BA Concordes
flown way more than the AF Concordes. I think the economical life span of
the AF Concordes could have been stretched another 10 years easily.
The destiny of the Concordes was sealed this spring when AF had about 80%
empty seats on their Concorde flights going transatlantic and Airbus pushing
for retirement it was an easy decision. The fact that the passenger load has
been good after retirement date is a different story, but BA couldn´t bear the cost themselves so that´s why they also retired the Concorde.
Check out for more...

From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
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RE: Concorde Spare Parts/cancelled Rescue Plan

Mon Nov 17, 2003 6:58 am

The lifespan of the aircraft could have been extended to 10,000 cycles, taking the BA fleet to 2012-14 assuming a return to double daily services which you'd need to fund it, in 1999 this work for 7 BA Concordes was priced at £100 million.
But that would also assume that the airframes would need no more extensive work beyond the re-life 2 plan, which included 22 new elevons, probably a new set of rudders, replacement of many of the air intake ramps, more preventive work on strengthening the crown area, new lower fuselage panels.
As well as new I.N.S. units and other measures to improve the supportability of on board equipment and systems.
The first re-life programme which extended the cycle limit in the early/mid 1990's went smoothly as the airframes were found to be excellent condition.
In 1999 when BA Concorde was making a profit of £30-35 million a year, re-life 2 looked possible.
But of course as the aircraft got older, more maintenance was needed, not so much the airframes but more the systems, though Concorde made up 30% of the BA N.D.T. units workload.
A system example was the need to replace many of the circuit cards in the Air Intake Control Computers, to improve reliability and supportability, that was an expensive exercise.

Post sept 11th, re-life 2 looked dead, though the 15 month hiatus in 2000/2001 and the reduced flying afterwards pushed the decision back a couple of years.
We thought the whole idea was dead by last year, as Airbus found the aircraft more difficult to support the aircraft economically for day to day operations, let alone something like re life 2.

Still, AF seemed set to operate until somewhere between 2005-2007, and BA went along with that, until things went very sour for AF in Febuary this year.

The 'Concorde Alliance' plan may have involved possibly bringing 2 AF aircraft back, but it was a plan largely pushed by BA Concorde personnel, along with some brought out of retirement.
Some AF staff, current and former, may have been involved, I never heard of it though, of course Concorde qualified AF people would be involved in any operation out of CDG.
I'm sure many would be been happy to do so.
It appears that combination of Airbus and some Engineering managers at BA put a stop to this plan at an early stage, though Eddington was fairly supportive in private, if AF had any input officially I do not know.

Soon a book called 'Supersonic Secrets' will be published, look out for it, the writer has spoken to people involved recently, on reading it you may find some of the answers to your questions, in particular why Airbus were so keen to stop any Concorde operations post BA or AF.
I heard about 'Concorde Alliance' in July, on the understanding I kept quiet about it, private talks going on and all that, it deserved to work but I guess asking other airlines to have a stake in it was a victim of the times we live in now, though VS should have been keen given all the noise Branson made.
It deserved to get a chance as it did not ignore maintenance issues, as those closely involved with Concorde drew the plan up.

Topic Author
Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2000 3:33 am

RE: Concorde Spare Parts/cancelled Rescue Plan

Mon Nov 17, 2003 6:13 pm

As I also read in Flight International one of the main reasons for the retirement of the type was the divertion of an AF Concorde in February 03 I guess. The aircraft landed in Halifax and came from NY.
The reason was a massive loss of fuel close to the engine.

Does someone know the registration of the aircraft and some further details about this fuel leak and by what it was caused.

Thanks for the information so far!


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