Discussion in 'Everything else Heritage' started by Matt35027, May 29, 2010.
I wondered how long it would be :happy:
Don't get your hopes up - the aviation forums are already buzzing with discussion about how much it would cost. Also they would have to persuade Airbus to get involved as the design authority, and they were the company that wanted to finish off Concorde in the first place.
It would be fantastic to see it resurrected for special flights, as I think it was one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century, but it will take a massive amount of £££'s to achieve.
Having flown Concorde once back in 1985 I would love the opportunity to repeat the trip but I fear that the price would be well beyond my reach should this project, however unlikely, come to fruition. There were proposals to keep her flying at the time of her retirement but combinations of cost and Airbus intransigence doomed them to failure.
Seven years down the line and I feel the problems will be even greater. Never say never though.
Years ago they used to do trial flights round the Bay of Biscay at £150, I saved and saved and just when I got close the fares went up to £350.. So ended a dream. But never say never..
I never got round to a flight in that beautiful aircraft either. It's on my list that includes the Breitling Lockheed Constellation.
But it doesnt start with a 3 Bryan.
In all seriousness though, as it has been grounded for so long; would it be safe? Bearing in mind that the engines havent been run since withdrawl
Just look at what was required to get the Vulcan airborne. Then triple or quadruple it for a start...
I am very much in favour of this project!! The best of luck to them.
(I doubt if I would have enough £££ for a flight! but then again....)
IMO the withdrawal was a mistake. Especially after all the work to prevent a repeat of the one and only crash!)
Wouldnt this be wonderful, if ever an aircraft was pulled from service when there was a market for it, this was it! - concorde was magnificent and sadly retired far too early. The very tragic events in France gave B.A. and Airfrance the opportunity to bring the legend to a premature close, i remeber undertaking my one and only flying lesson, and passing under the B.A. C
It is hardenough to keep the Vulcan flying, best kept static in my opinion
It would be great to see a Concorde flying again but I can't see it happening. It would probably cost around £100 million to get one fully operational and capable of going supersonic.
With the Vulcan, it was kept in a hangar at RAF Bruntingthorpe for years with around 600 tonnes of unused spares, donated by the RAF, including half a dozen engines unused since their last overhaul. It cost millions to get it operational and continues to soak up all available cash to keep it flying. It often misses air displays because of technical problems but it is wonderful to see and hear when it does operate. It is a subsonic plane.
Anybody with the skills and money can buy a subsonic jet fighter, restore it and fly it and there are many Hawker Hunters and similar planes in private hands. You can buy and restore a supersonic English Electric Lightning but the Government won't let you fly it. Fast taxiing is all you can do unless you go somewhere like Thunder City in South Africa where they are allowed to fly.
Concorde can only go supersonic over the sea and at about 30000 feet. At supersonic speeds it gets very hot until, at Mach 2, it averages 95 degrees Celcius and expands in every direction. Fuel has to be moved around to balance the plane and fuel is also used to cool the plane.
The Concorde they are talking about flying again is kept in a building at Le Bourget near Paris. There are no doors on the building so they will have to knock down an end-wall to get it out and spend a lot of money on a set of Concorde-sized doors if they want to get it in and out in the future. The plane is looked after by a team of former Concorde engineers who power up some of the systems each week and raise and lower the nose and visor for visitors. They do not want to see it started, taxied or flown but it has been taken out of their hands.
After the Paris crash all BA and AF Concordes were grounded for nearly a year and millions of pounds were spent modifying them before returning to flight (both BA and AF) but they were made ready just in time for the terrible events of September 11th 2001 which resulted in a downturn in aviation. About a year later an AF Concorde suffered a severe engine failure crossing the Atlantic and resulted in the loss of tonnes of fuel before they could stop it. They just managed to land at Halifax Nova Scotia and that incident scared AF as they came close to being the airline that lost two Concordes. As they were not making money out of their Concorde fleet they decided to cut their losses and told Airbus (who maintain Concordes) that they were going to cease operations. Airbus had to tell BA that they would have to pay more for their support as they would be the only airline operating Concorde. BA did their sums and realised that they could not go on by themselves. Concordes were retired. Attempts were made to keep a joint operation going with the best of the available planes but it never got off the ground.
Every part of Concorde is unique and must be specially certified for the heat of Mach 2 and most of the maintenance skills were with the employees of BA and AF. There are no bonded spares and the simulators have been dismantled. I think that any available money would be better spent housing and displaying the remaining planes.
Sadly, there's no chance at all as it would take Airbus to agree as they hold design authority for the airframe and Rolls Royce/SNECMA to agree for the engines and that just WONT happen. Marshall's of Cambridge took over design authority for the Vulcan and have sunk millions of their own money into it and they will take a fairly large financial hot if the TVOC don't repay them and I can't see them doing similar for Concorde unless someone came up with £100M in notes.
Channel 4 has a programme about Concorde on in 10 minutes time. Entitled Concorde's Last Flight.
Here's the blurb for it.
A decade after the Air France Flight 4590 disaster outside Paris, which played a role in sealing Concorde's fate and bringing the supersonic age to a close, this documentary uses archive footage and reconstructions to tell the story of the airliner. Engineers, pilots and VIP passengers discuss the string of bad luck it encountered, from rocketing oil prices to concerns over noise and pollution.
Interesting documentary which confirmed everything Brider said in his post above. Spot on !
Very interesting documentary which threw a bit more light on the tragic Paris crash.
I'm so glad that I managed a supersonic charter flight on Concorde, even though it cost an arm and a leg, (not literally), at the time.
An experience never to be forgotten.
My conclusion = shafted by the French (again).
Out of interest, and in the light of what was shown with regard to Air France maintenance last evening an acquaintance who was in the Charter business some years ago told me that he would never charter an Aircraft from Air France (including their Concorde's) because " it is a well known fact, in the aviation industry, that their maintenance standards leave something to be desired". Even the recent Airbus crash off Brazil when they had not got around to applying the modifications to the speed indicator tubes seems to bear this out.
Of course the French Government always whitewash these issues. It is far easier to cover up situations such as this in France than the U.K. because the French Government and press always suppress issues that may reflect poorly upon their National Image and pride.
I'm flying the AF A380 in three weeks time, I'm not worried flying AF.
I was also going to fly the AF Concorde but unbelieveable circumstances meant i didnt make the flight.
Maybe it's just me but I dont have a problem.
One of my more interesting flights was from Curitiba to Sao Paulo, just a week after a crash there, the flight had people standing in the aisle as there wasnt enough seats from take off to landing.. and another flight, I didnt have a valid ticket (missed connection) and no one checked the boarding pass (I phoned home just to let someone know I was on that plane as no one at the airline knew or cared !).
As for concorde flying again.. maybe if France wins the Olympics / World Cup or Airbus reaches 100 years old.
Are any of the concordskis still flying? Last I heard several had been taken out of retirement and fitted with redundant engines form the stillborn blackjack bommer project. There was a bit of film of one performing a heavy landing and the way the front of the fuselage flexed and bounced was alarming! That was about 10-12 years ago mind you...
Last one flew for NASA in 1999. Withdrawn from passenger use in 1975.
One had been used for flight test by NASA and was re-engined with Tu-160 Blackjack engines and was redesignated TU-144LL (flying laboratory). The tests finished and the airframe (not the engines though) was put up for sale on ebay. It was 'sold' to a US buyer but the sale was never completed. The engines would have been fitted for a one time flight and then removed for return to Russia.
The Tu-144 was used in preference to Concorde as the instrumentation for the flight tests involved breaking the pressure hull at avrious points and BA/AF were not prepared to allow that.
The number of extant Tu-144 airframes is slowly dwindling as the ones stored at Zhukovsky near Moscow are scrapped.
Incidentally, the TU-160 Blackjack bomber was not still born and a number flew in Russian service which have been added to by the return of those operated by the Ukrainian AF and the renovation of a number of prototype airframes which had been lying around the research airfield at Zhukovsky. A small number of new build airframes is also envisaged.
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