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Spectators Balcony (Spotters Corner) If you're not a professional pilot but want to discuss issues about the job, this is the best place to loiter. You won't be moved on by 'security' and there'll be plenty of experts to answer any questions.


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Old 2nd Feb 2010, 21:43   #1 (permalink)
 
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Any airworthy Concorde left?

The trial starting today has reminded me of this.

Obviously none currently flying, but are there any airworthy Concorde left, or at least in a condition where they could be brought back to airworthiness? I've seen pictures of the "noseless" one, and I recall reading that at least one had its wings removed for transportation.

Sorry if this is a daft question!
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Old 2nd Feb 2010, 21:49   #2 (permalink)
 
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There are none left
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Old 2nd Feb 2010, 22:17   #3 (permalink)
 
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The short answer is no. Whilst models such as the AF model at Dulles Airport may still be in one piece, one of the reasons it was taken out of service is because Airbus said they were not going to provide support and maintenance for the fleet any more. The cost alone to bring them back in to service is astronomical.

A search of the forums and the web in general will provide more info as to why we're highly unlikely to see Concorde in the skies again.
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 08:36   #4 (permalink)
 
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I seem to recall that once all the hydraulics had been drained from the systems of those on static display, effectively that was it, finito.
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 09:01   #5 (permalink)
 
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Concordes Disabled

IIRC (and correct me if I am wrong) that when the BA Concordes last flew, the engineer's went over them and drilled little holes all over the cabin floor to ensure they could never be pressurised again.

I have a vague recollection that it was done in response to a rumour that Sir R B was going to buy one off a museum and restore it to flying order.

Again ... tell me if I am wrong

Just thinking about the wonderful aeroplane sent me to this site again ... so I share it with all enthausists.

BBC NEWS | Special Reports | Concorde retirement

Last edited by Dave Gittins; 3rd Feb 2010 at 09:19.
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 09:13   #6 (permalink)
 
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facebook

There is on Facebook a group started to Bring the one at EGLL
To Farnborough , they seem to reckon FAST would be able to look after
it but FAST Has a small area and relys on Volenteers and more.
The cost of this would no doubt be enormous if there was room for it.

Tony
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 10:10   #7 (permalink)
 
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Dave, sorry but you are wrong because an aircraft hull is pressurised and not just the cabin, there is a forward and aft pressure bulkhead effectively capping both ends of a pressurised tube so drilling holes in the floor would make no difference.
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 10:24   #8 (permalink)
 
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Pedant mode on :

AFAIK holes were drilled in various parts of the pressure hull to make it as difficult as possible (if IMpossible) to put any ex BA Concorde back in the air.

Pedant mode off :

Are you disagreeing with the thrust of my argument ? or simply that I loosely referred to the floor rather than being precise ?

I also have a vague recollection of somebody saying (and this is a rumour forum) that Sir R B would have to buy an ex AF one to pursue his dream .. as they hadn't thought of that particular trick.

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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 10:49   #9 (permalink)
 
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Sadly,the Vulcan has shown how difficult it is to do properly.
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 11:15   #10 (permalink)
 
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Are there any left that could be ground run and fast taxied like those at Bruntingthorpe
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 11:48   #11 (permalink)
 
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Chaps, I hope these few words may be of assistance, these are issues of a technical, not an economic standpoint. (The deliberate hike in Airbus support fees was a primary reason for services being stopped in 2003).
  1. No holes were ever drilled in anything, this rumour is rubbish. (And as ponted out, drilling holes in the cabin floor itself would have been pointless). When the aircraft were decomissioned, all fluids were drained, the escape slides removed and the Ground Power Protection Unit was removed from the elctronics rack.
  2. Yes the draining of the hydraulics was crucial. Concorde used a special mineral based fluid, Chevron M2V, which was highly prone to water contamination and always had to be stored in airtight containers. M2V was required because conventional fluids (eg Skydrol) are useless at very high temperatures. The entire hydraulic system would require prging, and the components over-hauled. (Although Concorde was the only A/C to use M2V, there is an Americal Mil Spec fluid that is a direct equivilant).
  3. Unfortunately the majority of British A/C were stored outside, which has not helped the structures one bit. (Although G-BOAC & G-BOAE are now safely undercover). And in the case of G-BOAA at East Fortune, although stored in a hangar, the wings were cut off and then re-attached at the museum, efectively killing the aircraft. Many of the French aircraft have been stored undercover, and are in far better external condition.
Economically it would be astronomically difficult to bring an aircraft up to flight standard, but from a technical one, yes it is possible, given sufficient manpower and expertise (no shortage of either). We can all dream.....
I hope this help you guys a little.

Last edited by M2dude; 3rd Feb 2010 at 12:52.
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 14:35   #12 (permalink)
 
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An article in the The Times dated 19 October 2006 referred to a group of Air France Concorde engineers being allowed daily access to Sierra Delta (F-BTSD), in the museum at Le Bourget. It stated that this group carried out basic checks and ran the systems, including the hydraulics and electrics, at least three times a week. They were also said to raise and lower the nose section. If correct, this suggests that the draining of fluids was not carried out on this aircraft, nor were the electrics disabled.

The article stated that the group was planning to restart the engines and taxi the aircraft around the airport, with the ultimate aim of enabling it to fly again. It was said that members of the group were due to meet Airbus at Toulouse to discuss gaining access to spare parts.

All of this sounds mildly encouraging, but presumably it didn't happen?
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 16:05   #13 (permalink)
 
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I have a vague recollection from somewhere that the only BA Concorde ever to stand chance of flying again was the one that returned home to Filton. Seem to remember that there was a discussion around the time the announcement over the 2012 Olympics was made about restoring it to do a flypast at the opening ceremony.

However, that was a few years back and I've been to the pub far too many times since then to recall the source, or to say for sure.
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 16:53   #14 (permalink)
 
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I seem to remember that this group Club Concorde - The only Concorde Captains' website - Concorde memorabilia & signed photos wanted to try to get Concorde in the air again. I think the idea has now been dropped - sadly!
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 17:43   #15 (permalink)
 
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Re; the Concorde F-BTSD at Le Bourget...I saw it last November, and it did still have a power socket plugged in and I understand that the nose can still be raised and lowered, and some lights still work...but as for the rest, its anybody's guess what actually is still capable of working! just cos the nose works, it doesnt make a restorable aircraft! I dont think that the engines have run since it arrived at Le Bourget during the Paris Air Show of 2003...

Its a truly lovely idea, but its just not going to happen....
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 18:23   #16 (permalink)
 
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The wikipedia entry describes F-BTSD as 'near airworthy'
Concorde - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, but who was this written by?

I visited G-BOAF in Filton less than a year ago, it looks largely complete, but 'maintenance' is pretty much limited to keeping it polished and shiny for the visitors. They were trying to raise 1M or so to put it under cover, you can see on Google Earth that even the taxiway to its final resting place has been grassed over.

Lets pretend for a minute that all the challenges for getting one airworthy are technical and political, rather than financial (for the Bransons/Pages/Brins of this world, 10M is sofa change) If it can be done with a Vulcan, just for a few airshow flybys now and again, exactly what are the issues with doing this again?
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 20:02   #17 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for all the info.

I'm realistic enough to know that straight economics means Concorde could never fly commercially now, but it's an absolute travesty that there isn't one left that *could* fly. Those involved in that decision should hang their heads in utter shame. Maybe it's a naive thought, but properly mothballing one of them surely wouldn't have been beyond the wit of man?

Ah well...
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 21:38   #18 (permalink)
 
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There is a problem with product liability (don't you just love modern jargon). Airbus withdrew support from the aircraft. If (and my view is that is a very, very big if) one were to fly again I would expect no passengers and strict limits on what manouvers it can perform.
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Old 4th Feb 2010, 12:15   #19 (permalink)
 
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OAB has had quarter inch holes drilled in the lower fuselage to let out water found to be collecting in the bilge areas.
B73.
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Old 4th Feb 2010, 16:23   #20 (permalink)
 
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Sorry BOAC73, forgot about OAB.
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