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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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?
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.
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....
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?
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?
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.