View Full Version : "New tyres give hope for Concorde"

7th Jun 2001, 15:26
from news.bbc.co.uk

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">New tyres are being unveiled as part of a range of safety measures to get the supersonic jet Concorde back into the skies.
The entire fleet of Concordes has been grounded since the Air France crash in Paris in July 2000, which killed 113 people.

Investigators believe the crash happened when a piece of metal on the runway punctured the plane's tyre.

It exploded, sending rubber debris hurtling against a fuel tank which ruptured, triggering a fire.

The new tyres, to be unveiled by manufacturer Michelin in Paris on Thursday, have been designed to be less likely to burst.

They are also believed to be made of new materials which will shatter into tiny fragments in the event of a blow-out, thus being less likely to cause damage.

The tyres have been tested in flight on an Air France Concorde.

Linings made of Kevlar - the material used to make bulletproof vests - have also been put inside the fuel tanks to strengthen them. These were fitted earlier this year and have been tested to see if they can survive heavy impacts.

Both Air France and British Airways - the only two companies who operate the plane - hope to resume their Concorde services in the autumn.

The return to service ultimately depends on the re-issue of a certificate of airworthiness by the Civil Aviation Authority and its French equivalent.

It is hoped the modifications will help the aircraft gain the certificate. </font>

7th Jun 2001, 15:45
According to Flight Int some weeks ago, the new Michelin radial tyres, which were being designed before the Concorde tragedy happened, are not a condition for the type's recertification, but a "bonus" if they perform according to spec. That assessment, incidentally, was quoted as having come from the Concorde Working Group.

7th Jun 2001, 17:49
Is anyone likely to allow Concorde back into the air until the final accident report is out? I would have thought the legal ramifications of correcting the 'wrong' problem would be substantial, no?

7th Jun 2001, 18:05
But the French BEA know what the problem was don't they? Nasty rumours about AF maintenance leaving bits out of the main u/c are irrelavent and unfounded aren't they?

It must have been those Brit-designed wings and tanks (the wings were brit-desinged weren't they?)

Let's not even think about the "spray deflectors" that AF didn't fit and BA did.

Now don't get the impression that I'm a Francophile http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/eek.gif

(and I don't want to bl00dy Euro either http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/tongue.gif )

Wile E. Coyote
7th Jun 2001, 18:17
The official report isn't out but I bet the teams at the airlines and manufacturers already have a damn good idea of exactly what the sequence of events was leading up to the accident.

They will know many things that could be done to the aircraft to prevent a similar accident happening again e.g. increase the penetration resistance of the wing fuel tanks, make the tyres less likely to self-destruct if they get damaged at high speed, remove any possible source of ignition (as it looks like it wasn't an engine afterburner that ignited the leaking fuel), look at the flight and ground crew actions (is there something else that should be done differently now that we have more knowledge of how Concorde behaves in this flight regime) and so on.

The chances are that the report will recommend/require some of the changes currently being made, and if so, those changes will already be in place and time won't be needed to implement them. There may - probably will - be other recommendations/requirements.

In any case, BA are very keen to get the Concorde back into passenger service asap, and by doing some of the work now, they will be able to bring the aircraft back into service all the sooner.

Hugh Jarse
8th Jun 2001, 13:53
ExSimDude, I think you mean Francophobe....

I hope they can get them back in the air soon.

Dyslexics of the world untie!

9th Jun 2001, 03:08
The Froggie Conks had rain deflectors on the MLG's, they just didn't have the gurt big wire ropes acting as secondary attachment to stop them going through the bottom wing skin ala IAD.


I mean


9th Jun 2001, 07:18

The wings were part of the French input to the Concorde project.

Yes the tyres seem impressive if the early tests are anything to go by and should go a long way in the confidence stakes for the public as they are a very visable of safety being improved. What will really get the CofA back is the fuel tanks and wiring mods etc.. these tests are hoped to be starting in the next few weeks so fingers crossed!

I bet some of the regular pprune's can't wait to get back behind the controls.


9th Jun 2001, 09:05
I want to know if they tried all temp ranges or just standard day.

13th Jun 2001, 16:38
Why shouldn't Concorde fly again before the full report comes out? No-one stopped 737s flying because of the rudder hard over problem (which the FAA has now decided WAS in fact the cause of one more accident than previously admitted). B737 rudders have killed more people than Concorde wheels/tyres/tanks and surely the accident would not have happened if a) Continental knew how to screw bits on to their aeroplanes properly and b) the CDG authorities kept the runway clean.

13th Jun 2001, 16:56
I wonder if the report will say that all ATC in France should be conducted in English?