Start 'em up, Jacques! (Concorde to fly again?)

The engines on a French Concorde are to be examined as the first move in a 15m Pounds Sterling project aiming to get the supersonic passenger jet back in the air.

The Rolls Royce engines of the former Air France Concorde will undergo an initial examination to see what work needs to be done to start the engines.

Well, I guess if you can create thrust, it could fly. I heard it’s just for the 2012 Olympics so I wonder if they’ll try to get it to go supersonic.

Sounds good to me, just strengthen the weak part of the section of the
engine that caused the fire, then rebuild the engines. Or replace them.
Beats having it sit in a museum.

It’s really simple to fly the Concorde again. Just

  • get pilots recertified
  • before you can do the above get a Concorde simulator built (they were all destroyed)
  • get some engineers recertified to work on the concorde
  • get the airworthiness certificate restored

I don’t think this project is going to fly (no pun intended)

Everything in aviation is a pun.

From what I understand there may still be an active Concord simulator in a museum that is being used for a tourist attraction. I am quite sure its still working as they sell packages to fly it.

It doesnt need its orginal airworthiness certificate. It could be put in the air on an experimental certificate. This is very common in the states.

I have 3 A-4 Skyhawks being restored to an experimental airwrothy condition. They say in the desert for 30 years in some pretty awful conditions. They will fly again. The Concord has been kept in much better condition for a much shorter period of time. We have seen a P-38 pulled from a frozen glacier after 50 years and flown again. Some of the restoration projects literally start as skelitons. I recognize the complexity of the Concord but it has not been that long since they last flew.

According to Wikipedia, when the holder of the airworthiness certificate stops supporting the aircraft, all aircraft are grounded - … ertificate

Take a look at this, especially the response from Bobby C: … 608AA8weCF

Read about experimental certificates. This would clearly fall under exhibition category. … xperiment/

There are people restoring ME-262’s with new engines, building rocket powered planes out of kit planes, etc. Have you seen the engine manufacturers test aircraft where they mount engines all over the sides of 747s just to test new engines out. There is a lot of flexibility when utilizing the experimental category. That is how the Concord would fly again.

Yes, that’s fine if they were trying to get the aircraft certified in the USA. However, it needs to be certified in Europe. The Concorde would need to be certified in Europe based on the Joint Aviation Authorities regulations.

Actually EASA regulations determine that it is the individual European country’s authority to regulate and issue experimental airworthiness certificates. An example would be the United Kindgon’s Civil Aviation Authority.

No matter what the concept of an Experimental Airworthiness certificate exists all over the world. Its how manufacturers test proof of concept planes. Its how enthusiasts in Europe and the rest of the world fly vintage WWI and WWII aircraft. It is how people build kit planes. It would apply to the Concord in the USA and it would apply to the Concord in Europe.

Unlike you David, you’re arguing with someone who knows whereof he speaks, give it up as you’re making yourself appear even more foolish than usual.

I was going to let this drop but, unlike you, I happen to be following this, JHEM. Concorde will not fly again.

The below is from the FAQs at the Concorde Project web page. Emphasis are mine.

Question 22: Finally, THE question - will any of the remaining Concordes ever fly again?Question 22: Finally, THE question - will any of the remaining Concordes ever fly again?

While it can be said that you should never say “never”, it is safe to say that, unfortunately, it is extremely unlikely that a Concorde will ever fly again. This is due to many factors:

* Of the flight crews that flew the aircraft, those that didn't retire and are still actually flying no longer have a means to keep their licences current as the facilities required to re-certify them (i.e. - a CAA approved simulator) no longer exist. 
* All spare parts were either scrapped or auctioned off when Concorde retired. Those that were auctioned off are no longer deemed to be airworthy since leaving the strict control of British Airways' and Air France's bonded stores and therefore could not be used. In addition, much of the infrastructure needed to make spares has gone and many of the hundreds of OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) that manufactured those parts and have design authority over them no longer exist.
* The facilities and equipment for servicing and repairing all parts of Concorde's airframe, engines and systems no longer exist.
* There are no longer any licensed engineers who would be able to a) return a Concorde to airworthy condition, or b) service/maintain the aircraft to keep it airworthy. This is because all the engineers who worked on Concorde over the years have now either re-trained on other aircraft types, or they have retired. Either way, their licences expired a short time after Concorde's retirement.
* Of the remaining Concordes, none are in flying condition anymore. Some of them were approaching major scheduled servicing prior to being retired and this would have to be carried out before the aircraft would be allowed fly again. However, such work would no longer be possible because of the factors outlined in the previous 3 paragraphs. There is also the fact that it is extremely unlikely that any of the museums who have a Concorde would be willing to give up their prize exhibit.
* It is often asked why many older aircraft types are still flying today but Concorde isn't. However, it must be taken into account that Concorde is an order of magnitude more complex both to maintain and to operate than aircraft such as a Spitfire, Lancaster or even a Vulcan which are all very basic in comparison. Concorde has scores of computer controlled systems and sensors that mean, unlike most heritage aircraft, it would be impossible for it to be maintained, operated and kept airworthy by a handful of enthusiasts with basic facilities.
* Some people may of heard stories of one of the Air France Concordes being kept serviceable. Unfortunately the word "serviceable" can be rather misleading. In this case it simply means that they have maintained the electrical and hydraulic systems to a sufficient extent that allows them to connect ground-power from the museum to the aircraft and do things like illuminate the cockpit instruments and move the droop nose up and down occasionally for museum visitors. Like all other remaining fleet Concordes, this one in France hasn't flown since 2003 and, in reality, is far from being in a position to do so.
* It could be argued that many of the issues listed above could be solved by money. However, how much money? Some people closely involved with Concorde have been quoted saying that 10-15 million pounds should be sufficient. This may well have been the case in 2003 but a long time has passed since the last flight and now that the Concorde support chain has been disbanded and the spares holding disposed of the amount needed would be astronomical - possibly over 100 million pounds.
  There will no doubt be differing opinions on this but my view would be that spending such a vast amount of money would be totally unjustifiable just to get one aircraft airworthy for a handful of air shows a year - even if it is Concorde! It is also necessary to bear in mind that these figures just relate to the money needed to get a Concorde back into airworthy condition. The costs of on-going service/maintenance and flight operations would all be in addition to this.
* Concorde no longer has a Certificate of Airworthiness. This is a document issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and is a legal requirement for all civilian aircraft types before they are allowed to fly. Concorde's was withdrawn by the CAA soon after its final flight in 2003. For there to be any hope of Concorde's certificate being re-instated it would be essential to have the support of the manufacturer. Unfortunately, Concorde does not (see the following paragraph).
* And the real show-stopper - Concorde was originally manufactured by BAC of the UK and Aerospatiale of France who both later became part of the Airbus consortium. Unfortunately, Airbus have repeatedly stated they have no interest in participating in returning Concorde to the skies. Airbus was the key supplier in the Concorde operation. Not only did it build Concorde, it specified and controlled the maintenance programme and was the end supplier of the parts that made it fly. Without their support it doesn't make any difference how much money is made available - the whole idea literally is a non-starter.

All this makes for depressing reading for all Concorde fans and while most people would love to see her flying again (me included!), the sad truth is that you will now almost certainly only ever be able to enjoy Concorde in a museum.

In other words, JHEM, I KNOW OF WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. The odds of you winning the Mega Lotto is better than Concorde flying again.

Oh, one thing I did learn. It is not *the *Concorde. It is Concorde (no “the”).

Your apology is accepted, JHEM.


Can we refer to it as “a Concorde” the same way one would say, “Hey look! It’s a Lancaster!”?

Would that be like …“hey look its a 707”? Or… hey look its the 707? I dunno…I get confused with touchy feely subjects… :laughing:

Yes, because “a” indicates an indefinite number.

A -indefinite article

  1. not any particular or certain one of a class or group: a man; a chemical; a house.
  2. a certain; a particular: one at a time; two of a kind; A Miss Johnson called.
  3. another; one typically resembling: a Cicero in eloquence; a Jonah.
  4. one (used before plural nouns that are preceded by a quantifier singular in form): a hundred men (compare hundreds of men ); a dozen times (compare dozens of times ).
  5. indefinitely or nonspecifically (used with adjectives expressing number): a great many years; a few stars.
  6. one (used before a noun expressing quantity): a yard of ribbon; a score of times.
  7. any; a single: not a one.

Good find David. So there’s been a decision to not pursue airworthiness due to perceived overwhelming obstacles.

Good find David.

Believe it or not, I do know what I’m talking about. I subscribe to several aviation email groups. The wealth of information on these groups is phenomenal. Many of the people on the groups have been associated with commercial aviation ever since what I call the Golden Age of Airlines - the late 1950’s and 1960’s.

I learn a lot from these groups. Perhaps you should subscribe to them, too. One of them is a Yahoo group called Oldjets (one word). That’s where I learned about the hindrances to getting Concorde re-certified.

Now, whether someone or some group with more money than brains still wants to go ahead with getting a Concorde flying, that’s a different story. As the writer of the piece I quoted said, never say “never.” However, I honestly believe they will not succeed.

It may be cost prohibitive not to fly the Concord again, but it would not be because it could not get an airworthiness certificate. I think that was the core of your argument. The Concord can fly on an experimental certificate and if it does fly again -thats how it will be done!

Also not to sound like a jerk, but subscribing to a bunch of e-mail groups does not make anyone an expert. I fly a bunch of experimental warbirds and jets and I wouldn’t even be close to an expert and stating what would and would not ever fly again. The reality is that any plane can fly again with enough effort and money. You should see the skeletons of P-38s, F-4U’s and other WW2 era aircraft that have been restored and flown.

The resource you are citing above represents having the Concord fly again in a civil fashion. Sure that would be a problem. There are very limited parts available. That would be a problem for the original type certificate. However, experimental aircraft regularly have modified or fabricated parts fitted to it. They fly in a completely different category and are not held to the same airworthiness standards of an aircraft carrying passengers for hire.

I wouldn’t advise saying “never” about any aircraft. Especially about one that was only retired in the last decade. There were a lot of planes that people probably thought would never fly again. Planes that were retired in a desert in the other half of the last millenium. A great example would be the Avro Vulcan. This is a 1950’s era British Strategic bomber. The fleet was all scrapped. Well with enough money and a museum preserved aircraft (no different than concord) this 4 engine, 60 year old bomber with no spares available—took to the sky again. Not the first time the aviation community has done it and not the last.

This sort of situation is exactly what PMA is for.