Concorde May Fly Again
An Air France Concorde was to have undergone borescope tests Saturday to determine if its four engines can be safely started in advance of a possible return to flight. The aircraft is at a French museum at Le Bourget Airport, where it was mothballed seven years ago when Air France and British Airways ended supersonic service after decades of financial losses and the spectacular crash of a Concorde in Paris in 2000 that killed 113 people. There was no word at our deadline on the outcome of the tests but it's hoped the aircraft can soon be fueled and readied for taxi tests before returning to the air for heritage flights. It's hoped the aircraft can be airworthy in time for a flight over the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
The effort is expected to cost more than $20 million and is being spearheaded by a French group, Olympus593. A British organization, Save Concorde Group, has also been trying to get authorities on that side of the channel to fire up one of the Concordes there but hasn't had as much luck as its French counterparts. Meanwhile, the trial of French and American people charged in the crash that effectively ended the commercial use of the airliner ended on Friday in Paris. A verdict won't be handed down until Dec. 6.