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Will Concorde return for a 2012 moment?

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Tom Edwards Tom Edwards | 12:32 UK time, Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Concorde being towed past Parliament

A bit of a tea spluttering moment this morning reading about how enthusiasts think Concorde could be involved in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics.

Forget the Red Arrows... Imagine Concorde flying over the Olympic stadium? That would be quite a sight.

The Save Concorde Group want Concorde back in the air and say it could be timed to coincide with the celebrations for the London Olympics in 2012.

The news according to them is that the checks at the weekend on the engines went well and the Save Concorde Group says:

"In an ironic twist, this major development gives further weight to the distinct possibility that Concorde could fly again and feature in the opening ceremony of the greatest event on the planet - the 2012 London Olympics."

So is this a flight of fancy? Or is there a chance it could happen? Is it a good idea?

My colleague, our Olympics Correspondent Adrian Warner, tells me London 2012 say:

"There's been no formal talks about it and this idea's been floating around with enthusiasts for some time."

British Airways tell me the tests weren't actually done on its Concorde but on one formerly owned by Air France and now owed by a Paris museum.

By way of explanation BA says:

"British Airways is incredibly proud to have flown this marvellous aircraft for 27 years. The decision to retire Concorde in 2003 was not taken lightly but was due to a combination of commercial and technical reasons.

We have loaned our Concordes to various museums and collections around the world following the retirement of our fleet from service in November 2003.

We carry out maintenance audits of all of our Concordes around the world and are satisfied with their structural condition and how the respective new homes are looking after each of them.

There is a huge difference between keeping Concorde in an airworthy condition and maintaining them as ground based museum exhibits.

In the summer of 2003 before Concorde retired from commercial service we conducted a detailed study with Airbus which regrettably led us to conclude that it would not be feasible to keep a single Concorde flying on a ceremonial basis.

British Airways and Airbus know the aircraft's history in greater detail than anyone else and we firmly believe that the technical challenges of keeping a single Concorde airworthy are absolutely prohibitive.

Concorde is one of the most complex passenger aircraft ever built and has many specialist parts which are no longer available or technically supported.

Airbus has said on numerous occasions it is not possible to support British Airways, Air France or any other operator flying Concorde.

The aircraft no longer has a Certificate of Airworthiness which would enable it to fly in any capacity and without the manufacturer's support it is impossible for that certificate to be re-issued. "



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