PICTURES: Will Concorde come back to life in time for 2012 Olympics


Picture credit: Concorde G-BOAC being rolled out in 1977

A successful attempt to bring a British Airways Concorde “back to life” in time for the London Olympics has been thwarted by health and safety concerns.

A group of Concorde enthusiasts – Heritage Concorde – has for several months been carrying out repairs to the cockpit windows and visor of G-BOAC at Manchester Airport’s Runway Visitor Park, its home since 2003.

GBOAC-in-hangar.jpgPicture credit: Rex Features  British Airways Concorde on static display at Manchester Airport Aviation Viewing Park 

In order to lower the nose to replace the co-pilots windshield, engineers had to use the aircraft’s electrical and hydraulic systems.


To do this, in March, G-BOAC was powered-up, via a ground unit, for the first time in eight years.

Since then, the aircraft has had been powered several times, including for six hours on 26 August.

Heritage Concorde founder Steve de Sausmarez said the ultimate aim was to get the Concorde to droop its nose on special occasions, including the 31 October anniversary of its arrival at Manchester Airport, and the Olympics opening ceremony.

Eventually, some in the group believe, it might even have been possible to return G-BOAC to flight.

However, according to de Sausmarez, officials at the museum have ordered Heritage Concorde to drain the hydraulics and kill the electrics because of insurance and safety issues.

“Against the odds, a British Concorde was returned to life by Heritage Concorde engineers, only to be killed once again by people without vision,” he bemoans.

This post was written by Murdo Morrison, Flight International Editor

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3 Responses to PICTURES: Will Concorde come back to life in time for 2012 Olympics

  1. Paul Fald 8 September, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    We require government intervention to force BA to loosen the corporate shackles to allow a single Concorde, preferably the Bristol based Concorde to be released to the team at Bruntingthorpe !

    Perhaps a No10 e-petition would be the best route to take ?

  2. David Nicholas 15 September, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    The insurmountable (and I use that term advisedly) obstacle is the lack of a suitable organisation to adopt the Design Authority (DA) responsibility for Concorde. It was BAe System’s efforts to end their DA responsibility which led to the cessation of Concorde commercial flying by making this essential certification requirement impossibly expensive for the operators. It is tempting to compare the Vulcan revival (where Marshall Aerospace assumed the DA for the aircraft) however the two aircraft are as technically disimilar as chalk and cheese, as are the potential costs of a a return to flight, and insurance liability. Such is the world in which we have chosen to live…….

    The elf’ n safety police -evidently fearful of where “waking” G-BOAC might lead – have it seems now demanded that it be “killed” to prevent any possibility of it doing what aeroplanes do!!

  3. Maryann Self 24 October, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    My one dream in life was to fly on the Concorde, but unfortunately, they were retired before I had that opportunity. I have collected all the pictures of the Concorde along with instrument pictures and items given to customers. It is of little comfort, because to have flown on the Concorde would have been the most exciting dream I could have realized.

    I think it would be such an amazing tribute to the Concorde to try and put them or new Concordes back in service. I for one would be flying each and every month now that I am able to do so. Looking at the Concorde’s pictures still sends chills all over me, and brings a tear to my eye to know my one dream in life will never be experienced.

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