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.
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