British Airways hopes to restart commercial services with its Aerospatiale/British Aerospace Concordes in June, the airline's technical and quality director Jim O'Sullivan says.

The airline says that it expects the fitting of Kevlar-reinforced fuel tank liners (Flight International, 23-29 January) to take about another six weeks. It has been working on the tanks since 16 January.

With the liners fitted, the plan is for BA to carry out a test flight to take measurements, quantify any changes to the aircraft's performance and ensure the tank liners do not interfere with any system or function.

Meanwhile Air France completed high-speed taxiing tests with one of its Concorde fleet at Istres, south of France, and then flew the aircraft back to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. The tests, blowing four streams of different coloured water from under the left wing, were intended to give investigators of the 25 July 2000 accident a better understanding of how the clouds of fuel vapour from the leaking left wing tank were distributed during the fatal take-off run, and what ignited the fuel. EADS Toulouse says that the results of the tests will not have been analysed until at least the end of February.

O'Sullivan cautions that continuing EADS Toulouse tests on mock fuel tanks with the liner installed could conceivably lead to demands from the certificating authorities for additional safety measures or further tests.

Source: Flight International