Which Concordes could fly again (Barriers to RTF removed)
Below you will see a breakdown of airframes, this is a theoretical breakdown of most likely down to least likely airframes for return to flight.
Heritage Concorde is not a return to flight group however this is a hot topic and one that warrants coverage given it's popularity. The possibility of Return to flight for Concorde is extremely unlikely.
Air France Concorde F-BTSD. Currently displayed at Le Bourget, Paris.
This Concorde has had some of it's systems preserved as working, the aircraft was never decomissioned in the same way the rest of the fleet were. The preservation team at Le Bourget are doing a fantastic job on her. She has all four Olympus engines in place. In 2010 an external group visited Le Bourget to inspect one of her engines with a view to starting it however to date no report on the condition of this engine has been released and the project stalled shortly after commencement.
Air France Concorde F-BVFA. Currently displayed at Smithsonian, Washington.
This Concorde is preserved in exactly the same condition as delivered, the Smithsonian pride themselves in this sort of preservation.
No access is allowed on-board, this aircraft should be in "as delivered" condition although it is likely it has had pressure vessles removed or discharged.
British Airways Concorde G-BOAE. Currently displayed in Barbados.
This Concorde was decomissioned with all the other British Airways fleet however since her arrival in Barbados she has been undercover and is complete down to the last piece of cutlery.
The preservation here is fantastic she is de-humidified and looks exacly as delivered.
She has all four Olympus engines in place and ia a testament to the team looking after her.
British Airways Concorde G-BOAC. Currently displayed at Manchester airport.
This Concorde looks great, she is in good condition and has all four Olympus engines in place. On the face of it she should be a most likely candidate however recently we have become aware of an issue with this airframe. She was subject to a serious wing fire in 2003, British Airways repaired the damage to her and took samples of wiring from the area affected. The results were not good the wiring was found to be brittle. The repairs that were carried out meant that her wiring loom had many crimps to join new wire to old in the fire area. If the aircraft was to return to flight the crimped wires would have to be replaced completely because certification only allows a certian amount of crimps in wiring and the repairs exceed the allowable amount. Not un repairable but certainly not the best option. Any effort to return her to the skies would have to see all the brittle wiring replaced.
Manchester do what they can to maintain the aircraft however since delivery to Manchester she has suffered some damage to her windscreen, the LHS Windscreen is shattered due to one of the inner panes of glass failing, the windscreen would need to be replaced with a flight certified windscreen. During 2010 she was powered (Heritage Concorde Project Flagship) so the windscreen and a shattered visor glass could be replaced but the project was halted due to H&S concerns. For full detail of the power up click the link below.
Much is said about the possibility of this aircraft returning to flight however the reality is that she is not the best candidate.
British Airways Concorde G-BOAG. Currently displayed in Seattle.
This Concorde was delivered and decomissioned just like all the rest of the fleet however she has been outside since 2003 in a hostile weather environment.
She has all four Olympus engines in place. It is likely that the weather has caused damage to the airframe. We have seen the effect of weather on G-BOAB at Heathrow, without further inspection the extent and effect of the storage on this airframe is unknown.
British Airways Concorde G-BOAF. Currently at Filton.
This Concorde was the last to fly and is the youngest Concorde airframe, she has been stored outside since 2003 and is planned to go inside in 2017. Despite the fact she is being so well looked after by Airbus it is extremely unlikely this airframe will ever fly again because the airfield at her location is now closed and will be built on soon.
She has all four engines in place and is in great shape.
Air France Concorde F-BVFC. Currently displayed at Aeroscopia, Toulouse.
Little is known about the condition of this airframe however it was kept alive for some time after retirement to help investigators with the investigation of the Paris crash. Reports say that this aircraft now only has 3 engines in place. This aircraft is perfectly placed should Airbus ever decide to attempt a return to flight for research purposes.
Poor Condition (for RTF) & Non starters
British Airways Concorde G-BOAA. Currently displayed in Scotland.
This Concorde had her wings cut for the move to Scotland, prior to retirement she was stored at Heathrow and was used for parts for the flying fleet. Because her wings have been cut she is completely out for RTF as the structure of this Concorde's wing has been compromised. She has no engines installed.
British Airways Concorde G-BOAB. Currently stored at Heathrow
G-BOAB, although the airframe is currently complete she has suffered from being stored outside. Her interior is completely gutted of parts. The poor condition of this airframe is such that any RTF effort is completely out for this aircraft. The future is uncertain for her. She has no engines installed
British Airways Concorde G-BOAD. Currently displayed in New York.
G-BOAD has had her engines removed prior to being transported on a barge to Intrepid Museum in New York. She has been outside since 2003 and had some damage to her nose cone due to a delivery wagon hitting her. The damage has been repaired visually but combine this damage and exposure to the elements and salty environment this is not a good option for RTF.
Air France Concorde F-BVFB. Currently displayed in Germany.
This Concorde was carefully dismantled to be transported to Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum, South West Germany. It was then hoisted on top of the museum roof and stands with the TU144. Has been exposed to the weather ever since, with 2 engines in place she is not a good option for RTF. Recent photo's suggest corrosion to her underside and her rear door is open in all weathers.
Air France Concorde F-BVFF. Currently displayed at Paris CDG airport
This Concorde was going through a D check when retirement came in 2003. BVFF looks good from the outside but is completely stripped internally. The airframe has been outside since 2003 and is likely to be suffering from water ingress similar to G-BOAB. BVFF has no engines fitted.
British Airways Concorde G-BBDG. Currently displayed at Brooklands UK.
This Concorde was cut in several places for the move to Brooklands, as such the airframe is completely out for RTF. She looks very good and the restoration team at Brooklands have done a fantastic job on her but she will never fly again
What about Prototype and Pre Production?
None of these aircraft conform to the type certificate so these aircraft are non starters for RTF. All the test aircraft were used for development only and retired in the 1970's, our inspections on some of these aircraft completely rule out RTF in any way
This includes F-WTSS, F-WTSA, G-BSST, G-AXDN