Cortina1975
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:22 pm

Concorde - Project flagship halted?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:53 pm

Hi all,
Apologies if this has been covered before...

I recently visited Concorde BOAC at Manchester airport and wondered why a power supply can't be found for the aircraft so that the nose, elevens and flight deck etc. can be powered occasionally. This was done in 2011 by 'Project Flagship' but it seems this was halted before the team were able to pressurise the hydraulic system.

http://www.heritageconcorde.com/10055

I can understand the safety concerns (an exhaust system for the generator lashed together with tape is just going to draw H & S attention). But if a proper risk assessment was drawn up and the correct procedures followed why not give the hydraulics a little excercise ?. I would imagine all engine and fuel systems would need to be isolated in case a spark ignited any lingering fuel vapours...

So why was the project halted? - is it just the usual health and safety 'red tape'? . Having a 'live' Concorde would be a more attractive visitor attraction particular on special technical tours...or is this just a pipe dream. ?.

Rover and Jaguar are now buying their old cars and restoring them , 'heritage' seems to be the in thing now . I accept a return to flight is extremely unlikely but surely BA could do a bit more..
 
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Horstroad
Posts: 422
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:19 pm

Re: Concorde - Project flagship halted?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:10 am

Cortina1975 wrote:
I accept a return to flight is extremely unlikely but surely BA could do a bit more..

Lufthansa is currently rebuilding a Lockheed L-1649A Super Star and it was a in a way worse shape than this Concorde. Basically they are rebuilding it from scratch based on original drawings and modern engineering... the fuselage is 95% new, the wings are 75% new structural material.

So never say never. Keeping it alive will definitely help if someday someone gets the idea to make a Concorde fly again.
 
flipdewaf
Posts: 1949
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:28 am

Re: Concorde - Project flagship halted?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:31 am

My guess is that as it is no longer an aircraft it does not have to be maintained as if it were. To run the systems the HSE would have to be sure that all the systems were being maintained appropriately for the given scenario.

Option 1: If the maintenance protocols were the same as those used when it was flying then I'm 99.9% sure the HSE would say "sure those are all fine, crack on and have fun" however the group clearly don't have the funding to maintain the systems in the flight ready condition so that isn't going to happen.

Option 2: Re-plumb some of the hydraulics and some of the electrical systems with new actuators and PLCs so the correct bits twiddle and flash when you press a button or wiggle a stick. HSE would look and say "yep, simple hydraulic system, good enough for a fun fair, good enough for here" Great fun for the kids but an abomination if you are an enthusiast.

Option 3: Re-plumb and rewire the whole lot to an easier to maintain ground based system that still works to the modern standards.....££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££

Option 4: Get the systems running as they are and reduce the risk to being operated on by trained individuals when the general public is out of the way so the potential harm is reduced to an acceptable level. HSE say "Fine, low and well managed risk" but no one sees it and therefore there isn't the funding for it and the people who payed for it say "shit! that was expensive!"

Fred
Image
 
Cortina1975
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:22 pm

Re: Concorde - Project flagship halted?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:53 pm

Horstroad wrote:
Cortina1975 wrote:
I accept a return to flight is extremely unlikely but surely BA could do a bit more..

Lufthansa is currently rebuilding a Lockheed L-1649A Super Star and it was a in a way worse shape than this Concorde. Basically they are rebuilding it from scratch based on original drawings and modern engineering... the fuselage is 95% new, the wings are 75% new structural material.

So never say never. Keeping it alive will definitely help if someday someone gets the idea to make a Concorde fly again.


Thank you I was truly amazed at the scale of this operation. I had to check it wasn't a spoof website but this is really happening!.
Just goes to show what can be done with the right management in place and money.
Returning Concorde to the sky would be a formidable challenge... but remanufacturing an obsolete airplane from scratch and retrofitting a glass cockpit would have seemed a bit far fetched a few years ago..
Heritage is big business now so perhaps BA might recognise the value of Concorde and assist with further testing of BOAC's systems.
 
Cortina1975
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Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:22 pm

Re: Concorde - Project flagship halted?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:04 pm

Horstroad wrote:
Cortina1975 wrote:
I accept a return to flight is extremely unlikely but surely BA could do a bit more..

Lufthansa is currently rebuilding a Lockheed L-1649A Super Star and it was a in a way worse shape than this Concorde. Basically they are rebuilding it from scratch based on original drawings and modern engineering... the fuselage is 95% new, the wings are 75% new structural material.

So never say never. Keeping it alive will definitely help if someday someone gets the idea to make a Concorde fly again.


Thank you I found this fascinating.
I'm amazed this is possible rebuilding the structure virtually from scratch and retrofitting a glass cockpit. I had to check this was not a fake website but happily it is not :)

A few years ago I'm sure some would have thought this impossible so perhaps there is some hope for Concorde to return in some capacity..

I think this does prove that heritage is big business now. If only BA could be convinced it makes good business sense to be a little bit more energetic in supporting Concorde.
With BA's help, BOAC at Manchester airport could have ground power restored and with a little light restoration they would be able to demonstrate the aircrafts systems on special occasions. Good PR for BA and the airport surely? Thit would end the rumours that BA decommissioned Concorde in a very damaging way.
 
Cortina1975
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:22 pm

Re: Concorde - Project flagship halted?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:15 pm

flipdewaf wrote:
My guess is that as it is no longer an aircraft it does not have to be maintained as if it were. To run the systems the HSE would have to be sure that all the systems were being maintained appropriately for the given scenario.

Option 1: If the maintenance protocols were the same as those used when it was flying then I'm 99.9% sure the HSE would say "sure those are all fine, crack on and have fun" however the group clearly don't have the funding to maintain the systems in the flight ready condition so that isn't going to happen.

Option 2: Re-plumb some of the hydraulics and some of the electrical systems with new actuators and PLCs so the correct bits twiddle and flash when you press a button or wiggle a stick. HSE would look and say "yep, simple hydraulic system, good enough for a fun fair, good enough for here" Great fun for the kids but an abomination if you are an enthusiast.

Option 3: Re-plumb and rewire the whole lot to an easier to maintain ground based system that still works to the modern standards.....££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££

Option 4: Get the systems running as they are and reduce the risk to being operated on by trained individuals when the general public is out of the way so the potential harm is reduced to an acceptable level. HSE say "Fine, low and well managed risk" but no one sees it and therefore there isn't the funding for it and the people who payed for it say "shit! that was expensive!"

Fred


I wonder if it would be gov HSE that would have a problem or whether the corporate H & S within BA would forbid anything that might have the slightest risk?.
I prefer Option 4 but ensuring the work was well documented and published for all to enjoy. Perhaps it would be possible, with adequate viewing platforms etc. to hold special 'Live Concorde' days so that the public could witness Concorde's live flight deck, control surfaces and lights etc. Money for the museum and BA gets the glow of good publicity.
 
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LAX772LR
Posts: 9477
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:06 pm

Re: Concorde - Project flagship halted?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:15 am

Horstroad wrote:
Keeping it alive will definitely help if someday someone gets the idea to make a Concorde fly again.

They don't need an idea, they just need a hundred million bucks or so....
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Channex757
Posts: 1500
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:07 am

Re: Concorde - Project flagship halted?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:10 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Horstroad wrote:
Keeping it alive will definitely help if someday someone gets the idea to make a Concorde fly again.

They don't need an idea, they just need a hundred million bucks or so....

Can't remember what I did with the paper but I costed it out a few years back.

Try nearer a billion. Hand building Olympus engines for a start and testing them as Rolls Royce doesn't support the engine any more. That's just the hot bits.

Airbus also doesn't support the plane. All the cockpit and electronic systems were bespoke, and would need replacements as the ones on aircraft in museums will be hopelessly out of date and lacking paper trails.

All that for a plane with an experimental certificate that would preclude carrying passengers. All the hydraulics would need replacing too, and hand crafting. It would be a monumental money pit of a job.
 
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LAX772LR
Posts: 9477
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:06 pm

Re: Concorde - Project flagship halted?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:24 pm

Channex757 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Horstroad wrote:
Keeping it alive will definitely help if someday someone gets the idea to make a Concorde fly again.

They don't need an idea, they just need a hundred million bucks or so....

Can't remember what I did with the paper but I costed it out a few years back.

Try nearer a billion. Hand building Olympus engines for a start and testing them as Rolls Royce doesn't support the engine any more. That's just the hot bits.

Airbus also doesn't support the plane. All the cockpit and electronic systems were bespoke, and would need replacements as the ones on aircraft in museums will be hopelessly out of date and lacking paper trails.

All that for a plane with an experimental certificate that would preclude carrying passengers. All the hydraulics would need replacing too, and hand crafting. It would be a monumental money pit of a job.

No real surprise, as BA has said many many times that attempting to keep even one active for airshows and heritage, wouldn't cost much less than keeping the entire fleet alive, due to the amount of customization and independent insurance.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil

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