Bring Back Concorde!
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After almost 28 years of supersonic travel, Concorde was prematurely retired in October 2003 and despite British Airways pledging to keep one Concorde flying in a heritage capacity, Concorde has not left the ground since 26th November 2003.
On that date, a new global campaign was formed - the Save Concorde Group - with the the sole objective of seeing this aircraft fly again in a heritage capacity. In the first 12 months, and with the lack of today's social media tools which back then could probably have prevented Concorde's demise, a 25,000 strong hand-signed petition was delivered to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street to call upon the Government's immediate intervention to assist with getting Concorde airborne again. Unfortunately, that Government (and subsequent ones since) have felt unable to intervene in this issue as they feel they have no locus to intervene in Concorde which is a wholly privately owned asset of British Airways.
Nearly 12 years on since the final flights, it still remains entirely possible that Concorde could fly again as there is no technical reason prohibiting it flying again. The only issues preventing Concorde from flying again are simply political on many fronts.
For more than a decade, speculation has been rife amongst enthusiast groups when discussing Concorde flying again and how much it would cost. Some have estimated £15m, others have guesstimated at several hundred million pounds. However, with the lack of a feasibility study having been commissioned, NOBODY knows.
In 2009/10, SCG directly questioned British Airways, who remains the owner of their Concorde fleet despite them resting in museums since they were retired, if they would release a copy of this feasibility study they claimed to have undertaken having previously stated in any media responses that their conclusion was it was not commercially viable. However, British Airways' CEO Willie Walsh, stated to us that he did not know if such a study even existed, never mind if it had been carried out and what it's results were with a view to sharing that with us.
When it comes to aviation history, Britain is a serious player and every corner of the British Isles oozes anecdotes and items of major national interest. This has been epitomised in the last few years with various flights by the Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight who grace our skies at events of major national interest such as the 2012 London Olympics and Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee throughout which Concorde was nowhere to be seen. And later this year, the Avro Vulcan XH558 will fly for the last time having successfully been restored to heritage flight capacity by the Vulcan To The Sky Trust.
All we ask, is for Concorde to have her rightful place amongst such festivities and we call upon British Airways, Airbus SAS, Air France and the British and French Governments to put aside the history of why Concorde was prematurely retired and collaborate in the same spirit Concorde was born from in co-operating to determine whether we could see Concorde fly again.
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