I always thought the death of the Concorde was vastly unfair. Though I know post 9/11 and a cratering air travel market didn’t help, the Concorde flew without incident for 30 years before tarmac debris brought the first one down.
The Concorde to me, as to many others, was more than just a very fast plane. It was a combination of fantasy, luxury, and tech triumph. It also was an aging symbol of American barriers to free trade. The SST was banned from inter-continental flights across the US based on concerns for sonic booms (though promises were made not to fly at supersonic speeds).
I was lucky enough to fly on the Concorde over a Christmas holiday and the flight was everything I imagined. It was a rarefied world where only top shelf champagne and caviar were served. The cramped seats were mostly filled with time-obsessed executives who needed to buy the extra hours at whatever cost. I was lucky to be on vacation, on home leave from an international assignment, and happy to soak up all the luxurious attention.
I hope that despite the claim that they only want to see the Concorde roll on it’s own power on the Le Bourget tarmac, that someone has a plan to get the bird back in the air. It’s nice to think that technological marvels of the space age could still come back, and in finding the past, we could sew the seeds to a more hopeful future.
LE BOURGET, France — A French aeronautics association Saturday examined the engines of a Concorde passenger jet at an air museum outside Paris to determine if they could be used again.
“The objective is not to get it (Concorde) to fly again but to get the engines working again, hoping one day to see it taxi on the tarmac for the pleasure of visitors to the museum,” said Frederic Pinlet, head of Olympus 593, named after the Rolls Royce/Snecma engines used on the aircraft.