A group of former Concorde captains, charterers and aviation fans has raised enough money to buy one of the supersonic passenger jets with the aim of getting it flying again by 2019, the BBC has reported.
The group, Club Concorde, says it has GBP 120 million (almost AUD 260 million) in reserve for the “return to flight” plan.
Club Concorde plans to put another Concorde on permanent display in central London, perhaps on the Thames.
There has been nothing like Concorde since it last flew in 2003. The aircraft was vastly faster than any commercial airliner before or since. It cruised at well over 2000 km/h.
Club Concorde president Paul James told the BBC the plane the group wanted to fly was currently at Le Bourget in Paris.
After restoration the plane would be used at airshows, for special events and private charter, James said.
Concorde was born out of separate French and British projects which combined in 1962. The partnership built 20 jets and the inaugural flight took place from Toulouse in 1969, the year of Woodstock and the first Moon landing.
While commercial jets took eight hours to fly from Paris or London to New York, the Concorde’s average supersonic flight time on the transatlantic routes was just under 3.5 hours. Concorde had an average cruising speed of Mach 2.02, about 1334 mph (2140 km/h). That’s more than twice the speed of sound and well over twice the speed of conventional aircraft.
Fast-forward to 2015 and even the fastest airliners are pretty slow compared to that.
Written by Peter Needham