Archive Story : 11-04-01

F-BTSD Completes test flight

Air France Concorde, F-BTSD, completed a test flight. This is standard procedure for aircraft Completing a major 12,000 hr overhaul. Air France then hope to use this aircraft for tests in the South of France on new radial tyres.

The "D" Check had taken 65,000 man hours to complete and had been started before last years accident lead to a suspension of all work on Cocncorde. With a resumption of services looking possible Air frane restarted work on"SD" to complete its overhaul. All Air France Concordes, with the exception of F-BVFF, have now had their 12,000hr major.

Full details of the test are not yet known; but it is thought that flight AF373s was commanded by the head of the Air France Concorde division Captian Edgard Chillaud, and lasted around 3 hours over Western France and the Atlantic ocean. It is believed that such a flight would be supersonic to allow testing of the systems that are only used during this phase of flight eg Air intakes and afterburner selection fo a continued period of time.

Something that has been noticed in the pictures of the landing is that the landing bay doors did not appear to be closed after the deployment of the undercarriage. This is apparently a standard test that is carried out after major check. It is a test where the landing gear is lowered under gravity simulating a hydraulic failure. The doors are subsequently cosed aftert the test hen the hydraulic system is reconnected.

Real Player format movie of take off and landing of AF373s - Courtesy of Paul.

For more info and pictures see the Air France Tests section of return to flight

pictures from AP via