Although not yet confirmed by British Airways, reports in today's UK media, including the BBC and SKY, are saying that the first test flight of G-BOAF will be on July 9th to an as yet un-specifed RAF base, but believed to be RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. The July 9th date is dependant on the completion of pre-flight tests and checks so it could drift back a few days to later on in that same week
BA refused to comment on the date apart from saying of the test flights that : "They will be in the very near future, but I would rather not say whether it will be this week, next week, this month or whenever."
The next Anglo-French Concorde working group meeting is scheduled for July 23rd, so one suspect that British Airways would want to come to that meeting with some preliminary test results.
The flight crew for the test flight is expected to be lead by 50-year-old Captain Mike Bannister, who has been Flight Manager for the British Airways Concorde Fleet since 1995. Mike has Commanded Concorde on many occassions such as the 50th Anniversary Fly Past of London Heathrow Airport in June , flying in formation with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows. He flew Concorde to New York on her 21st birthday on January 21st, 1997, and commanded Prime Minister Tony Blair's state Visit to Denver for the G7 Summit meeting later that same year.
In preparation for engine test runs on G-BOAF, G-BOAD was moved from its storage position in the British Airways Concorde engine test bay. These test will allow all 4 Rolls-Royce Olympus engines to be fired up, and therefore power internally all the aircraft's electrical and hydraulics systems.
The BA flights test pages will contain details of the test flights
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