BA Concorde Completes Key operational assessment flight
A British Airways Concorde has completed its first return flight from London Heathrow to New York since the British and French fleets were grounded after the accident in Paris last year.
British Airways said the flight was an operational assessment flight following the completion of modifications on their third aircraft. All 3 modified aircraft have now taken part in verification tests both with Engineers and BA staff onboard. Today's flight took place in G-BOAF, which was the first aircraft to have its Certificate of airworthiness re-instated. The other 2 aircraft which have had their CofA returned were available as back up aircraft but were not required.
"The purpose of the flight is to check all flight and ground procedures for a normal passenger departure," a spokeswoman for British Airways told the Reuters Press agency.
Today's outward flight, BA9093 which was carrying 92 BA engineers who have worked on getting the aircraft airborne again along with a cockpit flight crew of 4 and 6 staff in the cabin, left Heathrow on Monday morning at 11:11am and arrived at John F Kennedy International Airport at 9:36am EST (14:36 British time)...arriving more than 1 hour before it left!
The return leg of the flight, BA9094, took off from New York at 12:42 EST and arrived back in the UK at 20:58 UK on Heathrow's South Runway 27R. The flight time for the return leg at 3hrs 16 mins was quicker than the average flight time of 3hrs 45mins.
British Airways will begin a daily scheduled commercial Concorde flight six days a week from November 9 between London and New York and from December 1 between London and Barbados in a once-a-week service during the winter. By last Friday £11 million worth of tickets had been sold with some flights already full, BA said.
Full details and pictures are available in the BA tests section
Picture at Heathrow by Max Nash / AP Photo, JFK picture by AP