Both British Airways and Air France are coming to the end of their testing schedule ahead of next weeks planned joint re-start of services on wed 7th November.
To enable each aircraft to have some flight hours behind them British Airways Concorde G-BOAG flew its second Air-test on Thursday 1st Nov. The three and a half hour flight in and out of London Heathrow re-tested all the aircraft systems and also acted as a crew training flight. On landing the secondary undercarriage doors remained open along with the bumper wheel un-deployed, these can be seen on the picture opposite. This is a test condition known as freefall, where the main landing gear is lowered under the force of gravity to simulate the procedure that would be carried out if hydraulic systems failure were to occur.
G-BOAE (Alpha Echo) is also expected to complete a 2nd flight test before next Wednesday. Alpha Foxtrot, as its modifications were completed first, has so far carried out most of the flying.
In Paris, Air France have completed their dress rehearsal return flight to New York's JFK airport. Concorde F-BVFB departed from Paris CDG airport on the morning of Monday 29th October and arrived in New York later the same day. Unlike the British Airways flight the Air France flight was a two day trip with the return flight landing back in Paris late on Tuesday 30th.
The flight AF4500/1 was commanded by Captain Edgard Chillaud, pilot Robert Vacchiani and Flight engineer Roger Beral. This is the crew that will fly the first passenger flight later this month.
Fox Bravo which was carrying 65 passengers, all Air France employees, left Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport at 10:45 a.m. local time and arrived on schedule, 3 hours and 55 minutes later .
For flight attendants, pilots and check-in staff, Monday's training flight served as a "final dress rehearsal" before Air France resumes commercial flights on Nov. 7, As part of the dry run, the passengers checked in like paying customers and were treated to some of the luxury airliner's standard fare: champagne and foie gras, lobster and petits fours.
Full details and pictures are available in the BA tests section and Air France flight tests section.