British Airways today (June 19) completed the fuel tank liner modification programme on one of its Concorde aircraft.
Alpha Foxtrot is the first Concorde to be fitted with new linings to its fuel tanks. The wiring in the undercarriage area has also been strengthened. Air France is making good progress on the modification of its first aircraft.
The new fuel tank liners - designed by EADS, the former Aerospatiale, in Toulouse - are made of a Kevlar-rubber compound. They have been designed to minimise any fuel leaks should the wing skin be punctured, adopting an approach already successfully used in military helicopters and Formula 1 racing cars.
Alpha Foxtrot will now undergo extensive ground tests to measure the effects of the liners on the fuel transfer systems and to verify the estimations that have been made regarding the potential increase in weight. This will be followed by engine and system tests and taxi trials before operational assessment flights.
Installation of the modification will begin soon on the remaining six aircraft in the British Airways fleet.
These results, together with the analysis of the tests being carried out by the manufacturers will then be submitted to the airworthiness authorities.
Mike Street, British Airways’ Director of Customer Service and Operations said: ” The successful completion of this element of the modification programme marks a significant milestone in our plans to return Concorde safely to service. Tests are still being carried out but we are on track for resumption of services hopefully later this summer.”