Is the supersonic Concorde set to make a comeback?

Hannah Davies explores the possibility of the Concorde returning to the skies following reports that a group is seeking to invest in a project to revive the aircraft.

Even though new innovations such as the 737MAX and A320neo are just around the corner, the Concorde seems to be somewhat of a hot topic right now, despite having been out of service for 12 years.

Over the past few months, the aircraft that suffered both tragedy and huge success has been creeping its way back into the headlines thanks to a group of ex-Concorde captains, charterers and all-round aviation enthusiasts known as ‘Club Concorde’, who have a dream to make this machine take to the skies once again.

The group announced that it was seeking a £120m ($182m) investment to help their potential ‘Return To Flight’ project get some speed and so far things are going better than probably even they expected. The plans involve purchasing two out of service Concorde aircraft, both of which are currently based in Paris, and then quite rapidly making one of them airborne - by 2019 to be exact.

While the other will be made into a standout tourist attraction along London’s Southbank, giving people the chance to learn about the aircraft’s rich history, dine in luxury or simply sip champagne.

While you can’t deny that the club’s passion and drive to bring the record-breaking aircraft back to the skies – and riverbank - is admirable, one would expect the sheer cost of running such a fuel-guzzling machine to be enough of a deterrent. After all, the Concorde would typically only manage to get 17 miles to the gallon per passenger, which is less than a quarter of the sums achieved by most of today’s aircraft.

So, why now you might ask? Well, it could have been a number of things from Airbus’ patent for an ultra-rapid air vehicle nicknamed the ‘Son of Concorde’ being filed in July to the list of mind-blowing records held by the Concorde, which just proved too hard to let go. (It really did fly from New York to London in two hours and 52 seconds).

Whatever the reason, the fan club are busy “working together to keep Concorde in people's hearts and minds”. And, it seems they aren’t alone because a $17.5m investment in a Concorde Museum in Bristol was also confirmed earlier this year.

Who’s to say that reviving one of the most breath-taking aircraft of our time wouldn’t be a good idea? And, with more than £160m ($243m) already said to be behind the project perhaps Club Concorde’s ‘Return To Flight’ mission could become more than just a dream.

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