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Concorde flight to test safety changes

作者:段干娈    发布时间:2019-03-06 03:18:00    

By Will Knight A British Concorde supersonic passenger jet is to take to the air on Tuesday for the first time since an Air France aircraft crashed in July 2000, killing 113 people. The test flight will allow Concorde’s other operator, British Airways, to evaluate new safety modifications. The test flight will take off from London’s Heathrow airport at 1420 local time. The aircraft will be begin on a normal route towards New York but will return to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire after an hour and a half. Air France conducted a short flight test in January. The crash in Paris is believed to have been caused by debris on the runway at Charles de Gaulle airport, which ruptured a tyre during take off and led to chunks of rubber rupturing a fuel tank. Leaking fuel then caused a fire, which resulted in the catastrophic crash. British Airways plans to re-launch Concorde later this year but the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and French aviation authorities will have to certify that Concorde is safe to fly. A CAA spokesman says that this maiden flight will be watched closely. “We have to be absolutely sure that Concorde is safe for public transportation,” he told New Scientist. The new Concorde has numerous safety modifications, in particular to the fuel tanks. These are now protected by a system designed to plug any rupture with Kevlar armour. The plane’s electrical system has new flexible steel tubing that should prevent damage to the undercarriage causing sparks that could result in a fire. The plane will also feature tyres built by Michelin from a new material designed not to throw off debris when punctured. The test flight will focus on primarily on the fuel tank modifications. This is because as well as feeding the engines, Concorde’s fuel is used to cool the plane’s surface temperature. Engineers want to make sure that the changes to the tanks do not affect this. They also want to make sure that the amount of fuel that reaches the engine is not restricted. All the modifications have been tested on the ground. A spokesman for British Airways says that Tuesday’s flight will watch for any changes to Concorde’s normal flying. He says that if the changes are shown to have no ill effects,

 

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