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Monday, 16 July, 2001, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
Concorde set for test flight
BA Concorde
Concorde has been undergoing a 17m safety overhaul
Concorde will make its first test flight on Tuesday since the fleet was grounded following a crash in Paris which killed 113 people.

British Airways confirmed a plane will take off from Heathrow airport, London, at 1400 BST - flown by BA's Concorde chief pilot Captain Mike Bannister.

The plane will fly over the Atlantic for approximately three hours and 20 minutes before returning to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

Air France Concorde
The Paris crash claimed 113 lives
The Concorde fleet was grounded after the Air France tragedy near Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris in July last year, which killed 109 passengers and crew, and four people on the ground.

British Airways and Civil Aviation Authority staff on board the test flight will carry out a number of tests following modifications to Concorde's fuel tanks and undercarriage.

The supersonic plane's fuel tanks have been lined with Kevlar to prevent a repeat of last year's crash in France.

The liner is made of a rubber compound successfully used in military helicopters and Formula One cars.

A burst tyre caused last year's crash, flinging debris at a fuel tank and starting a catastrophic fire.

The result of any test flight will be submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority and its French equivalent, with the aim of winning back certificates of air-worthiness suspended in the wake of the Paris crash.

BA hopes to resume Concorde's passenger service in September.

The fleet has undergone a 17m safety overhaul since the crash.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Tom Heap
"To be able to fly again, the fuel tanks have been coated with kevlar"
The BBC's Tom Symonds
"British Airways is keen to see Concorde in the air again"

Return to the skies?

The investigation

The crash

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See also:

13 May 01 | Europe
Relatives accept Concorde cash
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