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BA Concorde test flights due soon

Concorde
The Concorde has been grounded for almost a year  


LONDON, England -- Test flights of the grounded Concorde supersonic plane will start soon, British Airways says.

However, the company spokesman did not name a date, Associated Press reported on Monday.

The fleet has been undergoing safety checks since an Air France Concorde crashed near Paris last July killing 113 people.

The disaster was blamed on debris from a burst tyre that ruptured a fuel tank as the airliner was taking off.

British Airways' seven Concordes are being fitted with Kevlar fuel tank liners and tougher tyres.

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"We aim to have passenger services flying again by late summer so obviously test flights would need to happen before that," the spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"They will be in the very near future, but I would rather not say whether it will be this week, next week, this month or whenever," he added.

Two weeks ago, the Concorde manufacturer European aeronautics consortium EADS said the plane could resume flights as early as September.

French Transport Minister Jean-Claude Gayssot said last month that Concorde could be certified to fly in the autumn, "after it is guaranteed that the chain of events that led to the catastrophe cannot repeat itself."





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