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|Concorde Could Stay Grounded|
- Improvements may be to costly, experts fear
FEARS that Concorde will never fly again have taken off with the news that the world's only passenger supersonic jet has been grounded in the continuing aftershock of the Paris crash.
Investigators into the Air France Concorde crash have come to the provisional conclusion that a burst tyre was to blame. While this was at first thought to be a relatively minor fault, safety experts have convinced aviation authorities that all Concorde must be grounded.
"We are of the view that the certificate of air worthiness should be be suspended," said a Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson.
It appears that for Concorde to regain its safety certificate, work will have to be done to strengthen the underside of the wing to prevent burst tyre debris from piercing fuel tanks. That will probably require the use of panels of a material called Kevlar which is used with most other passenger aircraft.
But some industry insiders fear that such a refurbishment may be uneconomic and that therefore Concorde will never fly commercially again.