The Concorde, the world’s first supersonic commercial aircraft, made its final transatlantic flight in October 2003. After a 3½-hour flight from New York, the pointy-nosed jet touched down at London’s Heathrow Airport in front of a crowd that had gathered to say goodbye. But now enthusiasts are hoping to get the Concorde off the ground once again at an estimated cost of $22 million—ideally in time for the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics in London.
So far, the U.K.’s Save Concorde Group and another like-minded organization in France say they’ve conducted engine tests on one of Air France’s former Concordes, which is owned by a museum. British Airways and Air France decided to retire the supersonic aircraft in 2003 after 27 years of service, citing rising maintenance costs and too few passengers following the 9/11 attacks. However, the jet’s fate was likely sealed several years earlier. In 2000, Air France flight 4590 crashed shortly after takeoff, killing 113 people.