2008 News Archive
This page contains archived Concorde Project news from 2008. Also see the links at the bottom of the page for archived Concorde Project news from 2005, 2006 and 2007.
The last week before Christmas saw XPI Simulation Ltd arrive at Brooklands with the computer systems they have developed for the Concorde simulator. This equipment was then installed and integrated with the sim and work started to commission it. It is now possible to 'fly' the sim using the orginal sim flight controls and some of the primary instruments. These include the control columns and trim switches, rudder pedals, throttles, reheat switches, nose and visor lever, parking brake, ADIs, ASIs, pressure altimeters and radio altimeters. This is a major milestone for the team at Brookland but there is still plenty of work to do with the sorting out of several teething problems and readying the simulator for public access ahead of it being opened to visitors in Spring 2009.
See the Simulator page for photos and video clips of the sim being tested.
Several weeks of rare sunny weather during September allowed volunteers to repaint Concorde model G-CONC. Three coats of white top coat were applied using professional marine paint. This paint is specifically designed for fibreglass boats and by its nature is obviously waterproof and therefore ideal for use on the model. Once this was complete a team set to work on applying the 1970s/80s BA Union Jack livery (as per G-BBDG). All that remains now is the application of the BA titles, Speedbird logo and all other logos/text. These are to be applied as vinyl decals rather than being painted on.
Once the majority of the restoration work had been completed on G-CONC (and once the weather turned!) by mid October, volunteers reverted their efforts back onto the Concorde simulator project. Recent work has seen the completion of access steps, side walls and hand rails for the sim's access platform and the beginning of construction of a large blackout frame at the front of the sim that will surround and enclose the projector screen and cockpit.
Restoration work on Concorde model G-CONC continues. August has seen the model sanded and the wing joins repaired and sealed. This was then followed by a coat of grey primer in preparation for the white top coats being applied over the next couple of weeks.
Planning permission has been granted for the final move of Concorde model G-CONC. The location is an area of land adjacent to the roundabout at the entrance to Mercedes-Benz World, between Brooklands Drive and Wellington Way and the move is currently scheduled for the end of November. Prior to the move G-CONC's restoration will be completed. This will involve repair to small areas of the fibreglass body and repainting it into the 70s/80s Union Jack livery that DG now wears. G-CONC has in fact recently moved slightly from its former location, although only by a few metres. The 4.5 ton model has been moved backwards by crane to allow for construction a new visitor reception building. The lift by crane in fact proved to be an opportunity to verify the lifting process ahead of the model's move.
Elsewhere, work continues on getting the Concorde simulator up and running ahead of its opening to the public. Recently completed is the access ramp that will allow disabled visitors to get inside the sim. Due to the efforts of museum volunteers now being concentrated on the G-CONC move, it is possible that opening of the simulator will slip to early 2009.
A team from Surrey University (UniS) have designed, built and installed 3 interface boxes onto the Concorde simulator that use actuators to convert the roll, pitch and yaw movements from the flying controls in the sim cockpit to electrical signals. These signals are then fed into a computer which in turn controls the movement of the aircraft in the simulator software. This all allows the pilot of the sim to use the simulator's control column and rudder pedals to 'fly' Concorde in the simulator.
The large computer box (see photo) that interfaces between the sim controls and the computers has been custom designed and built by XPI Simulation Ltd.
While XPI Simulation Ltd continue work on the flight simulation software and graphics to be used in the Concorde simulator museum volunteers have now setup the projector and screen. The screen covers a view in front of the cockpit of approximately 150° onto which is projected an image of about 100°. This setup has been tested using a free demonstration version of the commercially available 'X-Plane' program and the test proved extremely successful and gave a great deal of confidence that the completed effect will be very impressive to those sat inside and ensure that the simulator will be a great attraction.
DG moved for the first time in 3 years this week. The aircraft had to be pulled forward about 25ft to allow a crane to access the stratosphere chamber and move the Concorde simulator. The sim has been relocated to its new home in the acoustics chamber on the opposite side of DG ahead of work beginning to get it operational. It is hoped to have the simulator open for public viewing in the summer of 2008. Once the sim move was completed, DG was carefully pushed back into her original position.
Work is continuing to get Delta Golf's external lights operational. This week has seen the anti-collision light on the tip of DG's tail cone replaced with a reconditioned unit. The light has has been tested and will soon be wired permanently into the aircraft electrical system.