PARIS, May 29 (UPI) -- In little more than a generation the French Concorde, the first supersonic passenger jet, has gone from the next big thing to a vintage aircraft, advocates say.
Two groups of Concorde buffs are working at Le Bourget Air and Space Museum to determine if the Concorde can be flown again, the BBC reports. Save the Concorde from Britain and Olympus 593 from France hope an airborne Concorde will be part of the show at the opening of the 2012 Olympics in London, the report said.
The Concorde, a joint French-British project, began flying commercially in 1976. In 2000, an Air France Concorde crashed shortly after takeoff from Paris, killing all 109 people on the plane and four on the ground. The crash and the sharp decline in air traffic that followed the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, led to the plane being retired in 2003.
This weekend, the plane's engines are being examined to determine if they can be started and if the Concorde can taxi.
" After today, we will know exactly what needs to be done with those four engines," said Ben Lord, vice-chairman of the British group, the report said. "This is just the beginning, but we are delighted and privileged to be working with a team of skilled Concorde engineers who both worked on the aircraft at British Airways and Air France."