§ Mr. Dobson
asked the Minister of Technology what structural changes are to be made to the airframe, engines and systems of Concorde; whether he will list them separately with their approximate new development costs; what effects these changes will have on the first flights of 001 and 002 and subsequent pre-production aircraft; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Benn
The manufacturers have proposed certain design changes aimed at improving the performance of the production aircraft. These changes include alterations to the shape of the wing leading edges, wing tips and the extreme end of the fuselage in order to reduce drag; some relatively small 283W increase in fuel tankage; and modifications to the design of the engine. None of these changes affects the two prototypes: the manufacturers propose to introduce; some on the two pre-production aircraft and others early in the production line. The planned in-service date of 1973 allowed for this.
Some modifications may also be necessary to the flying control system. These would be incorporated in the prototype aircraft during the flight test programme; they will not delay the first flight of either prototype.
The costs of these changes are included in the review to which I referred in my reply to Questions from hon. Members on 29th January.—[Vol. 776, c. 1299–303.]