SU27COBRA
Topic Author
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:17 pm

Could Concorde go Supersonic when full?

Fri May 19, 2017 9:19 pm

I have been told that Concorde could never go supersonic when full? Is this true at all?
As I type it seems far fetched.

However I was told that BA and Air France never sold all the seats on the plane for this reason, and if there was a full compliment of 120 passengers or so it couldn't go supersonic.
Is there any truth to this?


Thanks.
 
ChrisKen
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:15 pm

Re: Could Concorde go Supersonic when full?

Fri May 19, 2017 9:27 pm

No, not true.
BA Seat Count was 100 anyway.
 
GDB
Posts: 12780
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Could Concorde go Supersonic when full?

Fri May 19, 2017 11:18 pm

SU27COBRA wrote:
I have been told that Concorde could never go supersonic when full? Is this true at all?
As I type it seems far fetched.

However I was told that BA and Air France never sold all the seats on the plane for this reason, and if there was a full compliment of 120 passengers or so it couldn't go supersonic.
Is there any truth to this?


Thanks.


Though certified for 128, there would have been weight savings elsewhere, more austere galleys for instance. A moot point as that config never happened. The time an AF Concorde would not do Mach 2, was in 1996 when one was painted to promote Pepsi. Much less white paint surface area restricted it to Mach 1.6 I think, due to increased heating of the skin as you go faster, which the Concorde liveries being essentially white was OK for up to Mach 2.2, though in service, both kept to Mach 2.04 at most. Though the protection was enough, increased friction heating beyond Mach 2.04 could, over time, affect the RR58 Aluminium alloy that was the aircraft's primary structure, this included some copper for airframe expansion but that in itself is of course a stress.

Avoiding that extra stress meant that the original estimated lifespan of Concorde, some 15-17 years, was easily achieved, when they went in for their 12000 re-life 1 check, the youngest BA one was G-BAOG, though that had spent some years in storage and brought back in 1985, the original 5 however, had been flying for around that 15-17 year period but were found to be in much better condition that expected, so adding 10 mins to a LHR-JFK route, which is all that speed reduction did, made life a lot easier later on, the aircraft more sustainable allowing more investment in the product without hitting the revenue generated.
 
SU27COBRA
Topic Author
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:17 pm

Re: Could Concorde go Supersonic when full?

Fri May 19, 2017 11:40 pm

Great thanks for the info on the paint... everything matters :-)
 
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LAX772LR
Posts: 8243
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Re: Could Concorde go Supersonic when full?

Sat May 20, 2017 1:38 am

SU27COBRA wrote:
Is this true at all?

Is there any truth to this?

Of course not. What then would've been the point of building it?
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
crownvic
Posts: 1907
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:16 pm

Re: Could Concorde go Supersonic when full?

Sat May 20, 2017 5:05 am

SU27COBRA wrote:
I have been told that Concorde could never go supersonic when full? Is this true at all?
As I type it seems far fetched.

However I was told that BA and Air France never sold all the seats on the plane for this reason, and if there was a full compliment of 120 passengers or so it couldn't go supersonic.
Is there any truth to this?


Thanks.



I flew Concorde 2x in the final years. Both were full flights and the Mach meter read over 2.0 on both occasions, so this is not true.
 
factsonly
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Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:08 pm

Re: Could Concorde go Supersonic when full?

Sat May 20, 2017 10:43 am

SU27COBRA wrote:
I have been told that Concorde could never go supersonic when full? Is this true at all?
As I type it seems far fetched.

However I was told that BA and Air France never sold all the seats on the plane for this reason, and if there was a full compliment of 120 passengers or so it couldn't go supersonic.
Is there any truth to this?


Thanks.


This (layman's) story could be triggered by another Concorde fact.

Concorde could not make JFK-LHR or JFK-CDG v.v. with its max. design number of 128 passengers.

Concorde's seating of 100 passengers (AF and BA) was dictated by the fact that the aircraft's payload range did not permit a higher number of passengers for regular reliable year-round TATL crossings.

Check the Payload range diagram below, which indicates Paris was at the very limit of the payload range:

- 100 pax = 22.000 lbs
- JFK-CDG = 3153 NM

https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFA ... 200448.PDF
 
vc10
Posts: 1372
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2001 4:13 am

Re: Could Concorde go Supersonic when full?

Sat May 20, 2017 12:35 pm

Check the date of your article, which is 1964 so a lot changed between then and the aircraft's introduction into service and indeed a lot changed after 1976
 
GDB
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Could Concorde go Supersonic when full?

Sat May 20, 2017 8:18 pm

vc10 wrote:
Check the date of your article, which is 1964 so a lot changed between then and the aircraft's introduction into service and indeed a lot changed after 1976

Too right! The aircraft changed a lot during it's development. I don't like to call the first French and UK prototypes as such, today I think we'd call them Technology Demonstrators.
What were the first two pre-production aircraft were really what we'd call a prototype today, or indeed with most airliners being developed generally going back to Concorde's time and before. Concorde prototypes were more like the Boeing Dash-80 and about as different that was to a production B-707.

When you see the aircraft that flew first as Concorde, they were shorter, had a less refined ogival wing, less developed engines, analogue intake controls and those solid visors with mere peep holes for vision, which was never going to be certified, in case it got stuck in the flight config which would mean literally a blind landing!

In 1964, much of this was to be developed, those figures could only have been based on, at best, a somewhat developed version of the prototypes. At this stage, two versions were still planned, France would make a 'medium haul' higher capacity version, which an eye on routes to Francophone Africa as much as the USA as far as AF was concerned.
While the UK would build the longer ranged version, less capacity, more range, the transatlantic one (though AF's fleet of these would likely also come from Toulouse). BOAC only wanted this version.

It was not long after 1964, when it became clear that there could well be serious issues around overland supersonic flight, weakening the already shaky case for the 'medium range' version.

When I was going through the archives, I saw some fascinating letters, including one which were in effect the minutes of a meeting in 1964 between BAC and Pan Am, at a hotel in NY (Shades of Mad Men!)
PA, then a prospective customer who the previous year, had in effect started the US SST program by optioning Concorde.
They discussed loads, different cabin configs, noise and they really wanted an APU!
(I saw a BAC drawing of a proposed APU from 1970, with either a French one or the type used in the C-5A. But none was ever fitted to any aircraft).
 
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Classa64
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Re: Could Concorde go Supersonic when full?

Sun May 21, 2017 3:21 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
SU27COBRA wrote:
Is this true at all?

Is there any truth to this?

Of course not. What then would've been the point of building it?


I would have thought it was not possible to go Supersonic at or close to MTOW as well just like most planes at MTOW cant get to MAX cruise height until fuel is burned off?
I have no idea just curious.

C.
"Freedom is the miles i'm rolling on"
 
ChrisKen
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:15 pm

Re: Could Concorde go Supersonic when full?

Sun May 21, 2017 5:13 pm

Classa64 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
SU27COBRA wrote:

I would have thought it was not possible to go Supersonic at or close to MTOW as well just like most planes at MTOW cant get to MAX cruise height until fuel is burned off?

C.

Yeah but Concorde goes supersonic at less than half it's max speed and less than two thirds of its ceiling.
 
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LAX772LR
Posts: 8243
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:06 pm

Re: Could Concorde go Supersonic when full?

Mon May 22, 2017 3:18 am

Classa64 wrote:
I would have thought it was not possible to go Supersonic at or close to MTOW as well just like most planes at MTOW cant get to MAX cruise height until fuel is burned off?
I have no idea just curious.

It's understandable.

But as was pointed out earlier: you gotta realize that Concorde goes supersonic at far less than its maximum capable speed.

So while it's reasonable to wonder if it could get up to Mach2.02 at max weight minus spent fuel........to just "go supersonic" only requires exceeding Mach1, and if Concorde couldn't do THAT, even at full weight, then there would've been absolutely no point in even making the thing.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil

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