Written by Tom Jenkins On October - 17 - 2011 under Airplanes Comments Off on Concorde

One of the most impressive aircraft made by mankind is undoubtedly Concorde. A marvel of technology remained unbeatable and no chance to evolve into new models to assure a future for sure. Concorde was a technological success born of Franco-British cooperation but also proved to be an economic disaster that brings substantial losses.

The plane was born from an agreement between France and Britain which provide for Aerospatiale (France) and BAC Concorde (UK) to produce a supersonic aircraft capable of carrying on long routes around 100 passengers. This contract called for British major penalties clause requiring that the party withdraw from the project. The treaty was signed on November 28, 1962 and began building the first plane in 1965.

In the late 50s the main economic powers have begun to focus on supersonic passenger flights. United States, Britain, France and Russia have begun development of aircraft to be able to cross long distances at higher speeds than the speed of sound (343ms, 1.236km / h). The first copy, called 001 and was manufactured in Toulouse on March 2, 1969 made the first flight piloted by Andre Turkey. A few months later, on 1 October of that year, the aircraft exceeded the speed of sound. The first Concorde built in the UK (002) flew for the first time in April 9, 1969 piloted by Brian Trubshaw. The same plane started a tour through the Middle East and Asia on June 2, 1972 and in 1973 it made its first visit to American soil.

In total 20 machines were built, research and development costs represent a very important economic loss that was supported by the governments of both countries.
Airlines Air France and British Airways have received grants to purchase these types of devices.
But when the global financial difficulties were triggered with the attacks on 9 September in the United States and the only accident involving a Concorde flight (25 July 2000) ended the dream of mankind to use supersonic passenger aircrafts. Commercial aircraft Concorde races have ended in October 24, 2003 and the last flight was made on 26 November of that year.

Concorde was the first civil aircraft to utilize the (Fly by Wire) system.

These and other features permitted Concorde to attain them an average speed of Mach 2.02 cruise (about 2140 km / h or 1330 mph) with a maximum altitude of 18,300 feet flying over twice the speed of conventional aircraft. It had a relatively high landing speed: 298 km / h. Since engineers have used hard-aluminum (aluminum alloy) for the entire plane, due to low cost and ease of processing; the maximum temperature of aluminum supported was 127 ° C, limiting the maximum speed of Mach 2.02.

During the flight, Concorde went through two cycles of heating and cooling, the first was cooling as altitude increases and then heated back in supersonic flight. The reverse happened when slowing down. Due to heat generated by compressing air in supersonic regime, Concorde fuselage expands by about 300 mm, the effect of this was a visible gap that occurred between the cockpit and flight engineer panel wall. In all planes which have been withdrawn, and flight engineers have put caps in that area before they cool, where they remained until today.
To cool the cabin, fuel was used as a heat exchanger. In the same way hydraulic fluid was cooled and. During supersonic flight, the cabin windows are strongly heated.

Concorde used an anti-lock system, a special ABS, which prevented the wheels from locking when applying a maximum braking force, allowing maximum control during deceleration and braking, especially in the rain.

Brake discs were made of ceramic and 1,600 m was needed to stop the plane of 185 tons at a speed of 305 km / h. Discs are heated during braking maneuver at temperatures between 300 ° C and 500 ° C, requiring several hours to cool, mounted cooling fans that rushed them. A temperature probe was mounted on each disc to monitor brake disc temperatures.

Another problem was encountered during the landing gear design. It must be quite strong because it was subject to exceptional loads during plane take-off. Each main train had four wheels. The tires were inflated with nitrogen to limit overheating. After the incident in 1979, in Washington, was mounted a tire pressure detection system and alarm all require the return of the plane for road checks.

Shortly after the launch of Concorde, Concorde was designed the “B” with a slightly larger fuel capacity, increased wing provided with vouchers to the board of appeals to improve aerodynamic performance at all speeds and more powerful engines and silencers without afterburner system. The result was an increased range of 500 km at a higher payload and opening new trade routes. The project was canceled due to poor sales of the first Concorde model.

Flying at twice the altitude of a conventional aircraft, you could see the curvature of Earth trough the window and turbulence were distinctly rare. During supersonic flight, although the outside temperature was -60 ° C, heated air compressing the outer shell of the plane at about 120 ° C, causing the windows to warm to the touch and causing a marked increase in temperatures over cab.
Concorde was the only airliner in the world in which pilots could see the sun rising from the west.

Concorde flew fast enough so that the weight of passengers is temporarily reduced by 1% when flying east. This is due to centrifugal force resulting from the accumulation speed and the rotation of the Earth.

Concorde speed was beyond that of twilight, and may equal or exceed the speed of rotation of the earth. On flights to the west, it was possible to arrive at a local time earlier than the departure time. On certain transatlantic flights departing from Heathrow or Paris, you could take off even after sunset and still catch the sunset, by landing in the day. This was well publicized by British Airways, which used the slogan “Arrive before you leave.”

On 25 July 2000 Air France flight 4590, registered F-BTSC crashes in Gonesse, France, killing all 100 passengers, 9 crew members and four people on the ground.
It was the only accident victims of this type of plane. According to the official investigation conducted by the Bureau of investigation of accidents in France (BEA), the accident was caused by a titanium blade, part of a power inverter, airplane fell from the Continental DC-10 that took off about Airlines 4 minutes earlier. The metal fragment caused a rubber boom of the left landing gear.
A piece of rubber hit the fuel tank exploded and broke an electrical cable. The impact caused a hydrodynamic shock wave that cracked tank near the impact zone. This rift has caused a massive loss of fuel was ignited by the sparking cables damaged. The crew stopped after number 2 engine fire alarm, but could not raise the landing device. Remained without power, the plane went into a dive, crashing into a hotel of Gonesse.

Mankind’s dream to build a supersonic passenger plane ended with the retirement of the Concorde model.

Concorde Airplane Pictures Gallery

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