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Aerospatiale / BAC Concorde


Supersonic Passenger Jet Airliner (1969)


Aviation / Aerospace

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Low forward right side view of an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde coming in for a landing; color
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Right side view of an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde preparing to take-off; color
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Left underside view of an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde in flight; color
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Left side view of an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde preparing for take-off; color
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Low left side view of an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde at rest; color
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Close-up detail view of the left side fuselage on an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde; color
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Interior shot of the passenger cabin aboard an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde; color
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Extreme straight-on forward underside view of an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde; color
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A loading ramp is set up against the side of an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde; color
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Extreme angle view of the left forward side of an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde; color
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Interior shot of the passenger cabin aboard an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde; color
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Right side view of an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde; color
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Right forward view of an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde; color
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Distance view of a pair of Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concordes; color
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Left side profile view of an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde' color
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Low right side forward view of an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde; color
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Low forward underside view of an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde
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Left side profile view of an Aerospatiale British Aircraft Corporation Concorde

Jump-to: Specifications

The world's first supersonic passenger transport was pulled from service in October of 2003.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/19/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
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One of the great aviation stories to come out of a post-Cold War world, the British and French-made Concorde stands as the only supersonic passenger transport ever designed and flown on a regular basis. The system offered upper-crust passengers the ability to cross distances around the world in a matter of hours as opposed to the overnight flights experienced by standard passenger transports of the time. In the end, however, a changing world and economic pressures forced the retirement of the Concorde fleet, leaving most never to have traveled one of the finest technological marvels of the twentieth century.

The Concorde originally began as two separate projects being fielded by the British firm of British Aerospace (which now also controlled British Aircraft Corporation) and the French bureau of Aerospatiale (which now also controlled Sud Aviation). With other nations trying to field their own individual supersonic designs, Britain and France entered into a formal agreement to save cost and development resources by producing a joint product. As early as 1962, the Concorde was being developed with the first two prototypes - one British and one French - flying in 1969.

British contractors handled construction of three portions of the main forward part of the fuselage. Additionally they were charged with the vertical tail assembly, engine ducts and their corresponding nacelles and the rear portion of the fuselage. Other work including the installation of the four powerplants, electrical, oxygen and fuel control systems. Conversely, French contractors were charged with handling the construction of the delta-wing assembly, avionics, communications and hydraulic controls. Engine development was split between the two firms of Rolls-Royce and SNECMA. The resulting powerplant was the Olympus 593 Mk 610, offering nearly 40,000lbs of thrust each with up to 17 percent afterburning potential. Four such engines would be fitted underneath the wings, two to each wing.

The Concorde was designed to offer up the slightest in the way of air resistance, with designers settling on a slim fuselage with a low-wing monoplane delta wing layout. A single vertical tail surface was mounted at rear with elevators added to the main wing system instead of on the empennage. The high speeds of supersonic flight required that the design be of a pencil-type shape, obscuring the flight crew's view below when taxiing. As such, the nose cone was made into a positional assembly, allowing it to be positioned down when the aircraft was taxiing or flying at low-speeds/low-altitude.

Ingenuity throughout the design did not take a back seat either. The fuel tanks mounted throughout the large-area delta wings served double duty as heat sinks for the wing assemblies themselves during high-speed flight. Titanium - a popular component of high-speed/high-altitude flight - was utilized throughout the design. Internally, the Concorde was crewed by three standard personnel with four flight crew attendants. The standard seating configuration allowed for up to 100 passengers though as many as 128 (some sources show 144) could be allowed.

From the outset, the dream of supersonic flight had specifications for the Concorde reaching speeds at around Mach 2.5. Unfortunately this was deemed non-practical in terms of construction materials proposed. As such, the maximum speed was sacrificed to a still-impressive Mach 2 and an equally impressive range of over 4,000 miles with an altitude ceiling of around 60,000 feet.

In the end, the Concorde lived up to expectations but failed to create enough of an international buzz to warrant continued production for export orders. Only 14 examples of the Concorde were produced during its production run, allocating seven to the British and seven to the French. The only other operator of the system was Singapore, which had leased a few examples. As impressive as the Concorde was, economic and environmental pressures set in. The aircraft was proving difficult to maintain in a fuel-strapped economy and many countries disallowed use of a supersonic aircraft, generating sonic booms with over-flights over populated areas, limited the Concorde to traveling over large spans of open water - particularly the Atlantic. An accident in 2000 grounded the fleet for a year until the British and French jointly decided against continuing flights of the Concorde series. Such was the end of the supersonic era of passenger flight.

Specifications



Service Year
1969

Origin
France national flag graphic
France

Status
RETIRED
Not in Service.
Crew
3

Production
20
UNITS


Aerospatiale - France / British Aerospace - United Kingdom
National flag of France National flag of Singapore National flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom; France; Singapore (limited lease).
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Commercial Aviation
Used in roles serving the commercial aviation market, ferrying both passengers and goods over range.
BizJet
Used in roles serving the business aviation market, primarily VIP and regional travel.
VIP Service
Used in the Very-Important-Person (VIP) passenger transport role, typically with above-average amenities and luxuries as standard.


MULTI-ENGINE
Incorporates two or more engines, enhancing survivability and / or performance.
SUPERCRUISE
Capable of sustained supersonic flight without the need for engine afterburner/reheat enabled.
WING SWEEPBACK
Mainplanes, or leading edges, features swept-back lines for enhanced high-speed performance and handling.
HIGH-SPEED PERFORMANCE
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
HIGH-ALTITUDE PERFORMANCE
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
EXTENDED RANGE PERFORMANCE
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
SUPER PERFORMANCE
Design covers the three all-important performance categories of speed, altitude, and range.
MARITIME OPERATION
Ability to operate over ocean in addition to surviving the special rigors of the maritime environment.
CREWSPACE PRESSURIZATION
Supports pressurization required at higher operating altitudes for crew survival.


Length
203.7 ft
(62.10 m)
Width/Span
83.8 ft
(25.55 m)
Height
37.4 ft
(11.40 m)
Empty Wgt
169,998 lb
(77,110 kg)
MTOW
408,001 lb
(185,066 kg)
Wgt Diff
+238,002 lb
(+107,956 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Aerospatiale / BAC Concorde production variant)
Installed: 4 x Rolls-Royce/SNECMA Olympus 593 Mk 610 turbojet engines developing 38,050 lb of thrust each with afterburner.
Max Speed
1,354 mph
(2,179 kph | 1,177 kts)
Ceiling
60,007 ft
(18,290 m | 11 mi)
Range
4,090 mi
(6,582 km | 12,190 nm)
Rate-of-Climb
10,000 ft/min
(3,048 m/min)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Aerospatiale / BAC Concorde production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database. View aircraft by powerplant type)
None.


Concorde - Base Series Name; 20 aircraft completed.


Cockpit image of the Aerospatiale / BAC Concorde
(Cockpit image represents the Aerospatiale BAC Concorde production model)


General Assessment
Firepower  
Performance  
Survivability  
Versatility  
Impact  


Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
Overall Rating
The overall rating takes into account over 60 individual factors related to this aircraft entry.
22
Rating is out of a possible 100 points.
Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 1400mph
Lo: 700mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (1,354mph).

Graph average of 1,050 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Aerospatiale / BAC Concorde operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
Max Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Design Balance
The 3 qualities we look at for a balanced aircraft design are altitude, speed, and range.
Aviation Era Span
Pie graph section
Showcasing era cross-over of this aircraft design.
Unit Production (20)
20
36183
44000
This entry's total production compared against the most-produced military and civilian aircraft types in history (Ilyushin IL-2 and Cessna 172, respectively).
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