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Old 24th Aug 2010, 20:30
  #98 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Jungles of SW London
Age: 72
Posts: 354
Modern LSI surface mounted, multi layer electronics.

First of all, many, many thanks to our four main sources of Concorde 'nectar'; M2Dude, ChristiaanJ, Bellerophon and Exwok. Their input, each from a slightly different viewpoint, is absolutely captivating. As fascinating as the lady herself.

The initial A/P+A/T 'Max Cruise' mod meant a major modification of the autothrottle computers. One of the circuit boards in particular was totally "butchered" on-site (Fairford), with well over a hundred track cuts and new wire links, not to mention the number of component changes (to give an idea to the 'experts', these were double-sided PCBs of about 15x20cm).
Christiaan rang an awful lot of bells with his description of some of the electronics - it was very, very similar to the stuff I used to work on, back in the early days of production CT Scanners. Cut tracks and wire links were the 'staff of life' and the stuff of nightmare. Our first minicomputers - to reconstruct the CT image - had 32 kilobytes of memory on four boards, each about 17" square!! My phone has about 2 Gigabytes of memory! Now this was in the late seventies, when Concorde had been flying for a good number of years.

My question, which is a bit of a tilt at windmills, is this; If you had to build Concorde all over again with the same airframe and engines, how much more room, how much lighter and how much more capable would the electronics be if they were made using the latest surface mount, Extremely High Density integrated circuits and microprocessors?

Thanks again everyone, for the best thread I have read on PPRuNe for two years (and there have been some superb ones in that time )

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