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Concorde's Last Flight (Merged)

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Concorde's Last Flight (Merged)

Old 13th Jul 2010, 13:08
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 1999
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I think I'm correct in saying that the tank 5 rupture could never have happened as it did if the tank had had the mandatory air space above the fuel, the air would have compressed slightly and the tank should have remained intact.

Accepting that having a large lump of rubber thrown off a failed tyre is not something that should be allowed to happen, the fuel leak was the fundamental reason for the crash. Whatever action the crew took after such a fierce fire started the options were very limited.

One thing I didn't notice last night was any mention of the need to cram in as much fuel as possible due to the more marginal range when operating CDG->JFK. I know it's difficult to fit in all the facts and make them hang together coherently, but I think that would have been a worthwhile addition.

It surprises me that the BEA report did not examine all of these details more closely, I heard very loud and clear the unspoken opinion of the AAIB investigator about what was not pursued.

Last edited by Feathers McGraw; 13th Jul 2010 at 13:09. Reason: Tidy formatting
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 14:04
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Thumbs down Concord

I think your words for Capt Walpole a bit harsh, I bet you couldn,t calculate your fuel consumption as accurate as he did, so as to land without any left. Can you imagine the cost to BA of a diversion just to refuel, not to mention arriving late into London.
Also to have such confidence in your calculations as to override the First Officer and Flight Engineers concerns
Come on credit where credit is due
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 14:49
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2009
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crash...didn't actually see the programme so I don't know if they mentioned this...

BBC News - Work starts in £15m plan to get Concorde flying

Work starts in £15m plan to get Concorde flying

The engines on a French Concorde are to be examined as the first move in a £15m project aiming to get the supersonic passenger jet back in the air.

My understanding is that it is intended to return her to flying in time for the 2012 Olympics?
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 16:36
  #24 (permalink)  
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Didn't see the programme, but did see the last flight and landing!

I did get very emotional as it touched down too
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 16:52
  #25 (permalink)  
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DC1968. Don't hold your breath for this. It ain't going to happen. May get to taxi, no hope of flying. Sorry. Ex Concorde pax.
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 16:56
  #26 (permalink)  
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Very moving programme. Great clips, interviews and music. One of the best aviation documentaries I have ever seen.
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 17:25
  #27 (permalink)  
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I was lucky enough to do quite a few Atlantic trips both from Heathrow, CDG, Dulles and JFK and on one occasion the Flight Engineer told me that BA had modified the debris guards on the undercarriage to try to stop any damage to the underside of the wing. He added that Air France probably wouldn't bother. Was that true or not? My usual seats were 10A or D depending which heading we were on.

Some real characters flew Concorde. A very pissed Truman Capote was one highlight. A texan multi millionairess and her pal who flashed their massive diamond 'knuckle dusters' [many, many carats] in the sunlight and lit up the interior with multicoloured shafts of light.

The best flight was one from JFK that took less than 3 hours [just] and landed in an Easterly direction [which helped].

Only problem with the documentary was all those commercial breaks! There were so many! One of the pilots [the one who said it was the safest aircraft he had ever flown] was the one who gave me the bumpiest arrival ever into Heathrow!

Last edited by aviate1138; 13th Jul 2010 at 17:27. Reason: spelling!
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 17:58
  #28 (permalink)  
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To plan to continue with a flight accross the Atlantic and (knowingly) land with near-empty tanks is hardly a professional way to operate an aeoplane; not to mention the risk involved in delivering your passengers (safely) to their destination.

That particular Air France Concorde was a 'known' gas-guzzler (as compared to the rest of the fleet), which is why the crew didn't wish to forfeit any additional fuel burn. It was a known 'gas-guzzler' because of a previous heavy landing which 'bent' the u/c; which contributed to the heavy tyre-wear by having to input a known ammount of rudder during the take-off roll; thus compounding the tyre temperature on that side of the aircraft. Was it a contribution? Will we ever know? Speculation will continue for many years to come. The fact remains that the F/E should not have shut-down any engine without the clear and concise order from the Captain. Extreme fire or otherwise; the engines should have been left to do the job being asked of them; at the very least until the gear had been selected UP!

It's only 'too easy' to criticise, after the event, from the comfort of your own armchair; however, Air France appear to be 'lax' in providing any cause for blame to their crewmmbers in not adhering to standard procedures. It 'might' have been recoverable; but we'll never know for sure.

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Old 13th Jul 2010, 18:14
  #29 (permalink)  
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watched this program with interest, did learn a lot about the history of concorde and its operations, but was a bit surprised by the eyewitness who stated that concorde was on fire before it run over the metal strip, did find it strange that of all the people and "planespotters" who were probably at the airport at time of takeoff, only two forms of photographic evidence were shown, eg the video from the lorry cab, and the photo from the plane waiting for concorde to take off, surely there must be more out there ??
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 19:18
  #30 (permalink)  
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A couple of things from the programme that caught my attention.

High level US Spyplanes being asked to move out of the way by ATC as Concorde came through. Them in their pressure suits and those in Concorde drinking champagne and when the baying crowds in New York saw it being wheeled into the hangar for the first time and saw it was a thing of beauty and not the evil machine it had been portrayed.
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 19:35
  #31 (permalink)  
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Just a few of my thoughts.

Unfortunately, I have never flown on Concorde, but I have been on board the Man airport BA exhibit (brilliant), and the 2 (test) Concordes at Duxford and the Fleet Air Arm museum, Yeovilton. The latter had her engine panels open & engine illuminated last year, I spent 1/2 hour in utter amazement gawping at the complex engineering. Even the bottom drop-down access panel doubled as a liquid holding tank.

Superb machine - But, like my old 1973 3.5 litre V8 Rover P5, Concorde was "of its day". Both are void of todays complex electronics, and both are known "gas guzzlers" !!!. I sat in the engineers seat (at Man - a couple of years ago), and again was amazed at the cramped complexity of the engineers panel. Hundreds of switches laid on line diagrams. 1960's science fiction stuff.

Yes she could still fly today, but circumstances are 100% against her, HUGE cost, lack of technical backup, and her last cockpit crews probably now mostly retired, but those still flying certainly not "supersonically up to date". As time passes, this skill base will diminish.

The Air France loss was tragic for all concerned, yet BA refitted their fleet, but the triple whammy of loss of technical support, rising fuel costs and 9/11 sealed her fate.

I saw the programme, with wet eyes as the final 3 landed at Heathrow. She had a very grand finale.

Aviation took a huge step backward that day, and, I suspect, we will never fly supersonic, routinely, daily, ever again.

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Old 13th Jul 2010, 19:36
  #32 (permalink)  
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Watched the programme and despite working for BAe (sorry for that...) I was still amazed at the technical accomplishment made some forty years ago. Makes you wonder if we will ever see a commercial aircraft of this caliber produced again, the cost of such a programme would exceed £10-20b at best.
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 20:02
  #33 (permalink)  
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Whilst watching this I was constantly reminded what an incredibly beautiful aeroplane she was/is.
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 20:11
  #34 (permalink)  
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To arrive in New York one and a half hours before leaving London for a brief moment mere mortals conquered Time.History repeats itself in irony as depicted in Bruegel`s Fall of Icarus, and the hapless Daedalus now awaits the verdict of the French judges for the death of his son.Will there ever be another Concorde.... I do not think so.
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 21:29
  #35 (permalink)  
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Am i right to think that MR Brandson wanted to get her air worthy again for a 2012 Olympic fly over ???

Also just looked at the concorde website / Forums and some french people are trying to get a rolling concorde.. Granted atm they are just trying to get a engine running but who knows what could come from it, poss an air show plane ????
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 21:34
  #36 (permalink)  
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Slightly OT, I unfortunately lost the BA 'Hangar Video' that was on this site for a short time after the final flights. It was a wonderful 5 min tribute to Concorde and its people. A real lump in the throat job.

I did ask BA if it was avaiable for donwload. A nice guy from the museum referred me on to someone else...who never responded.

Anyone got any ideas of how it can be accessed?
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 21:51
  #37 (permalink)  
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No, Mr. Branson was not involved in this. Please don't get your hopes up for an airworthy one. If you think for a minute of the enormous problems it is simply a dream that will not happen. Next pie in the sky project, how about the X.B70 Valkyrie as an airshow act................

If you explore PPRuNe, you will find many similar replies to mine, with more explanation. [Welcome, by the way, we are not always cynical, only about this project.] John.
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 21:59
  #38 (permalink)  
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On 29 Nov 1962, I was at prep school. Great excitement when we heard that the Concorde agreement had been signed.

In the mid-1960s, at my public school we had a presentation from BAC about the Concorde. A little later, the 'test' supersonic bang flights took place with Lightnings. The genpub was Not Amused!

On 2 Mar 1969, I was just about to go flying in a Cherokee from Weston Super Mare aerodrome when the news came through that Andre Turcat had just taken off in 001.

On 24 Mar 1976, I'd just finished my TWU course with 234 Sqn when the first scheduled flights to Dulles landed - Air France and ba landed simultaneously on parallel runways.

Whilst at Brize for nearly 20 years, I saw Concorde on several occasions. I remember once saying to the U/T USAF exchange officer co-pilot "Have you got many of those in the US?"....

On 25 Jul 2000, I'd just left the Farnborough Air Show and was driving home when the news of the AF4590 crash came over the radio.

In 2001 I was sitting in another PA28 at Brize (G-BPAF) with a student when G-BOAF was towed past during the 'return to flight' trials. "'AF from 'AF, good to see you back!", I said.

And then the worthless ba rolled over to French pressure and announced that they were killing off their Concordes.

On 24 Oct 2003 I could barely believe it when I was sitting at home watching the final Concorde arrivals at London Airport on TV. Jeremy Clarkson's words “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap backwards for mankind." were very apt.

4 years later, the spineless ba even removed their model from the Concorde roundabout at London Airport..... Whereas passengers in the Long Term Car Park bus would always gaze in admiration at the model, nowadays no-one gives that hideously ugly A380 model a second glance, nor cares which foreign airline it's supposed to be advertising. It's still the 'Concorde roundabout' to everyone, even though it isn't a roundabout and no longer has a Concorde model.

Concorde - when once we had an aviation industry with ambition....
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 22:06
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Medway, Kent
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No no problem. dreamed 1day of getting on her, iv been to duxford but its not the same as a real flying machine.

Iv just started my ppl training last week so thought ill join up to see what goes on in the world of aviation forums.

Just a link from where i got the story from

Concorde may fly again for 2012 Olympics
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 22:36
  #40 (permalink)  
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If anyone missed last night's 'Concorde's Last Flight' documentary and would like to see it, it's available here for the next 28 days: Concorde's Last Flight - 4oD - Channel 4



Here's the BA Hangar Video -


Last edited by Flying Lawyer; 13th Jul 2010 at 22:48.
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