Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

French Concorde crash

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

French Concorde crash

Old 16th Dec 2010, 11:47
  #381 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: FL 600. West of Mongolia
Posts: 463
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It was the Bristol 223 that was designed at Filton, not Concorde. Fair enough that the 223 is closer to what finally became Concorde than the Super Caravelle, but nonetheless the final design benifited from both contributions.
But the fact remains that the name adapted for the aircraft was Concorde, and it was agreed by both the French and the British that the French Letter 'E' would be added.
Concord is both a town in Massachusetts and a word in the English dictionary. Concorde is the name of arguably the finest commercial aircraft of all time, and that's the way that it will always remain.
(I've been closely involved with the aircraft since the beginning of 1974, so have more than just a passing knowledge of such things).

Regards
Dude
M2dude is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2010, 12:56
  #382 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: France
Posts: 2,315
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As anybody knows who's ever tried to look up Concorde on Google, Concord is also the name of a 1950s Chrysler car, and a lot of American garages....

CJ


PS : Amusing to see how much stupidity, ignorance and unnecessary unpleasantness can be crammed into one brief post, isn't it?
ChristiaanJ is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2010, 13:05
  #383 (permalink)  
mike-wsm
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by M2Dude
. . . we now have this drivel from the totally mis-informed, totally biased, totally inflamitory and totally wrong, idiotic posting moron . . .
It is indeed an honour and a privilege to be so described by one who has sat at the droopy end for so many years.

We worked in 'another place' on Filton Hill and on quiet days were able to take a leisurely stroll around the Brabazon hangar where the later Concordes were being assembled. I think I can recall seeing G-BOAG nearing completion. What a crying shame it was that, after securing the block of letters G-BOAA to G-BOAG, the airline changed its name. It would have been glorious to see BOAC Concorde G-BOAC.
 
Old 16th Dec 2010, 13:16
  #384 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southeast U K
Posts: 291
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Didn't BOAC stand for Buy Only American Crap??
Storminnorm is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2010, 13:50
  #385 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: uk
Posts: 857
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jcjeant
Unprecedented ?
Only the fire and crash was ... fuel leak was not.... (Washington-aircraft scrapped)
Fuel leak was unprecedented in scale. Mechanism of tank rupture was not widely known outside of military work. To quote PBL (see link below): "a much larger hole, two to maybe three orders of magnitude larger than any that had previously occurred, made by a completely different mechanism." Even if fuel at Dulles incident had ignited, and stayed alight, the fire wouldn't have had the same effect on engine thrust (or caused the level of wing damage) which caused the crash.

What was the recommandations from the BEA to the regulator ?
Why not make the recommandations made in 2000 ? cause no victims ?
When you have fuel leak ... risk of fire is obvious
Recommendations that were made would be different because of massive difference in scale of the damage. Currently, regulators make rules based on engine ingestion of a 4lb bird. If that became a 400lb bird, the rules and recommendations would have to be very different.

>> For an aircraft mechanic, I would say that a tyre burst causing harm should be obvious
But not should be obvious for the experts of the BEA or AAIB ?
Of course it would be obvious to both. You seem to be still thinking that the same question is being applied to the mechanic / continental, and the regulator, with different answers. That is not the case.
Q1: Was it forseeable that an aircraft tire burst can cause significant injury (or death).
Ans: By regulator: Yes. By Mechanic / Continental: Yes

Q2: Was it forseeable that a tire burst could result in a Concorde turning into a flying fireball.
Ans: By regulator: No. By Mechanic / Continental: No
No difference in the standard of forseeabilitybeing applied to the mechanic and the regulator.

The difference is in the tests for manslaughter, you would need to have a "yes" to Q1 (among other questions) to convict the mechanic and/or continental, but a "yes" to Q2 to convict the regulator. The mechanic is reponsible for a bad repair (outwith the rules), causing a fatality. A test of "forseeable harm" does not require him to forsee what acutally happened, only that his action could lead to some harm. The regulator is not responsible for continental's bad repair, only potentially for the effect of the tire burst causing massive fuel leak, fire, loss of thrust, crash. Hence, you have to have a "yes" to Q2 to convict, and PBL has already demolished that in cross examination. http://www.abnormaldistribution.org/...ars-on-part-2/
infrequentflyer789 is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2010, 14:25
  #386 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 647
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't understand why a different question is not appropriate for the Mechanic: “Was it foreseeable that using titanium instead of stainless steel could cause a tyre burst?

I would have thought from the Mechanic's point of view the answer would be “No”.


Chris N
chrisN is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2010, 14:46
  #387 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Toulouse area, France
Age: 93
Posts: 435
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Angel @ mike wsm

Why, sir do you say Concorde should never have been built ? Before the 747, experience had shown that speed paid - remember that Concorde, carrying about 100 passengers could do 2 transatlantic round trips per day, while current aircraft at the time could only do one, carrying less than 200 passengers (argue about these figures if you will - I'm happy here with approximations as I'm not doing a cost/benefit analysis). At fuel prices before the first big rise, Concorde's economics worked.
That's what industry and governments had to go on, apart from prestige.
Simplistically, as the hare compared with tortoises, Concorde was supposed to be to its slower contemporaries what the Comet was to its (leaving aside the Comet's own weaknesses, discovered later, such as square windows and the inability of riveters at deH's to achieve the tight tolerances needed at the corners).
Your insistence on dropping the 'e' is peculiarly pedantic - the aircraft was properly named "Concorde" by agreement, to symbolise the "joint-ness" of the project.
You can carp all you will - Concorde was an immense technical success - and scared the bejasus out of "the cousins" who didn't manage to achieve anything like it - and incidentally put whatever hindrances they could to its operation.
Personally, being a peaceful type*, I also think it was "good" that, while other nations' large supersonic aircraftwere designed to destroy, Concorde was designed for peaceful purposes.

*But at the time a proud member of Britain's airborne striking power.

Last edited by Jig Peter; 16th Dec 2010 at 14:55. Reason: add last sentence
Jig Peter is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2010, 15:34
  #388 (permalink)  
bearfoil
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I'll Nibble at infrequentflyer's conclusions.

Should the Regulator have foreseen a tyre burst as potentially causing a castastrophic Fire? Emphatically, YES. That was the upshot of the entire Tyre "problem".

Should the Mechanic have foreseen such a catastrophe? Emphatically, NO.

We see the Titanium Strip post crash. Hardware store rivets fastened haphazardly by an indifferent "Expert"? Irregular indexing of attachment points? Boy Howdy.

Why are we focused on the Metal? It is the "craftsmanship" that gets my attention.

Should the Mechanic have foreseen his "Rub Strip" falling Off?? Boy howdy.

bear
 
Old 16th Dec 2010, 17:16
  #389 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: uk
Posts: 857
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by chrisN
I don't understand why a different question is not appropriate for the Mechanic: “Was it foreseeable that using titanium instead of stainless steel could cause a tyre burst?
The material of the repair has been latched on by the media, IMO incorrectly, probably because it's easy to report & understand. The repair was also badly executed, and not by the book, in a number of other ways. This is likely far more significant, but talking about incorrectly drilled rivet holes is too complicated for todays media. As Bear has just said - it's the craftsmanship, not the metal.

The series of questions (as I understand it, and I'm not a lawyer and if I was, not a French one) would be:
  1. Did the mechanic (or the company) knowlingly act outside of safety rules / laws (mens rea)
  2. Did he, or should he, have known that this action could cause someone harm
  3. Was this action an essential cause (sine qua non) of a death
It's the second of these that the tire burst question is part of, and might be broken down into:
  • Was it forseeable that the bodged repair would fall off ?
  • Was it forseeable that it would do so on the runway (at t/o thrust) ?
  • Was it forseeable that this strip on a runway could damage an aircraft (esp. tires) ?
  • Was it forseeable that a damaged aircraft tire could seriously hurt someone (even if its "only" the next mechanic who inspects it) ?
[ I think it's also possible that (2) becomes irrelevant if you knowingly breach a rule designed to ensure safety in (1) - it might be held that this automatically implies that you should have known that your action could cause harm ]

I think it's notable that in media statements (I haven't read the transcripts, my French would make that a somewhat slow job) Continental's lawyers have never raised defending (1) or (2), only (3). Possibly because they judged that they simply had no reasonable defence to (1)&(2). It appears they based their defence on eyewitness evidence (with no physical eveidence) of the Concorde already being on fire, and that the massive fuel leak did not contribute to the fatal nature of that fire - i.e. "it would have crashed and burnt without the tire burst".
infrequentflyer789 is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2010, 18:19
  #390 (permalink)  
mike-wsm
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by Jig Peter
. . . Concorde was an immense technical success . . .
Yes, an immense technical success. But not, I think, a commercial one.

Sales figures
Concorde: 0
747: 1400+

Hardly surprising if you look at weights. The per passenger cost of flying an airplane can be represented as the weight per seat at takeoff. This is indicative of fuel consumption regardless of speed because:
Energy required is (distance x drag)
Drag is (weight divided by L/D)

747 1500lb/seat
VC-10 2200lb/seat
Brabazon 2900lb/seat
Concorde 4000lb/seat

Which would you buy?
 
Old 16th Dec 2010, 18:51
  #391 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: UK
Age: 68
Posts: 103
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
apologies for subject drift, but...

mike-wsm

747 1500lb/seat
VC-10 2200lb/seat
Brabazon 2900lb/seat
Concorde 4000lb/seat

Which would you buy?
747-100 1,626lb/seat: commercial success
Concorde 3,433lb/seat: commercial failure
Britannia 310 (close to your heart, surely?) 1,330lb/seat: commercial failure
707-320B 2,269lb/seat: commercial success
VC-10 2,220lb/seat: commercial failure
727-200 1,108lb/seat: commercial success
HS Trident 3B 861lb/seat: commercial failure
Douglas DC3 792lb - 1,013lb/seat depending on config: commercial success
Vickers Viscount 810 900lb/seat: commercial success.

All MTOW/PAX figures from Wikipedia.

It looks to me as if there's a bit more to it than simple MTOW/passengers. How is it that the Viscount supplanted the DC3? Why aren't we all still flying around in Daks, or Trident 3s? Oh, because of the A380, which in 853 pax 1-class config manages 667lb/seat.

Edit 17/12/2010: the quote is from mike-wsm, not Jig Peter, to whom I first wrongly attributed it.

Last edited by Iron Duck; 17th Dec 2010 at 08:17. Reason: Incorrect attribution for quote
Iron Duck is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2010, 18:58
  #392 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Manchester
Age: 45
Posts: 615
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, an immense technical success. But not, I think, a commercial one.

Sales figures
Concorde: 0
747: 1400+

Hardly surprising if you look at weights. The per passenger cost of flying an airplane can be represented as the weight per seat at takeoff. This is indicative of fuel consumption regardless of speed because:
Energy required is (distance x drag)
Drag is (weight divided by L/D)

747 1500lb/seat
VC-10 2200lb/seat
Brabazon 2900lb/seat
Concorde 4000lb/seat

Which would you buy?
What a bizarre comment.

You have clearly never heard of words such as "yield" or "revenue management".

Ex Cargo Clown is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2010, 20:45
  #393 (permalink)  
PBL
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Bielefeld, Germany
Posts: 955
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What an astonishing post from mike-wsm! And what a reasonable reply from M2Dude!

mike-wsm is judging an aircraft designed and built in the 1960's by the standards of a 2010 airline accountant. And thereby wins the booby prize for inappropriate insight.

He suggests the engineers knew they were working on a sham. He may be generalising from someone he knew. (My advice: pick better company.)

The engineers I know who worked on Concorde considered it the pinnacle of their careers. And went on to work on the A320, A330 and A340, all of which benefitted technically from the experience of designing and maintaining Concorde.

Let's look back at the 1960's, when Concorde was designed and flew.

In 1961, a largish Mach 2+ airplane, the B-58 Hustler, flew from Texas via Washington DC and New York to Paris Le Bourget for the air show, mostly at Mach 2 (with aerial refuelling of course). The crew won the Mackay Trophy and the Harmon Trophy for their feat. All that way! That fast!

A week later, the airplane crashed during a flight display at the show. It wasn't exactly easy to handle. When you lost an engine at Mach 2, the airplane broke apart. The USAF purchased 128. By November 1963 there were 95 remaining. They had lost over a quarter of the fleet to accidents. And that was the state of the art in 1961.

Less than eight years later, an aircraft flew that was to perform this feat routinely, many times a day, without aerial refuelling, and with some hundred people on board sipping champagne, rather than three people, two of whom could barely see outside.

The Concorde was the most high-performance aircraft of its day, and of any day since. The aeronautical understanding derived during its development is likely unmatched by any other project in aeronautics.

And that aircraft flew after 64 years of powered flight, and continued flying, doing its thing very well, for twenty-four years of service until the Paris crash (after 95 years of powered flight), and only stopped because EADS decided to discontinue support. We are now at 105 years. With one airplane, one airplane only, lost. Everyone else in those twenty-four years had a good flight.

mike-wsm strikes me as the kind of contributor who would say on an arts-appreciation site that Picasso was just another scribbler, and that his plumber knew it.

PBL
PBL is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2010, 20:51
  #394 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: FL 600. West of Mongolia
Posts: 463
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ex Cargo Clown
What a bizarre comment. You have clearly never heard of words such as "yield" or "revenue management".
Absolutely right sir, I completely agree with you. The sad fact for the Concorde detractors here is that for BA at least, a fully laden Concorde earned far more revenue/operating profit than a fully laden subsonic of any size or flavour. As much as I've tried to stay out of this thread I feel that someone has to speak up and defend the aeroplane that many of us love dearly, in the face of some really mis-informed and total drivel being posted. (Including even from one who obviously worked at the GW Division at Filton; one would expect better of such people).

PBL
And that aircraft flew after 64 years of powered flight, and continued flying, doing its thing very well, for twenty-four years of service until the Paris crash (after 95 years of powered flight), and only stopped because EADS decided to discontinue support. We are now at 105 years. With one airplane, one airplane only, lost. Everyone else in those twenty-four years had a good flight.
mike-wsm strikes me as the kind of contributor who would say on an arts-appreciation site that Picasso was just another scribbler, and that his plumber knew it.
Very well said PBL, you phrased your point beautifully. I suppose it is easier for some to criticize something far easier, if it's from a point of view of ignorance and stupidity. (The point about the 'E' in Concorde was absolutely pathetic).

Regards
Dude

Last edited by M2dude; 16th Dec 2010 at 21:20.
M2dude is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2010, 21:52
  #395 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: France
Posts: 2,315
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mike-wsm
Yes, an immense technical success. But not, I think, a commercial one.
Nobody is arguing that....
But maybe you could at least get your "facts" riight, rather than quote urban legends?

Sales figures
Concorde: 0
747: 1400+
Nope.
Nine were sold to the two national airlines.
Admittedly with some prompting, and probably at a discount relative to the catalogue price, but they were sold.
Only the five remaining white tails were later ceded for a nominal sum each to the airlines, rather than let them rot.

Even so, in 1984 BA thought it worth it to "buy out of" the government subsidy arrangement and acquire the spares holding and G-BBDG for about £16M, and went on to make an operating profit.

The rest of your comments are not really worth mentioning.

And what exactly does this have to do with the subject of this thread?

CJ
ChristiaanJ is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2010, 22:24
  #396 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 3,093
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The 747 almost sank Boeing in her early days, and her eventual success was at least in part down to the technical issues that plagued the DC-10, and the financial issues that plagued the TriStar. Remember that the term "Jumbo Jet" was originally coined to describe all three.

It's also worth remembering that the European aviation market was a very different beast to that of the US in the '60s and '70s, simply due to the vast difference in size of the countries involved. The market for widebodies in Europe was very limited at first - subsonic air travel in the UK and France was catered for by Viscounts, Vanguards, Caravelles and Tridents - none of which carried many more passengers than Concorde.

Last edited by DozyWannabe; 16th Dec 2010 at 23:32.
DozyWannabe is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2010, 22:50
  #397 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Sale, Australia
Age: 80
Posts: 3,832
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re the Concorde name and costs. From Wiki, but it gels with the memory I have.

Reflecting the treaty between the British and French governments which led to Concorde's construction, the name Concorde is from the French word concorde (IPA: [kɔ̃kɔʁd]), which has an English cognate, concord (IPA: /ˈkɒŋkɔrd/). Both words mean agreement, harmony or union.

The aircraft was initially referred to in the UK as Concorde, with the French spelling, but was officially changed to Concord by Harold Macmillan in response to a perceived slight by Charles de Gaulle. In 1967, at the French roll-out in Toulouse the British Government Minister for Technology, Tony Benn announced that he would change the spelling back to Concorde. This created a nationalist uproar that died down when Benn stated that the suffixed ‹e› represented "Excellence, England, Europe and Entente (Cordiale)." In his memoirs, he recounts a tale of a letter from an irate Scotsman claiming: "[Y]ou talk about 'E' for England, but part of it is made in Scotland." Given Scotland’s contribution of providing the nose cone for the aircraft, Benn replied, "[I]t was also 'E' for 'Écosse' (the French name for Scotland) — and I might have added 'e' for extravagance and 'e' for escalation as well!"

By around 1981 in the UK, the future for Concorde looked bleak. The British government had lost money operating Concorde every year, and moves were afoot to cancel the service entirely. A cost projection came back with greatly reduced metallurgical testing costs because the test rig for the wings had built up enough data to last for 30 years and could be shut down. Despite this, the government was not keen to continue. In late 1983, the managing director of BA, Sir John King, convinced the government to sell the aircraft outright to (the then state owned, later privatised) BA for £16.5 million plus the first year’s profits.

Sir John King realised that he had a premier product that was underpriced, and after carrying out a market survey, British Airways discovered that their target customers thought that Concorde was more expensive than it actually was. They progressively raised prices and service quality to match these perceptions. It is reported that British Airways then ran Concorde at a profit, unlike their French counterpart. British Airways's profits have been reported to be up to £50 million in the most profitable years, with a total revenue of £1.75 billion, before costs of £1 billion.
Brian Abraham is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2010, 22:53
  #398 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 3,093
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Brian Abraham
Tony Benn announced that he would change the spelling back to Concorde. This created a nationalist uproar that died down when Benn stated that the suffixed ‹e› represented "Excellence, England, Europe and Entente (Cordiale)." In his memoirs, he recounts a tale of a letter from an irate Scotsman claiming: "[Y]ou talk about 'E' for England, but part of it is made in Scotland." Given Scotland’s contribution of providing the nose cone for the aircraft, Benn replied, "[I]t was also 'E' for 'Écosse' (the French name for Scotland) — and I might have added 'e' for extravagance and 'e' for escalation as well!"
Whatever one may think of the guy's political views, there's no arguing that he was and remains as sharp as a tack - something very much missing in today's PR-obsessed political class.
DozyWannabe is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2010, 23:27
  #399 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: California
Posts: 349
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Excuse me if this has already been posted or mentioned, I have been on vacation and am trying to catch up.

From Aviation Week Dec. 10, 2010
Editorial: Justice, Safety Require Balance | AVIATION WEEK
fleigle is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2010, 01:18
  #400 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA
Age: 66
Posts: 0
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In the end....

nothing more need be said.

For a modern commercial aircraft to be deemed airworthy, it must be able to survive a blowout. Before the accident, there had been 57 cases of Concordes’ tires bursting or deflating. Twelve of those incidents led to structural damage to a wing or fuel tank, and six of those led to penetrations of tanks. The bottom line is that, for the Concorde, there was a 10% chance a blowout could lead to a ruptured fuel tank.
SLFinAZ is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.