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Did Concorde ever fly over London at Mach1?

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Did Concorde ever fly over London at Mach1?

Old 8th Apr 2016, 18:54
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Did Concorde ever fly over London at Mach1?

Just what the question says. It seems far fetched to me but someone on a local Facebook page claims to have been working in London when they did.

I thought they would have overshot LHR by a mile or 3 😂
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Old 8th Apr 2016, 19:08
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Definitely subsonic when I saw it at about 15 miles finals Heathrow. I was ferrying a new Hawk from Dunsfold (Top Gear Venue ) I was told to maintain 5000ft. Concorde 'sailed' past at 6000ft
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Old 8th Apr 2016, 19:12
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They claim it was tested and that the Windows rattled so they never did it again. Every time I saw Concorde at low altitude everything shook anyway.....
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Old 8th Apr 2016, 19:30
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If the suggestion is that it was during an approach to Heathrow then the answer is absolutely NO!
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Old 8th Apr 2016, 19:50
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I must admit I couldn't see any reason whatsoever for it but before I said the person was wrong thought I would ask where I would get a sensible answer.
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Old 8th Apr 2016, 21:57
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Concorde was never granted permission to fly supersonic (mach1 and above) over populated areas. Even Braniff when using Concorde to Dallas had to fly at Mach 0.98 (I stand to be corrected). Maybe it was allowed over certain limited population areas, and definitely over sea, QE2 passengers had the pleasure of the "boom", but certainly not over central London.

When Concorde flew to Bahrain and Singapore it was restricted to "fast" subsonic over mainland Europe.
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Old 8th Apr 2016, 22:46
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Cheers Cymmon.

I thought as much
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Old 9th Apr 2016, 02:58
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I'm pretty sure back in the pre-Concorde days (1967, 68 maybe?) some trials were done by RAF Lightnings or maybe F-4s, flying over London at Mach 1+ to study the effects of sonic booms over the city. I was only in my early teens at the time but I'm as sure as I can be that it happened.
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Old 9th Apr 2016, 07:05
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IIRC - Wasn't the Lightning (or Phantom) flown by Diana Riggs brother?
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Old 9th Apr 2016, 07:42
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I think I can remember many many moons ago when Concord was under development that a fighter did a series of flights to test how much a sonic boom would affect the public and whether it was possible for Concord to fly over inhabited areas at a supersonic speed so I would agree with malcolm380's comments that it did happen.
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Old 9th Apr 2016, 09:01
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Malcom380
Yes they did as I remember hearing one when I was at school probably 1968
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Old 9th Apr 2016, 09:41
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Originally Posted by Cymmon View Post
Concorde was never granted permission to fly supersonic (mach1 and above) over populated areas. Even Braniff when using Concorde to Dallas had to fly at Mach 0.98 (I stand to be corrected). Maybe it was allowed over certain limited population areas, and definitely over sea, QE2 passengers had the pleasure of the "boom", but certainly not over central London.

When Concorde flew to Bahrain and Singapore it was restricted to "fast" subsonic over mainland Europe.
Not just pax on the QE2. I was on board 'Hoverspeed Great Britain' in the first year of operation between Cherbourg and Portsmouth when there was a couple of loud bangs...the captain then announced that there was nothing to be alarmed about as we had just been overflown by Concorde. Thought that was cool - until I flew on her
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Old 9th Apr 2016, 10:13
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Originally Posted by malcolm380 View Post
I'm pretty sure back in the pre-Concorde days (1967, 68 maybe?) some trials were done by RAF Lightnings or maybe F-4s, flying over London at Mach 1+ to study the effects of sonic booms over the city. I was only in my early teens at the time but I'm as sure as I can be that it happened.
Lightnings did definitely do SS runs over London prior to Concorde entering service.
I heard one and thought it was a boom of thunder until Honeymonster RIP (who was posted to Farnborough before me) told me it had had launched from Farnborough and done a SS run from Reading eastwards.
The only other Supersonic runs over land in the UK were from RAE Bedford along a 'corridor' following the Bedford Levels. This was still an approved procedure until RAE Bedford closed although it was rarely (if ever) used after about 1974.

Last edited by chevvron; 10th Apr 2016 at 00:32.
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Old 9th Apr 2016, 15:54
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having lived in Somerset, England for many years, the boom from Concorde was a familiar sound, but not especially loud. The only sonic boom I heard which was very loud was from a CF-18 which flew over Ottawa, Canada, during a weekday, when I was working there, which would have put it in 1989 or 1990. Is there anyone on here who can shed any light over that event?
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Old 10th Apr 2016, 13:01
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The only other Supersonic runs over land in the UK were from RAE Bedford along a 'corridor' following the Bedford Levels.
Not quite. In development testing of Concorde one of the prototypes or pre-production aircraft operated a series of flights down the whole west coast of the UK (from the north of Scotland to Cornwall) in the early 1970's to measure the boom at ground level. I remember hearing them while on holiday on the Isle of Arran.
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Old 10th Apr 2016, 15:15
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There was also a bit of a fuss in the late 1970s when some odd winter conditions formed atmospheric conduits that propagated oceanic booms back to the northern UK, rattling windows and causing Letters To Be Written. RAE was involved in the analysis and I believe the result was slight changes to both BA and AF tracks, but I don't think London was in the affected zone.


Incidentally, Lebanon was subject to overflight 'boomage' on the easterly services until the early 1980s at which point HMG also gave-up asking the Indian government for supersonic overflight permission. Edit: to satisfy myself that I wasn't making stuff up, I found this page in a search which also mentions that supersonic flight was also permitted 'over the Nile to the south of Cairo'.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...A136#v=onepage

Last edited by El Bunto; 10th Apr 2016 at 18:06.
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 00:26
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I remember a holiday in N Devon where we would hear the boom every day, I think on the westbound flight, but I can't be sure so many years later.
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 06:10
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Co-incidentally, a couple of Typhoons laid a boom across the country last friday (8th) from Coningsby to intercept an aircraft near Cardiff.
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 09:46
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Co-incidentally, a couple of Typhoons laid a boom across the country last friday (8th) from Coningsby to intercept an aircraft near Cardiff.
Despite that they didn't do very well considering the Challenger had flown the entire width of the country out of radio comms on the wrong frequency! It was heading to Dublin and was intercepted near Shrewsbury.

Might have to change their tactics if / when supersonic bizjets enter service... tailchases won't be so easy then.

Question: if an SSBJ could operate above controlled airspace ( say, FL700 ) would it still be subject to a ban on supersonic flight over populated areas?
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Old 13th Apr 2016, 17:53
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I remember staying with friends on holiday at Hartland in North Devon when the bang (anything from no sound at all to the human ear, but all the birds in the district would suddenly give a collective squawk and jump up and down a bit, to a sharp 'crack' like a rifleshot.) This would manifest itself usually a little after 20.00hrs, and shortly afterwards, a contrail would suddenly begin to appear, very high up, and continue until it passed over our heads inbound to Heathrow.
By contrast, all the subsonic traffic could be seen laying contrails right down to the horizon with the sea, and would seemingly take forever to finally overfly us.
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