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Reason for retirement[edit]

The article refers to the retirement of the Concorde as a result of it's only accident. This is not accurate, the Concorde continued to operate for three years after Air France 4590, and the conclusion was that the accident was a result of foreign object damage, in addition to inadequately shielded fuel tanks. The retirement was caused by the unprofitably of the concorde, the worsening economy, Airbus' decision not to support the Concorde, and it's aging technology. I will change the article to reflect this, and will attempt to source this. Skrelk (talk) 03:28, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

right. The main problem was about spares. Once spare stock remains empty, companies starts to use spare from other of their 10 planes, up to the moment there was no more spare available to fly at least 2 planes. Since Airbus did not want to produce more spare, Concorde was condemned to ground. v_atekor (talk) 10:12, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
There's quite a large amount of info about Concorde's operating life in these PPRuNe topics here: [1] and here: [2] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:29, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Useful and interesting video about Concorde on YouTube here: [3] - part 2 here: [4]
BTW, interesting bit of Concorde trivia: When reheat was applied at take-off the wheel brakes were unable to hold the aircraft still, as the take-off thrust produced would move the stationary aircraft even with wheels locked, causing flat spots on the tyres. Because of this on take-off the reheat was applied two engines at a time, after releasing the wheel brakes.
And the 60,000ft operating ceiling for Concorde was an arbitrary one, being chosen so as to allow the aircraft to make a descent sufficiently quickly without danger to the passengers should a cabin window burst or be broken. In test flights Concorde had flown as high as 68,000ft. To allow higher than normal rates-of-descent, Concorde could use the two inner engine's thrust reversers in flight. During the outward climb once over water reheat was engaged and the aircraft accelerated through Mach 1, and once reheat was cancelled, Concorde continued to accelerate on to Mach 2 on dry power while still climbing.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:51, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
The retirement of Concorde was effectively forced on BA by the decision of Airbus - the Type Certificate holder at the time, although originally it would have been Sud Aviation and BAC - to drastically increase the charges for engineering support for the Concorde type. Once Airbus decided to do this the aircraft became unprofitable to operate without a substantial fare price rise, and once airlines had declined to pay the increased charges, Airbus stopped support for the type and as a result its Type Certificate was withdrawn by the CAA and the French equivalent. Once this had been done it became illegal to carry fare-paying passengers on the type. So it wasn't actually a lack of spares as-such.
After the Paris crash Airbus would have suddenly found themselves having to concentrate money and engineering resources on solving the accident problems of a 40-year old type that was, in effect, not of their original design, and dated as far back as 1960. They no doubt - perhaps understandably - wished to concentrate money and resources on their own newer airliner types, then in current production and development. I suspect that the responsibility for Concorde was something they wished to rid themselves of as soon as was possible, as they gained little financially from it as it was no longer in production and generating income for its manufacturer, and I suspect they had few, if any, engineering staff who had been involved in Concorde's original design. So, financially the crash probably cost Airbus a lot of money on an aircraft that had never been profitable for them - they 'inherited' Concorde from what had been the companies they bought out when Airbus Industrie bought up various parts of the French and British aircraft industry back in the 1980-1990s - and the crash may have scared Airbus over possible future costs if more accidents were to occur. The Paris crash allowed Airbus to rid their hands of Concorde, albeit in an unfortunate manner, and one I'm sure that Airbus themselves would not have wished-for.
In addition, many of the BA Concorde's regular passengers were business men and women involved in finance, insurance, etc., who had been working in the Twin Towers and so, at a stroke, a small but significant proportion of BA's Concorde farebase was lost during the 9/11 attacks, and this small but important regular farebase hadn't recovered by 2003.
BTW, IIRC, if Concorde had not been retired early it would have been due to retire around now - 2013 - due to the airframe fatigue limits having been estimated to have been reached. Certainly prior to the Paris crash BA had been planning on operating it much later than 2003. About AF I don't know. Update - a 2002 Flight editorial on the BA Concordes expected life extension to 2010-15 here: [5]
IIARC, the only notable problems BA ever had had with the type were a couple of in-flight upper rudder losses due to dis-bonding - which were non-events, as Concorde had duplicated rudders - and a few precautionary engine shut-downs. I think AF were the only ones that had any fuel tank punctures, although why they affected AF and not BA I don't know.
A 2003 Flight article on Concorde's retirement here: [6] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:39, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Video on YouTube of a BA Concorde 'greasing in' at Kai Tak back in 1996 here: [7] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:26, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
BTW, despite the age of the aircraft there was little or no corrosion simply because most of the moisture was boiled off due to aerodynamic heating before it could do any damage. [8] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:02, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Partnership with Sud[edit]

I wrote the Partnership with Sud section to reflect what I found in two primary sources. However, it seems there is more to the story that what I've presented here. Given that we know the Sud design of 1960 was a reflection of the STAC design, it is confusing that the earlier designs, from 1957, were apparently separate. I suspect this is not the case, that the earlier studies were prompted by STAC, and the downselect to the Sud model occurred as a result. However, I have no sources that really delve into this. Does anyone else? Maury Markowitz (talk) 13:22, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

There is a vast amount of information on Concorde in the Flight global archive, online here: [9] and it also includes contemporary articles on the respective UK/French SST projects prior to the Concorde agreement being signed between Britain and France. As the aircraft were/was not called that at the time, you may need to try various search terms though. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:00, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Philippine Airlines?[edit]

Is this real? It sounds unlikely but I don't know the whole history and maybe there was some temporary lease or something? I notice our article on the airline also lists this type as having been operated. Comments please? Best wishes to all DBaK (talk) 08:45, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Just a bit of vandalism. MilborneOne (talk) 10:32, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Okey doke and thanks. DBaK (talk) 10:46, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Engine section[edit]

I propose deleting this paragraph for a couple of reasons "The intake design for Concorde’s engines was especially critical.[73] Conventional jet engines can take in air at only around Mach 0.5; therefore the air has to be slowed from the Mach 2.0 airspeed that enters the engine intake. In particular, Concorde needed to control the shock waves that this reduction in speed generates to avoid damage to the engines. This was done by a pair of intake ramps and an auxiliary spill door, whose position moved in-flight to slow transiting air.[74]"

It's brevity precludes the possibility of stating anything meaningful about the intake. In addition it includes one sentence which is misleadingly incorrect. I feel it detracts from the overall quality of the article. I don't think it is worth rewriting as the intake is covered in the Olympus 593 article.Pieter1963 (talk) 01:16, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

You forgot to identify the sentence that is misleadingly incorrect. Dolphin (t) 22:27, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
"Concorde needed to control the shock waves that this reduction in speed generates to avoid damage to the engines". I think it's misleading since shock wave control was needed to ensure optimum performance of all 3 parts of the propulsion system, intake, engine and exhaust nozzle, not for a specific engine-related reason. It's incorrect because surging, not damage, could be one (of several) engine reactions to lack of shock wave control.Pieter1963 (talk) 01:10, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
I think you have made an adequate case for fine-tuning the paragraph, but not for deleting it. The information is relevant to the article on the aircraft so I'm not in favour of it being deleted. Dolphin (t) 12:02, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
Surging isn't just an annoyance, it destroys engines if allowed to continue; it's a severe cyclic stress. For this reason, Concorde as a whole was designed to essentially never surge; it would do so only if a serious fault developed. If the inlet ramps were set incorrectly, the shockwave can move towards the compressor section and cause surging. This type of thing happened with other aircraft such as the SR-71, it's seriously bad news.GliderMaven (talk) 19:05, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
By way of explanation for a paragraph re-write I offer the folllowing. In order to meet wiki guidelines the paragraph should be written to reflect information from authoritative sources which I will ref(The current ref 74 doesn't support any of the statements but instead contains information that is not suitable for a short introduction to the intake).
In line with published accounts of intake design and testing prevention of engine damage is not a consideration in the design of the intake or its control system, contrary to the statement in the paragraph. The requirement is to prevent surges by keeping distortion within limits. Repeated surging on a flightworthy engine design is benign from an engine integrity standpoint. If it were not the design would not be approved for flight.
"Conventional jet engines can take in air at only around Mach 0.5; therefore the air has to be slowed from the Mach 2.0 airspeed that enters the engine intake" I believe this statement is meant to infer that the intake is designed to slow the air to M0.5, which is a common misunderstanding, in which case it is incorrect. The engine itself, not the intake, makes sure the air leaving the intake is moving at its own particular design value, about M0.5 (ref. "Gas Turbine Aerothermodynamics", Sir Frank Whittle, p.83). The intake does not slow the air down(eg ref "Rolls-Royce and the Rateau Patents",Harry Pearson, p.10). But what it does have to do is 1. ensure the slowing down is done as efficiently as possible, and 2. deliver air with low distortion to prevent surges, in the case of Concorde by correct amount of ramp bleed ("Design and Development for an Air Intake for a Supersonic Transport Aircraft" Rettie and Lewis, fig. 6 Effect of bleed flow on engine-face distortion).Pieter1963 (talk) 16:56, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Pieter1963, this source could be suitable for further information?
PauloMSimoes (talk) 20:38, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Paulo, thanks,certainly an amazing source. I was going to suggest it be included in external links but I see it already is.Pieter1963 (talk) 00:34, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Passenger Experience?[edit]

I recognize that both AF and BA operated Concordes, so naturally there would be differences in cabin service. But perhaps a section could be added that compares Concorde cabin service with that of comparable subsonic transatlantic commercial flights? For example, the single-class Concorde seating appears to be on a par with American coach-level seating (i.e. rather tight and cramped), but not having flown Concorde myself, I couldn't say for certain. And what of food/beverage service onboard? Was it similar to Business- or First-class service of the time on AF and BA? Perhaps some Wikipedians have photos of the food/beverage service? How many passenger lavatories were available? How many flight attendants were embarked on a typical flight (and were the staffing levels comparable to those on subsonic transat flights of the time)? Again, I know that service would differ between the AF and BA flights, and that service offerings would change over time. That said, I'd be really interested in knowing what the typical passenger experience aboard was like. Had I been quicker on the draw, I'd have spent a boatload of frequent flyer miles to give Concorde a try myself before they were retired, but that's a missed opportunity on my part.  :( Regards, (talk) 19:45, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Here's a link to the menu from my BA Concorde flight on 7 September 2003: [10] Click your "back" button after each page to return to the thumbnails. I still have the full-size original menu, my boarding pass, and all the rest of my Concorde stuff, with the exception that the BA flight 001 security sticker later fell off the back of my passport. Looking back now, I think the food in FIRST on a BA 777 from LHR to IAD (we were upgraded from Club World at the gate) was every bit as good as the food on Concorde but the wine/liquor selection wasn't as extensive. Regarding the seats, bear in mind that while in terms of distance Concorde was a long-haul flight, time-wise it was far shorter. My flight took 3 hours 21 minutes from takeoff at LHR to touchdown at JFK. You don't need the same large fold-flat seating and the like that goes with a seven- or eight-hour overnight long-haul flight in that situation. In so many ways, all the spiffed-up premium classes you see on some of the newer aircraft are just (as nice as they are) a way of trying to sugarcoat the fact that they're cramming more and more people into bigger and bigger planes for longer and longer flights. 1995hoo (talk) 20:46, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Lovely! Thank you very much!  :) (talk) 16:22, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Concorde 1984 fares here; [11]
  • Concorde London-New York return = £2,399 - subsonic First Class return = £1,986.
  • Concorde London-Washington return = £2,426 - subsonic First Class return = £2,258

Speed in Specs[edit]

Can we put the top speed of the aircraft in the little detail box there? I think that is one of the most common questions in regards to this plane, why not put it there for all to see quickly. Zdawg1029 (talk) 06:38, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

It is in the Specs section, the first line under Performance, Mach 2.04. - BilCat (talk) 07:11, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm referring to the information box at the top of the article. It would be nice if it said the speed there so people don't have to go dig for it. That is after all one of the key features having to do with this plane. Zdawg1029 (talk) 16:57, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
The top box, called an infobox, on aircraft articles isn't used for specs. Specs on all aircraft articles on English WP are in the Specs section. It can't be added to the top infobox for this article alone, as the infobox template itself would have to be changed, and that's not likely to happen for just one article. - BilCat (talk) 17:07, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Bummer. Then I guess I propose we add a short sentence in the lead about its speed.Zdawg1029 (talk) 00:35, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
As an airliner the top speed was very rarely used but as a guide the cruising speed for a typical Concorde supersonic flight was Mach 2.0 or around 1,250 mph. The actual figure depends on the external air temperature but the above are typical speeds for a transatlantic flight. The speed is given in mph rather than knots as that was what was displayed on the cabin display, along with Mach number, height, air temperature, and distance to destination.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:05, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
IIRC, as a guide, at maximum continuous dry power (the Mach 2.0 cruise setting) each Olympus engine was producing 10,000lb thrust.
Concorde's RR.58 airframe was able to tolerate Mach 2.4 for a limited time under worse case conditions, i.e., inadvertent overshooting of the desired cruise Mach number, e.g., when encountering the jet stream, 1967 Flight article here; [12] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:58, 27 February 2015 (UTC)


That Infobox image is changed by an IP editor half an hour after the image is placed on Commons by a user called Russavia, when Russavia (talk · contribs) is banned from editing on Wikipedia? GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:55, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't know. I reverted the change, but not for that reason. I believe it's more appropriate to have a production model of the aircraft in the Info Box rather than a pre-production variant. Rehnn83 Talk 13:37, 9 January 2015 (UTC)