Subject: Re: Concorde

Adding to the Concord discussion, I took the one hour Concord flight at EAA the last time it visited the show at Oshkosh. As a pilot myself I was eager to feel the Concord. As is often the case, flying straight and level in any airplane is pretty much the same. The takeoff was exciting. When given full throttle we were slammed into the back of our seat firmly. We were told its acceleration is the greatest to be experienced in any civilian aircraft.

The Captain told us, before takeoff, that they do not usually do the kind of takeoff we were going to experience....but, he said, this is EAA, and we are here to have fun, make lots on noise, and go fast, fast.

Astonishingly, we climbed out to 10,000 feet in less than two minutes.

As someone has all ready pointed out, the Concorde is on the smallish side inside. It is 2 x 2, single aisle, seating maximum of 100. The aisle is narrow. Seating is cramped. Not anywhere near what you would expect in any business class cabin.

When navigating through the galley, which one must do if moving to the rear cabin, you find it is hardly wide enough to transit without angling your shoulders sideways a bit.

As an aside, I was much amused when I overheard an onlooker confide to someone that the Concorde is super luxurious, having a huge hot-tub in the rear of the cabin. The several faults such a concept suggests are obvious, not the least of which is: where does the slosh go?

As we were over land we could not go supersonic. The passengers were all aviator types, so the activity and camaraderie were in that vein. A very happy lot, who consumed many bottles of the champagne that were served.

I was especially surprised at how rough the approach was on landing. The extreme delta wing configuration requires a very high angle of attack on the landing approach, which apparently results in a fair amount of buffeting just before landing.

Some more info and numbers: Normal take off acceleration achieves 225 mph in 30 seconds.

The design permits the Concorde to increase in length due to expansion from heat.

To facilitate transiting from sonic to supersonic and back again the Concorde pumps fuel from front tanks to aft tanks and back again to balance weight.

And, now, its all over for the Concorde. Too bad, in a way.

Regards, Spencer