Concorde was a thrilling aircraft which flew lucky passengers at supersonic speeds. Introduced on 21st January 1976, she graced our skies for far to short a time, retiring on 26th November 2003 due to a decrease in air travel after a economic crash and a general slump due to 11 September 2001 attacks in New York.
While Concorde might not be flying, it’s still a popular aircraft with iconic status. It achieved feats of speed not yet matched by modern airliners.
Concorde is a fascinating aircraft for many reasons, but here are my top 5 most interesting facts about Concorde.
Concorde was limited to a maximum speed of Mach 2.02. The reason for this limitation was not the engines or design, but by the max temperature the metals in the aircraft’s nose could safely sustain – heat cased by friction at such high speeds.
Expansion in flight.
When Concorde was flying at supersonic speeds, the friction and heat caused it to expand up to 30cm. This meant the paint was a special design which made it flexible.
Because Concorde’s design made it very fast and sleek, it was hard to descend and slow down. The Pilots would actually put 2 of the aircraft’s 4 engines into reverse in order to increase the rate of descent in order to land.
During cruise, Concorde’s engines diverted a huge proportion of their energy to powering the Air Conditioning, since one of the biggest issues during flight was heating of the aircraft. The Aircraft’s fuel was actually used as a heat sink for the air conditioning.
Keeping in trim.
Concorde moved fuel around to trim the aircraft in pitch.